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Better customer experience is on the way

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Better customer experience is on the way

Marketers will improve customer experience in 2024 so brands can remain competitive and demonstrate to customers that they matter. Every year the bar gets raised. In 2024, keys to customer success will include better personalization delivered at scale by ramped-up automation and generative AI. And better digital content will surface, if organizations put in place the necessary guardrails for generative AI to fuel the anticipated content surge.

More personalized experiences by humans and AI working together

Humans aren’t going to be taken out of the customer experience entirely in 2024. Instead, look for AI-augmented systems to help make experience and service more efficient for marketers and agents.

“Organizations realize that for more challenging issues, customers want to have the ability to connect with a human,” said Keith Kirkpatrick, research director, enterprise applications for The Futurum Group. “And when you do that, you want to make that interaction as efficient and as quick as possible. If you have AI helping, you’re going to be able to make sure that agent has the information right in front of them, served up in context, and they don’t need to go hunting around for it.”

This added context gives customers, as well as marketers, more confidence for higher-priced sales. With AI assistance, B2B and high-end retail will see an overhaul of personalized customer experiences in the year ahead.

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Dig deeper: Salesforce updates Einstein 1 Platform with unified business data

Translating in-person experiences virtually

Whether using improved AI-powered chatbots, or delivering more informed experiences fueled by customer data, brands will provide more quality customer interactions traditionally associated with high-end retail.

“A key focus for retailers and ecommerce brands in 2024 will be transforming great in-person conversations and purchase experiences into natural interactions through messaging apps — in other words, mimicking the in-store experience in our virtual world,” said Joscha Koepke, head of product at conversational marketing company Connectly.

He added, “As retailers increasingly embrace new ways of online and mobile shopping, brands need to bring this luxury brand experience to a broader set of consumers through two-way communication.”

AI driving experience and customer support

“In 2024, companies that incorporate AI into the customer experience in the right ways will set themselves apart,” said Chris Savage, CEO and co-founder of video marketing platform Wistia.

AI-generated chat, increasingly, will take the burden off human agents providing customer support. However, the margin of error is slim for assisting customers who just want their problems fixed. But as AI chatbots improve, customers will increasingly welcome these assistants.

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“The minute this technology is more refined and helpful, every customer will be looking for AI chat support as it will provide instantaneous responses to questions 24/7 in any language,” Savage said. “At the same time, having humans available to supplement these chatbots will quickly become a differentiator. There will be questions and issues that only humans can answer, and if customers can’t easily gain access to a support team when needed, their company loyalty may begin to waver.”

Customer expectations will climb, demanding more personalization across all channels, including mobile apps.

“AI will allow for so many more edge cases and ways to personalize the customer experience, and we’ll start to expect all apps to feel like they have a much better understanding of us and our preferences,” said Savage.

B2B marketers will use video for better trust and accessibility

Generative AI has applications that extend far beyond intelligent chatbots. The technology can be used to power transcription and make video more successful. As a result, B2B marketers will have more meaningful, accessible videos to help drive customer experiences.

“It’s becoming clear that the B2B marketing landscape will undergo a transformative shift around accessibility, video and AI in 2024,” said Jennifer Griffin Smith, CMO for digital experience company Acquia. “Further, as businesses recognize the diverse needs of their audience, digital and communication accessibility will be paramount.”

Expect the wider use of subtitles and voiceover in video to build trust with customers who have disabilities and preferences for captions. Meeting these expectations will help build customer trust in the new year, even as marketers face challenges to trust related to data security and privacy.

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Using AI to pre-screen experience as content surges

One of the promises made in 2023 by the rise of generative AI is the ability to scale content. With content surging, the need for quality control also increases. To meet this challenge, AI will come to the rescue again.

“We’re seeing the beginning of an onslaught of AI-generated content,” said Bryan Whitaker, CEO of data technology company Statara. “Unless AI prompts are topnotch, or human editors are involved, content still runs the risk of having embarrassing errors, coming off as robotic, and being glaringly inauthentic.”

“The surge in content production means that existing approval workflows will become unsustainable,” said Levi Matkins, CEO of mobile marketing platform LifeStreet. “Traditionally bogged down by multiple checkpoints and a lengthy creative process, generative AI will compel companies to reevaluate and streamline these processes. Brands serious about leveraging AI might train models to pre-screen content for brand compliance, using AI as a first line of defense.”

The result is that brands will be able to produce more content confidently. And with more efficient content production workflows, marketers will be able to concentrate on compelling ideas instead of the nuts and bolts of approval and distribution.

“With the increasing ease and affordability of content creation, the focus will shift from execution to ideation,” said Matkins. “The quality (versus the quantity) of content ideas becomes the differentiating factor in a market where execution is no longer a barrier. This shift will put a premium on creativity and strategic thinking, pushing brands to invest more in developing unique and resonant concepts that can be quickly brought to life through AI.”

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AI will boost marketing and sales readiness

In the new year, marketers and sales representatives will be using AI in important client meetings, improving readiness.

“Whether it’s using AI to instantaneously surface the most compelling pitch deck, talk track or playbook, AI will enable sellers to show up as trusted advisors, earning buyer confidence and becoming indispensable to the customer journey,” said Hendrik Isebaert, CEO of sales enablement platform Showpad. “In addition to sales meetings, AI will also be leveraged to augment the role of the internal sales coach, making sales development programs smarter and more scalable.”

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CMOs more hands-on with service

“In 2024, the role of the CMO will become more heavily entwined in the efforts to build stronger customer experience and interactions,” said Josh Mueller, CMO for cloud-based technology company Avaya. “In the contact center, specifically, expect to see CMOs closer to the content delivered in the contact center through campaign messaging, contact center agent training, or hands-on roles in applying AI to call routing.”

The other side of this development is that service data will have a bigger voice internally.

“The customer will have a stronger voice in the boardroom thanks to the power of AI,” said Cynthia Sener, President GTM at brand intelligence company Chatmeter. “AI is poised to revolutionize marketing by turning large volumes of unsolicited customer feedback into actionable, strategic insights. Brands embracing the power of AI to extract key themes and sentiments about customers’ real-time, honest experiences with their products and services will outshine competitors.”

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

Many brands, such as those in the home services industry or a local grocery chain, market to specific locations, cities or regions. There are also national brands that want to expand in specific local markets. 

Regardless of the company or purpose, advertising on a local scale has different tactics than on a national scale. Brands need to connect their messaging directly with the specific communities they serve and media to their target demo. Here’s a playbook to help your company succeed when marketing on a local scale.  

1. Understand local vs. national campaigns

Local advertising differs from national campaigns in several ways: 

  • Audience specificity: By zooming in on precise geographic areas, brands can tailor messaging to align with local communities’ customs, preferences and nuances. This precision targeting ensures that your message resonates with the right target audience.
  • Budget friendliness: Local advertising is often more accessible for small businesses. Local campaign costs are lower, enabling brands to invest strategically within targeted locales. This budget-friendly nature does not diminish the need for strategic planning; instead, it emphasizes allocating resources wisely to maximize returns. As a result, testing budgets can be allocated across multiple markets to maximize learnings for further market expansion.
  • Channel selection: Selecting the correct channels is vital for effective local advertising. Local newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms and community events each offer advantages. The key lies in understanding where your target audience spends time and focusing efforts to ensure optimal engagement.
  • Flexibility and agility: Local campaigns can be adjusted more swiftly in response to market feedback or changes, allowing brands to stay relevant and responsive. 

Maintaining brand consistency across local touchpoints reinforces brand identity and builds a strong, recognizable brand across markets. 

2. Leverage customized audience segmentation 

Customized audience segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups based on specific demographic criteria. This marketing segmentation supports the development of targeted messaging and media plans for local markets. 

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For example, a coffee chain might cater to two distinct segments: young professionals and retirees. After identifying these segments, the chain can craft messages, offers and media strategies relating to each group’s preferences and lifestyle.

To reach young professionals in downtown areas, the chain might focus on convenience, quality coffee and a vibrant atmosphere that is conducive to work and socializing. Targeted advertising on Facebook, Instagram or Connected TV, along with digital signage near office complexes, could capture the attention of this demographic, emphasizing quick service and premium blends.

Conversely, for retirees in residential areas, the chain could highlight a cozy ambiance, friendly service and promotions such as senior discounts. Advertisements in local print publications, community newsletters, radio stations and events like senior coffee mornings would foster a sense of community and belonging.

Dig deeper: Niche advertising: 7 actionable tactics for targeted marketing

3. Adapt to local market dynamics

Various factors influence local market dynamics. Brands that navigate changes effectively maintain a strong audience connection and stay ahead in the market. Here’s how consumer sentiment and behavior may evolve within a local market and the corresponding adjustments brands can make. 

  • Cultural shifts, such as changes in demographics or societal norms, can alter consumer preferences within a local community. For example, a neighborhood experiencing gentrification may see demand rise for specific products or services.
    • Respond by updating your messaging to reflect the evolving cultural landscape, ensuring it resonates with the new demographic profile.
  • Economic conditions are crucial. For example, during downturns, consumers often prioritize value and practicality.
    • Highlight affordable options or emphasize the practical benefits of your offerings to ensure messaging aligns with consumers’ financial priorities. The impact is unique to each market and the marketing message must also be dynamic.
  • Seasonal trends impact consumer behavior.
    • Align your promotions and creative content with changing seasons or local events to make your offerings timely and relevant.
  • New competitors. The competitive landscape demands vigilance because new entrants or innovative competitor campaigns can shift consumer preferences.
    • Differentiate by focusing on your unique selling propositions, such as quality, customer service or community involvement, to retain consumer interest and loyalty.

4. Apply data and predictive analytics 

Data and predictive analytics are indispensable tools for successfully reaching local target markets. These technologies provide consumer behavior insights, enabling you to anticipate market trends and adjust strategies proactively. 

  • Price optimization: By analyzing consumer demand, competitor pricing and market conditions, data analytics enables you to set prices that attract customers while ensuring profitability.
  • Competitor analysis: Through analysis, brands can understand their positioning within the local market landscape and identify opportunities and threats. Predictive analytics offer foresight into competitors’ potential moves, allowing you to strategize effectively to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Consumer behavior: Forecasting consumer behavior allows your brand to tailor offerings and marketing messages to meet evolving consumer needs and enhance engagement.
  • Marketing effectiveness: Analytics track the success of advertising campaigns, providing insights into which strategies drive conversions and sales. This feedback loop enables continuous optimization of marketing efforts for maximum impact.
  • Inventory management: In supply chain management, data analytics predict demand fluctuations, ensuring inventory levels align with market needs. This efficiency prevents stockouts or excess inventory, optimizing operational costs and meeting consumer expectations.

Dig deeper: Why you should add predictive modeling to your marketing mix

5. Counter external market influences

Consider a clothing retailer preparing for a spring collection launch. By analyzing historical weather data and using predictive analytics, the brand forecasts an unseasonably cool start to spring. Anticipating this, the retailer adjusts its campaign to highlight transitional pieces suitable for cooler weather, ensuring relevance despite an unexpected chill.

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Simultaneously, predictive models signal an upcoming spike in local media advertising rates due to increased market demand. Retailers respond by reallocating a portion of advertising budgets to digital channels, which offer more flexibility and lower costs than traditional media. This shift enables brands to maintain visibility and engagement without exceeding budget, mitigating the impact of external forces on advertising.

6. Build consumer confidence with messaging

Localized messaging and tailored customer service enhance consumer confidence by demonstrating your brand’s understanding of the community. For instance, a grocery store that curates cooking classes featuring local cuisine or sponsors community events shows commitment to local culture and consumer interests. 

Similarly, a bookstore highlighting local authors or topics relevant to the community resonates with local customers. Additionally, providing service that addresses local needs — such as bilingual service and local event support — reinforces the brand’s values and response to the community. 

Through these localized approaches, brands can build trust and loyalty, bridging the gap between corporate presence and local relevance.

7. Dominate with local advertising 

To dominate local markets, brands must:

  • Harness hyper-targeted segmentation and geo-targeted advertising to reach and engage precise audiences.
  • Create localized content that reflects community values, engage in community events, optimize campaigns for mobile and track results.
  • Fine-tune strategies, outperform competitors and foster lasting relationships with customers.

These strategies will enable your message to resonate with local consumers, differentiate you in competitive markets and ensure you become a major player in your specific area. 



Dig deeper: The 5 critical elements for local marketing success

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

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According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.

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To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

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For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.

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Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

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Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.

Reflections

The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.

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So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.


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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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By Tinuiti Team

Rapid Media Mix Modeling and Proprietary Tech Transform Brand Performance

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Tinuiti, the largest independent full-funnel performance marketing agency, has been included in a recent Forrester Research report titled, “The Marketing Analytics Landscape, Q2 2024.” This report comprehensively overviews marketing analytics markets, use cases, and capabilities. B2C marketing leaders can use this research by Principal Analyst Tina Moffett to understand the intersection of marketing analytics capabilities and use cases to determine the vendor or service provider best positioned for their analytics and insights needs. Moffett describes the top marketing analytics markets as advertising agencies, marketing dashboards and business intelligence tools, marketing measurement and optimization platforms and service providers, and media analytics tools.

As an advertising agency, we believe Tinuiti is uniquely positioned to manage advertising campaigns for brands including buying, targeting, and measurement. Our proprietary measurement technology, Bliss Point by Tinuiti, allows us to measure the optimal level of investment to maximize impact and efficiency. According to the Forrester report, “only 30% of B2C marketing decision-makers say their organization uses marketing or media mix modeling (MMM),” so having a partner that knows, embraces, and utilizes MMM is important. As Tina astutely explains, data-driven agencies have amplified their marketing analytics competencies with data science expertise; and proprietary tools; and tailored their marketing analytics techniques based on industry, business, and data challenges. 

Our Rapid Media Mix Modeling sets a new standard in the market with its exceptional speed, precision, and transparency. Our patented tech includes Rapid Media Mix Modeling, Always-on Incrementality, Brand Equity, Creative Insights, and Forecasting – it will get you to your Marketing Bliss Point in each channel, across your entire media mix, and your overall brand performance. 

As a marketing leader you may ask yourself: 

  • How much of our marketing budget should we allocate to driving store traffic versus e-commerce traffic?
  • How should we allocate our budget by channel to generate the most traffic and revenue possible?
  • How many customers did we acquire in a specific region with our media spend?
  • What is the impact of seasonality on our media mix?
  • How should we adjust our budget accordingly?
  • What is the optimal marketing channel mix to maximize brand awareness? 

These are just a few of the questions that Bliss Point by Tinuiti can help you answer.

Learn more about our customer-obsessed, product-enabled, and fully integrated approach and how we’ve helped fuel full-funnel outcomes for the world’s most digital-forward brands like Poppi & Toms.

The Landscape report is available online to Forrester customers or for purchase here

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