Last year, everyone focused on figuring out the â€œnew normalâ€, but we learned that there is no â€œnormalâ€ anymore. The pandemic has impacted everything, and that extends into the marketing world. Whether marketing to consumers or other businesses, managing customer experiences has continued to be a challenging endeavor. Global supply chain constraints have put even more pressure on brands and retailers, and The â€œGreat Resignationâ€ has further complicated marketers’ ability to reach customers effectively. As we look to 2022, innovation and adaptability will continue to be crucial for both businesses and marketers, and I expect big innovations in the marketing and CX space.
Customer behavior has been influenced by many factors as a side effect of the pandemic, and for companies to remain successful in actively reaching and engaging their customers, innovation is not enough on its own. In 2022, it will be essential for brands to undergo radical innovation by empowering teams to transform and reimagine digital customer experiences. It will be necessary for brands and marketers to innovate in a way that impacts the entire business, not just a smaller segment. Key to this integration will be open marketing, tech-empowered marketers and adaptability to privacy control regulations.Â
The Future of Marketing Is Open
As companies continue to undergo digital transformation and begin to understand the ineffectiveness of data silos, I anticipate more marketers will take a centralized approach to manage data. Today, we see this in the rapid adoption of CDPs. But in 2022, the â€œopen marketingâ€ approach will gain more steam as brands radically innovate new experiences that resonate with customers from one action to the next.
Data has long been a valuable asset yet is often â€œownedâ€ by a handful of tech staffers. To access this data, marketers have been forced to go through IT. With this dependence on IT and developer resources, marketers have less control over the final customer experience. But what marketers need are innovative tools and knowledge that put them in control of customer experience from beginning to end.
The customer journey is unpredictable, and marketers are searching for the best approaches for understanding and reaching their customers at every point in their journeys. Open marketing technology allows marketers to build meaningful relationships with their customers and provides the flexibility for brands and marketers to analyze their business more holistically.
Although machine learning continues to go mainstream, the adoption of AI remains low in marketing. Most marketers understand the advantage machine learning gives them, but a tech skills gap remains. Recent Acquia researchOpens a new window found that 73% of marketers admit the technology they’re using holds them back from creating and delivering innovative or creative digital experiences for their customers. At the same time, less than one-third (28%) of marketers say they can create digital customer experiences with little or no IT help. Despite the urgency to create and deliver innovative digital experiences over the past 18 months, there are few single platform tools available to marketers, making the process complex and onerous.
Low-code, no-code tools are the answer. In executing an open marketing strategy, low-code, no-code tools enable marketers to optimize their operations with little to no involvement from IT. Empowering marketers with the ability to craft and publish content without any coding knowledge will result in campaigns that can be more quickly executed and allow brands to offer more innovative experiences.
Privacy Control Is Here To Stay
Data has always been marketers’ holy grail. Access to data has exponentially increased over the past decade, giving brands and marketers the ability to analyze and strategize their campaigns around a customer’s perceived purchase intentions.Â
Marketers can now access a plethora of customer data from any number of sources, a number of data privacy concerns. Regulations and platform policy changes intended to protect consumers have since been introduced, including the phase-out of third-party cookies. Consequently, zero-party data has risen as a tool for marketers to meet consumers’ growing demand for personalized experiences. Zero-party data is used to inform intent-driven marketing decisions, and it allows brands to connect with customers directly, ultimately forging stronger relationships.Â
Although first-party and zero-party data can give brands an edge for developing content and digital strategies, marketers also need to be aware of potential issues with hyper-personalization. Relying solely on zero-party data can narrow a brand’s understanding of its consumers, meaning a missed opportunity to market based on different purchase intentions. This type of data is best used to understand an established customer base, but incorporating additional trusted data sources into a CDP will allow marketers to utilize both in-depth customer information and leverage broader insights.Â
As the privacy regulations continue to gain steam in 2022 and marketers are under pressure to create compelling CX to drive market advantage, CDP adoption must become a top priority. Successful CX in 2022 and beyond will require a flexible and open approach where organizations can respond quickly to market conditions, innovate without constraint, and nimbly go to market.Â