The following is a guest contributed post by Armand Thiberge, CEO of SendinBlue
Last year, martech influencers predicted 2017 would see data ultimately define the customer experience. As the year has played out, we’ve seen this come to fruition, but many brands and marketers are still struggling to deliver a seamless customer experience (CX) across all of their communication channels. To achieve success in the coming year, small and large businesses alike will need to adopt powerful and comprehensive marketing and email automation tools that are streamlined and efficient, allowing for the creation of an unrivaled CX.
The secret to getting this done in 2018 is planning ahead, and here are the insights to get you started.
Email Isn’t Dying, It’s Thriving
Although rumors that email is dead have been going around for years, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re using it for personal correspondence, work, or keeping track of deals from your favorite companies — email is still arguably the most consistent and reliable form of communication across all demographics, and that won’t change in 2018.
One demographic in particular that has been a driving force in the digital revolution is millennials. But, while it’s easy to think that millennials are glued to their mobile apps and are only interested in connecting with brands through social platforms like Snapchat or Instagram, the numbers paint a very different picture.
In a recent millennial consumer survey, 63 percent of respondents said that email is their preferred channel for communicating with businesses — nearly five times more than either of the next two options: text message and social media. What’s more, most millennial consumers reported that they only receive 1-5 total emails from retailers each day. That means there is a massive opportunity for brands to invest in their email strategy and win over this important group of consumers.
Prioritize Personalization or Risk Irrelevancy
Today’s digital consumer has more influence over brands than ever before. They understand that they share an immense amount of data with businesses through even the simplest online interactions. This has led consumers to expect that brands engage them on an intimate level, using the personal data they share as a means of understanding what they want. In other words, consumers want a tailored seamless customer experience–a game changer when it comes to earning brand loyalty for marketers.
In order to deliver on these heightened customer demands, marketers are being driven to implement next generation solutions. Equipped with smart technologies, brands will be able to engage customers with the right message, at the right time, in their preferred way. Companies that ignore these personalization solutions will not only find themselves losing to the competition, but being left behind and risking irrelevancy.
Marketing Software Providers Will Begin to Consolidate
In 2018, we know brands must take into account their customers’ heightened preferences in order to gain a competitive edge. But many of the tools currently on the market are outside the typical SMB’s budget or require complex processes for mining and sorting customer data from multiple channels. To address this fragmentation, martech software providers are developing new approaches to help businesses consolidate their marketing stacks into singular platforms. Ultimately, this will help businesses better understand their customers and address their needs in a personalized way.
Cheers to 2018 and Beyond
In the next 365 days ahead, the real advantage for marketers lies in the adoption of powerful all-in-one solutions that create a real-time assessment of their campaigns across multiple channels. Customizable automation tools designed to support the customer journey will be critical to business growth as companies look to gain a competitive edge in 2018, and beyond.