Speaking at the back of Adobe Summit 2019 two weeks ago, John Copeland, the Adobe VP for Marketing and Customer Insights shared about some upcoming developments that marketers can expect to see this year.
The top trend will be data-driven creativity, says Copeland, as companies increasingly blend creativity with data. He cited an E-Marketer survey which found that only 29% of marketers said there were doing this five years ago compared with 41% today. And when quizzed if they expect to use creativity with data five years from now, 56% responded in the affirmative.
“We know that customers prefer customer experience that is personalized, that is relevant to them and their needs. When they get that, they are much more likely to engage in what you’re asking them to do, than if it is generic,” he said.
“Nearly 50% of consumers say they will pay more for a product if it’s accompanied by a personalized selling experience. Either in-store or online, they are willing to pay more for it; roughly the same percentage are willing to make a repeat purchase if they have personalized experience.”
Unfortunately, many marketers think of personalization in terms of giving a discount, says Copeland, even though it is not what customers necessarily asking for.
“It is more about understanding the things that we’re trying to do with your product. If we can figure that out, if we can figure out in a way that aligns with how you are going to use it, that can help become a strategic differentiator in terms of how we market,” he explained.
Ethical use of data
Expect to see organizations start to pull up their socks on their use of data, as users gain an increased awareness of the importance of protecting their data with the growing prevalence of data abuse and data breaches.
“We see that customers are sceptical about how their data are going to be used. Nearly 70% of consumers think technology puts their personal data at risk. And it tends to go up, at least momentarily, each time there is another [data] breach in the news,” he said.
Of course, not everyone is sceptical, just as not all customers are willing to divulge their personal data. Digital natives are likelier to share and are less concerned about negative ramifications. On the other hand, a lack of trust is more pronounced among users who are newer to digital technologies.
Copeland suggested a combination of strategies that organizations can use such as progressive consent, allowing customers to only share what they are comfortable with, and finding ways to better secure their data and demonstrate this to earn the trust of consumers.
Ultimately, businesses must figure out how they create data “contracts” for the responsible and ethical use of data. “I expect to see a push to build trust in the relationship, that ethical relationship between the content and the data,” he said.
We are hardly at the end of the tether when it comes to leveraging new technologies for marketing. Pointing to voice assistants as an example, Copeland observed that it is but one of many emerging technologies that will take customer experiences to new heights.
There are already stories of virtual reality (VR) being used by dentists to put patients at ease, as well as its application by fashion brands, beauty products and retailers. The playing field won’t be even though, with some technology firms coming out ahead, Copeland cautioned.
He pointed to the voice assistant market which sees brands such as Apple, Google and Amazon are already the predominant players: “The fact that they are already in the market gives them a structural advantage in this market.”
And while the initial adoption rate of voice assistants may seem comparatively slow, expect an explosion of use as customers learn about it. After all, e-commerce only took off after a period of exploration by customers, and as various pain points were identified, and tweaks made to encourage adoption.
“We expect to see similar types of experiences built into voice assistant and interactions to help lower the barriers for consumers to use it for more than just ‘what time is it’ or ‘could you adjust the thermostat’,” he summed up.
This article was first published on Questex Asia Ltd, on 9 April 2019. Information is correct at the time of publication.