Despite the ever-growing number of trends divulged at the start of any given year, one thing always remains - marketing in this day in age can be tricky. While the principles remain the same, customers behaviour over the last two years has continued to change drastically and with that, the execution of marketing strategies is rapidly shifting to be even more, if not totally, digitally focused.
The pandemic has shifted customers' approach to life and with that their media habits and the fight for attention is on. During this ‘attention recession,’ brands are looking for better ways to engage and connect with their customers.
The shift in customer behaviour has accelerated some of the biggest brands to employ marketing automation programmes aimed, quite simply at delivering the right message at the right time in the right place.
It is because of this that we believe, automation, personalisation and privacy will remain three key trends for 2022.
Marketing automation provides an opportunity to leverage customer insights and other data to create relevant digital experiences for consumers. While creative automation helps provide the necessary digital assets necessary to resonate with the consumer. But what does creative automation actually mean?
In order to adapt and leverage customer behaviour changes, marketing automation, while not a new concept, will continue to harness the capability of being able to personalise relevant content with the right messaging, at the right time and in the right place.
The goal of automation is to turn the complex and labour intensive process of asset creation and asset adaptation into an easy and repeatable process with less manual intervention needed for adapting assets with new messaging be it images or videos.
Where creative automation fits into this picture is to provide marketing automation with all the digital assets it requires to target each audience segment with customised creative and messaging.
For the end-user, or customer, the experience is far more meaningful and engaging. With everyone vying for attention and the playing field being overly crowded, more so now than ever it is important to make sure the messaging resonates with the customer.
The upswing of creative automation is rapidly increasing because of the urgent need that brands are faced with – creating large volumes of relevant (being the keyword) digital assets for a variety of audiences, quickly and cost-effectively, with personalisation and privacy being guiding factors.
While personalisation, in general, is a tactic to boost customer experience, it has been forced to move beyond just the, “Hey *insert name*.” In 2022, we will see more meaningful personalisation with brands looking to connect with customers by using their behavioural data and real-time interactions.
But, in order to serve them with personalised creative content across different stages of their brand engagement journey through the funnel, brands have to deliver meaningful and personalised digital assets, especially across different markets, far more efficiently through the use of creative automation.
Triggering content based on this behaviour data will ensure that your customers are only seeing relevant content/digital advertising and are receiving a tailored experience with your brand.
Customers are looking for tailored content and experiences that suit their needs. With the right mix of digital strategy, creative insights and tailored content automation you can ensure your brand shows up when it’s wanted, needed and in some cases even without a customer knowing that your brand is part of their needs.
It’s worth noting, however, that in order for creative automation to work effectively, you need a sound digital marketing strategy, a brand playbook and creative master assets that serve as templates. These templates can be adapted to relevant audiences in a fraction of the time.
Swapping out content and elements within the templates based on local market needs at scale is a major benefit as you can test your assets quickly and cost-effectively.
Traditionally, adaptation is expensive, time-consuming and a bit of a gamble. Social media for example used to be about responding and being reactive, but when you’re contending for a share of voice in an incredibly cluttered environment you need to be quick, nimble and proactive.
Death of the invasion of privacy
There is a unique opportunity for brands to harness the power customers have when it comes to managing their own privacy. In 2021 we saw brands experiencing chaos and panic when the new PoPIA act came into effect.
But, rather than looking at this as a nail in the proverbial emailer coffin, this year we will see more brands embrace and understand that this an opportunity to create meaningful connections and act on this by delivering personalised content to those customers that have opted in to stay in touch with the brands that they love.
Who better to communicate with, than an audience that wants to hear what your brand have to say?
This year will see the rise of email as a significant if not the most important communication channel but with the caveat that the communication these customers are receiving needs to be tailored for them.
Consistency is key here, if you’re automating your campaigns make sure that you are using integrated data and ensure that the customer journey is cohesive.
Now, more than ever, in this age of digital marketing, teams need speed and agility and a set-up that can be scaled rapidly. The explosion of the need for meaningful connections with customers will continue to be key for any brand this year. Remain relevant, in the conversation, sought after and loved.
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