Customer experience is top of the mind for nearly every brand as the remote work situation continues. So, what trends are driving customer experience and engagement this year? We had the chance to discuss with our partner, Movable Ink, what they are experiencing in the market, and share some best practices.
In this interview, Shannon Cook, Movable Ink’s Director of Go-to-Market Enablement for Mobile Channel, shares customer engagement insights and strategies for marketers to take advantage of to improve their brand’s customer experience in 2021.
There are two major trends in personalization we are noticing this year. The first one pertains to mobile usage and applications. Currently, 53% of brands use rich push notifications to send personalized messages to consumers. There is an opportunity for brands to pioneer what rich push looks like as consumers become more comfortable with eCommerce and mobile shopping.
The second is around API integration with email and mobile personalization. 2020 was all about supply chains and erratic inventory across the country. Several industries such as essential goods, outdoor brands, and electronics experienced unexpected growth. Herein, APIs can help marketers with real-time personalization stories that keep consumers up-to-date on store inventory, popular items, or the latest product reviews.
While that’s one simple way brands can integrate APIs into personalization, it does show how better use of marketing technology can build trust between brand and consumer.
Mobile marketing is making it easier and more efficient for brands to personalize their notifications and in-app messages. Those that have not incorporated non-text elements into personalized notifications, will catch up this year. Consumers are also getting smarter with their mobile shopping and expecting a customer experience unique to their needs.
There are two elements to keep in mind when considering 1:1 notifications and in-app messages. First, bring in your product team and your brand’s app developer into these conversations. Oftentimes, marketing prioritizes personalization and assumes everyone else at the organization feels the same way. But if your mobile marketing plan doesn't include early conversations with every stakeholder responsible for the app, those plans could be a moot point. You don’t want to hit major internal roadblocks before you even deploy a new strategy.
The second interesting aspect of mobile marketing for a stellar customer experience in 2021 is data integration. In the past, marketing teams had limited ability to connect their martech stack and customer data with the app platform. That’s getting a lot easier, as the tools utilizing disparate data sources become more sophisticated.
Last year was incredibly hard. However, we are looking forward to seeing promising evidence that the pandemic is waning and the economy is showing signs of a bounce-back. That being said, consumers are still wary of overspending. A majority of people will rely on the brands they know, the ones they trust. Whether industries like streaming platforms that saw a boom last year or hotels that struggled to stay afloat, almost every brand will rely on existing customers to help them bounce back this year.
We expect to see a groundswell of loyalty/rewards programs communications. Rewarding valuable customers for their continued allegiance is a safe way to ignite an economic recovery. Personalizing the programs that incentivize customer spending makes everything feel more like a partnership than a transactional relationship.
Consumers have high expectations from brands. Each engagement with a consumer is an opportunity to demonstrate that you understand them so you can earn their loyalty and trust. Brands’ focus on the customer experience is not going away, if anything it IS becoming even more of a priority for 2021. Marketers must continue to prioritize creating the optimal experience for each individual customer, and putting the customer first in their engagement strategy.
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