Digital technology has changed the face of business and those past 18 months forever redefined customer engagement strategies. In today’s world, consumers expect more tailored and personalized services and, at the same time, they are more concerned about how their data is captured and used.
Beyond products and services, people are more attuned to what a brand stands for. However, it’s more than that, as artificial intelligence becomes the foundation for the entire customer experience.
We want to cover this topic and that’s why we provide you with a few 2022 marketing trends related to customer-centricity. See the report from Deloitte Insights for more data.
An authentic brand’s purpose
Having a purpose drive operations and business has gone from an aspiration to a strategic priority. That’s because it’s becoming more common for businesses to expect more than maximize profits. Thus, companies whose purpose matches stakeholder needs and then commit to bringing those solutions to life, will be best positioned to make purpose a competitive differentiator.
People were asked why they chose to purchase from a specific brand across eight different categories:
- apparel and footwear,
- beauty and personal care,
- household equipment,
Between 61% and 86% of the time, price and quality were individually cited as the top two purchasing criteria.
Above, you can see high-growth brands are 66% more likely to see purpose as a means of guiding employee decision-making and 41% more likely to use purpose as the basis for corporate social responsibility investment strategies.
Diversity, equality & inclusion
Marketing can follow through on increasingly diverse consumer expectations in three ways: through diversity, equality and inclusion.
Essentially, consumers want to support brands that represent them and their values. That’s why diversity, equality and inclusion are essential. As a result, high-growth brands are more frequently establishing key performance metrics for diversity, equity and inclusion objectives than their lower-growth competitors.
As the consumer population diversifies, brands must authentically reflect a range of backgrounds and experiences in their messaging if they expect to effectively connect with future customers. And it isn’t empty words, as results show 57% of consumers are more loyal to brands that commit to addressing social inequities in their actions.
33% of high-growth organizations have established key performance metrics for diversity in talent retention, compared with only 17% of negative-growth organizations. And 23% of these high-growth organizations have established ways to measure diversity in their hiring, while only 15% of negative growth organizations have done so.
Strategies connect marketing to the customer
Today’s marketers aim to uncover the most nuanced insights about their customers and connect brand messages to those moments in their daily lives. That’s why they’re increasingly hiring people with analytical skills as data becomes more important to customer strategies.
So recruiting analytic skills is preferred by marketers. Almost every industry, except for the consumer industry, favors analytical skills over creative skills- something that would have been unheard of 10 years ago.
To be successful, even the best-designed teams require the right backgrounds and skills to be successful. The fact that 63% of college-educated employees from 11,500 global respondents work remotely presents marketers with both opportunities and considerations for making this digital-physical construct of work successful.
To strengthen brand-customer relationships, marketers are experimenting in the digital world. Although consumers may appreciate relevant ads, they are also concerned about how their personal information, purchase preferences, and browsing habits are used.
In the shift to first-party data, high-growth brands are leading the way. In fact, 61% of high-growth companies have shifted to a first-party data strategy, while only 40% of negative-growth companies have done the same. This indicates that high-growth organizations are more likely to recognize the pressing need to keep ahead of the rapidly changing environment.
When it comes to consumer data, it’s a delicate balance between helping and overusing. Location tracking, device listening, and third-party cookie-based recommendations can create the unsettling impression that smart technology is inquisitive as well as intrusive.
Although consumers are becoming warier of the idea of brands tracking their every move, 68% of respondents appreciated receiving alerts when items went on sale from brands they regularly shopped with. Comparatively, 11% found these alerts creepy, resulting in a net helpful score of 57%
Physical and digital environments
Physical life became digital overnight-and amazingly, many brands were able to deliver these digital experiences successfully. Now that brands are adept at digital delivery, the next challenge is to provide an integrated physical and digital experience. Deloitte Insights surveyed over 1,000 global executives, and 75% said they would invest more in hybrid ventures over the next year.
There is no turning back when combining physical and digital experiences. For example, most US students currently prefer online and in-person learning options in university education. Going further, a majority of professors in Germany indicate that they want to maintain hybrid elements after the pandemic subsides, such as in-person and online learning.
AI and customer service
The top priority of every brand is to help customers make purchase decisions by meeting their needs. However, that isn’t always easy. What should brands do? Achieve harmony between human tasks and machine capabilities by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into the customer experience!
In many cases, brands use AI solutions to focus on customer service, such as identifying timely offers based on data. However, when AI is embedded into critical parts of the customer experience with purpose and planning, it can create a more holistic solution.
The dynamic customer experience means providing assistance and information whenever, wherever, and however they need it. Utilizing AI has enabled brands to deliver more creative and personalized marketing materials and assist in predicting customer behavior.
To sum up
Nowadays, the B2B and B2C relationship require careful observation, care and well-thought-out response to the customer’s needs and expectations. In other words, we are more aware, we want more from companies, and we want to be treated as individuals.
Specific brand goals, high-quality service, trust, seller credibility, personalization, data acquisition, marketing strategies – all these factors affect whether your existing customers stay with you or move to the competition. But, who knows, maybe one of these trends will be especially suitable for your company?