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We are at the start of 2021 which makes it a perfect time to evaluate the past months as well as look forward to the rest of the year. As an organization, it’s a good moment to reflect on, solidify and reinvigorate your brand — to get your people aligned, inspired, and enabled to add their unique value to your organization, brand and customers.
The biggest overall trend in business continues to be the digitalization of all departments and their operations. Marketing and branding need to reach target audiences in the environment where the members of the latter spend their time – which for now is the web.
As a result, there are a ton of apps, services, consultants, and software platforms that offer their services to help companies leverage the full potential of the virtual world. We’ve reviewed a lot of them and will now give our advice on what you should focus on in 2021.
There are four broad categories of marketing technologies that will be crucial for organizations and marketing/branding teams to be able to do their work as effectively as possible and to create the most value for their stakeholders.
To decide which vendor is right for your organization, you need to dive into your business needs and priorities and find what is right for your situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The good news is that for each of the four points we are listing here, there are lots of options.1. Marketing Analytics
Marketing attribution is no science but rather mathematical estimation — but it’s so important to have a general sense if things are headed in the right direction in terms of high-over KPIs like (brand) awareness, engagement, and conversion; and also to measure the direct effectivity of smaller experiments from an Agile standpoint.
2. Immersive and frictionless UI/UX
Always be talking to your customers and always be testing. Your user/website visitor/customer is going to consciously or subconsciously check the experience they’re having with you against their last experience with a competitor. Consumers have come to expect a lot in the department of User Experience and design.
Should you now jump ahead and invest in the latest, state-of the-art technology such as AI, IoT, or AR? No, not if that doesn’t make sense from the standpoint of what your brand is about, what strategy you have chosen, what budget you have and what you can reasonably certainly say benefits your audience/customers.
One last tip: if you haven’t embedded it into your web properties yet, use chatbot technology which can now be implemented relatively cheaply and easily, and makes the customer’s online experience that much more frictionless and can increase your conversion rates significantly.
3. Ethical use of data
Be clear about what you’re collecting, storing and analyzing and for what purpose. The GDPR was only the start; your audience is starting to wise up about the value, usage, influencing, and value associated with their data. Be ahead of the curve, lead with good sense, practicality and responsibility instead of having to respond after the next big wave of discontentment around the use of tech by (big) companies.
Also, research the emerging decentralized technologies governing trust, cookies, and personal data — be ready for the future which might be here sooner than you think.
4. Maximizing ROI and scalability of asset creation
Creating enough high-value content is still top of the list when it comes to the priorities of CMOs and brand managers worldwide in 2020. Even with the internet creating a massive amount of content each day — the challenge remains to find the right stories to connect to our audience and be helpful to them.
To maximize the scalability and return on investment of digital assets, you want to be able to maximize the effectiveness of anyone on your marketing/branding/design teams on the one hand; and engage all employees to be brand advocates by creating their own branded content on the other hand.
A Digital Asset Management system (DAM) can be of great help to do both, making it possible among other things to create templates for assets and content which can be used by anybody, but controlled and managed by branding ambassadors.
The right tools will make your life easier. If we’ve learned anything from how 2020 is going so far, it’s that the world is in constant change. And this change will reach everyone at some point. You will constantly face situations you weren’t expecting and have to react to things that were not in your quarterly planning.
In order to be able to focus on your marketing in a strategic way and have the space to pivot when needed, you need to have a strong foundation set for your marketing operations that ensures that your analytics are working for you and you are collecting data in an ethical way, your business is intuitive and user-friendly and your content is of great value and always on-brand.
MarTech tools will help you and your team to keep on building your brand, even under tight circumstances. The right ones will help optimize key processes, give you information necessary for decision-making and unlock the creativity and talents of every individual working with your company.
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