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Predictions For Marketers in 2017

From artificial intelligence to customer experience, what will be next year's major developments in marketing?

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From artificial intelligence to customer experience, what will be next year's major developments in marketing?

Opinions

Predictions For Marketers in 2017

From artificial intelligence to customer experience, what will be next year's major developments in marketing?

Share this article

2017 will be a transitional year for the marketing industry with technology, client priorities and working patterns all changing. But what will be the stand-out difference between this year and next?

Marketers will adapt their skillset as AI takes over  

Technology has been automating tasks since the dawn of the printing press, with innovations eventually making some human skills obsolete. The most recent innovation is the commercial application of artificial intelligence (AI).

The use cases of AI has increased tenfold this year. It’s impossible to go online or open your inbox and not be hit with some other use case for AI or machine learning. Vendors are constantly pitching the benefits of AI and how it can generate better results.

However, as a marketer, for a long time we were resistant to this, assuming that the creative needs to be done by a human.

However, marketers are seeing opportunities to leverage AI similar to other functions. For example, a company called Persado, an AI platform which creates ad copy is proving to be more effective than some copywriters. The implications are immense; from the powerful efficiencies it provides to impact on the current org design and resource management.

The game isn’t over though. From the CMO’s perspective, an AI tool will enable greater efficiency in an organisation, however it also presents a huge opportunity for marketers. Now they will finally have the chance to spend more time on what they should be doing – studying and better understanding the buyer.

Copywriting may start to become a commodity in 2017 but it will give the marketer the chance to analyse and better understand who their buyers are. Take the data that comes out of any analytics tool and use those learnings in research and development to enhance the product creation process.

There will be an increase in the number and quality of voice control applications

Audio voice control is the new gateway to all digital applications. This has been in development for years but 2016 saw major tech players make a big play for the market. Now Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, Microsoft has Cortana, even Facebook is working on its own offering.

The adoption rate of this technology has been rapid because it offers what customers want – a simple and easy user experience.  From a marketer’s perspective the technology drives a frictionless CX by removing all barriers to activity.

If a customer can easily make purchases directly through voice command, they are more likely to purchase more products at greater frequency and avoid the distractions that prevent purchase completion on traditional digital channels.

The challenge in 2017 will be getting the technology to work flawlessly. The current systems work best with direct requests and often fail with highly contextual language. However, with major tech players investing a great deal in research and development, we’ll continue to see vast improvements and breakthroughs in the technology over the next 12 months.

We predict this will be done on a global stage as consumers’ preferences for using voice interaction crosses most cultures.

We also expect to see a second tier of voice control roll out. With automotive and industrial machine manufacturers starting to invest more in next-gen voice interfaces to create a more human machine operation experience.

Customer experience will stop being a buzzword - Businesses will start to assign ownership to customer experience

Customer Experience (CX) has become a huge talking point over the last few years and become a bigger priority for businesses. However, one of the biggest barriers to developing consistent customer experiences is that responsibility for the customer interactions that entail their experience were owned by two or three different groups internally.

Often the role is being split between marketing and customer care departments, making it hard for any headway to be made as it’s difficult when there are two decision makers. It also creates a blame game, with one department assuming the other is taking care of it and vice versa resulting in gridlock.

In 2017 this will start to shift. We expect more companies will stop viewing ‘customer experience’ as a buzzword or intellectual concept and finally start assigning ownership to it so it becomes a business practice.

They are moving from concept to execution, complete with assigning ownership functionally. Those that don’t will be left behind.

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Predictions For Marketers in 2017

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