For a long time, India has been a suppliers market. The focus on the customer and their needs are limited, with the market centring around sales and products. But technology is incentivising the market to rethink the business structure and re-build the industry that uses modern marketing techniques to interact with consumers. The Gartner’s CMO spending survey 2020-2021 revealed that CMOs remain bullish on technology for marketing by setting bigger budgets for marketing and digital advertising. However, enterprises use only 58% of their existing technology capabilities – indicating a huge undiscovered scope for marketing.
A collaborative relationship between marketing and technology has a huge potential. This has been steadily evolving to create what is today known as the MarTech landscape. MarTech has over 8,000 solutions with businesses investing in AI/ML, IoT, AR/VR, and other fast evolving technologies. The new technologies and tools provide customers with a plethora of channels to interact with brands. The new marking lifecycle consists of engaging with and retaining the right consumers by leveraging the latest technologies.
The MarTech stack consists of the technologies and approaches to enhance organisational focus on the consumer’s needs and wants rather than the product.
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Focus on Customer Experience & Data
Consumer and data are at the centre of MarTech. The Portada Insights Report for 2021 analysed changes in MarTech investment behaviour over a year, the findings of which show that investments were majorly made in the traditional elements of advertising and promotion relating to customer experience and data.
There is a shift in the market, reducing the focus on traditional advertisements and instead using user data to make data-driven and customer-oriented investments. This includes investing in analytics, AI, virtual reality, cloud computing and several other market automation tools.
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Organisations are leveraging these MarTech tools to create a connected consumer experience in an entirely new manner. The data-based insights created by these tools help organisations understand the consumers’ minds and connect with them throughout the customer journey cycle.
Reaching the Consumers effectively
The first important step to engage the customer is to reach them correctly. Enterprises are heavily investing in tools such as Content Management Systems to manage the organisation’s web pages, including blogs, articles, podcasts, videos or images. The brand’s website is at the heart of user experience, and the organisation’s advertising generally drives the audience towards the website. The age of increased digital competition makes it very easy for users to judge and accept/reject a brand at its first appearance.
The digital equivalent of having similar stores next to each other is fighting competitors to show up first on the SEO page. This is especially true given the pandemic and its boost to e-commerce. The focus is for organisations to hone the search engine by leveraging MarTech tools for SEO optimisation. Based on data-driven insights, companies can understand their target consumers. It is important to identify the market trends in the organisation’s target group and to correctly place their content strategy to ensure they receive traffic from their target audience.
While reaching their target audience, companies need to market their products/services as relevant and personal to the consumers. The MarTech industry is all about personalising content; be it in emails or social media posts, the marketing is done to the specific segment of the group across various platforms. Personalisation allows organisations to connect with customers during the different stages. After this, they can leverage the micro-moments in the customer journey to place the correct automated tools that assist marketers in ensuring constant contact with customers during all of these stages. This helps in improving brand awareness, brand loyalty and engagement.
Newvamped Engagement Technologies
AI tools play a huge role in reaching consumers effectively. They have been developing for quite a while and are being leveraged by organisations. Adding to those AI tools, the MarTech stack identifies and comprises some of the most modern technological advancements in AI/ML. These enable customers to have the latest and most immersive experience. For example, chatbots and virtual assistants ensure that customer queries are replied to instantly, creating a more connected experience and increasing engagement. As a bonus, the bots also use the interactions to generate user data that circles back to creating better-personalised content.
Experiential marketing through AR/ VR is also changing the face of the industry by allowing customers to try the products before they consider buying it. Organisations are offering virtual high-end try-ons that allow consumers to try on the frame of glasses, stimulate the shade of lipstick, check if the dress they like is a little too short, or even see how the furniture would fit into their living rooms. The integration of virtual reality redefines the customer experience, creates unique brand identities, and overcomes traditional challenges such as store returns or damaged products mess.
The technologies are highly evolved, and we have only touched a small share of the MarTech potential. MarTech is changing the nature of marketing. It is creating a market that builds deep relationships with the customers and offers them products and services before the need for it even arises. This demands for consumer marketing to become a continuous process and is made in an agile manner of content creation to deliver constant engagement. As we saw, one of the most critical manners to ensure this is with the collaboration of the marketing department with the IT teams, leveraging consumer data like never before.
This article is written by a member of the AIM Leaders Council. AIM Leaders Council is an invitation-only forum of senior executives in the Data Science and Analytics industry. To check if you are eligible for a membership, please fill the form here.