Never has the emphasis on customer centricity been more rampant than it is in the era of the connected customer who, thanks to technology, has become more powerful and vocal than ever before, marking only the beginning of an era where failure to listen equals a rapid demise of your brand.
1. Tapping into the millennial market
The millennial market is a significant demographic to be taken very seriously. This group comprises technology adopters with high levels of buying frequency, power and influence. Millennials gravitate to brands with purpose; therefore, a big focus for 2019 is marketing products that stand for something and solutions that give back to society.
Organisations should spend less money on traditional marketing and advertising and, instead, focus on the social proof of brand impact and value. Testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing are credible and authentic sources that speak volumes for brand development, longevity and trust.
2. AI and data-driven insights
Data is everywhere, and sales and marketing are honing into the endless possibilities provided through data mining to deeply understand customers, their emotions and buying patterns.
CRM technologies that make use of artificial intelligence to build rich 360-degree views of customer lifecycles across multiple business disciplines unlock further customer possibilities.
An example is consumer banking where home loan divisions are aware of every client's financial history, portfolio and potential and can target them accordingly, rendering every brand touch point unique and personal.
Banking Institutions can, therefore, meet years of loyalty and good credits scores with competitive interest rates, and ensure that customers are not required to repeatedly provide their details to every division as the information already exists on their banking profile.
Another benefit of AI is that it caters to the instant-gratification of the Buyer 3.0 persona through next-generation technologies, such as intelligent chatbots, which enhance customer experiences and simplify complex interactions.
A big wave of AI integration with mainstream social channels, such as WhatsApp, is also trending, rendering communication across multiple platforms seamless and continuous.
3. Social engagement
Sales and marketing professionals need to monitor and understand customer sentiment, from product sales to service engagements, and need to remain close to their customers every hour of every day.
Most CRM systems enable sentiment-analysis monitoring through social engagement, which empowers sales and marketing professionals to be proactive in gauging and influencing customer sentiment to change perception and increase customer retention rates.
CX is everything. Businesses boom because they offer awesome differentiated customer experience, online and offline. The big trends in 2019 will follow this rule...
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4. Mobile/voice search and voice assistants
Voice search and digital assistants are the new trends that are fast becoming the primary mode of search. The Cortana's, Bixley’s, and Siri's of the world, coupled with machine learning capabilities, are becoming more popular as their capacity for recognising human speech has improved significantly. By 2020 more than half of all searches will take place via voice search.
Therefore, organisations should enhance their campaigns to cater to user search intent which is either informational, navigational or transactional. Gartner research predicts that by 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by as much as 30%.
Dynamics 365 for trend adoption
The trends mentioned above should form part of an organisation's CRM strategy, supported by a CRM system. Cloud-based CRM technologies, such as Dynamics 365, comprise intelligent applications that drive sales productivity and improve the value of marketing efforts through social insights, business intelligence and campaign management.
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The marketing function of Dynamics 365 is flexible, easy to use, and engineered to fit any business of any industry. Any demographics, such as the Millennial persona, can be marketed to with creative, meaningful and personalised customer experiences which improve sales growth and retention.
Further, the rich capabilities of Dynamics Social Insights allow sales and marketing professionals to trawl social posts of customers and provides real-time sentiment analysis allowing for deeper customer communication targeting and relationships.
Because it is highly configurable, Dynamics 365 can easily cater to the trends mentioned above as well as any future developments.
As technology continues to evolve the world becomes even more connected with customer expectations evolving on an ongoing basis. Therefore, your CRM strategy should be based on a system that can seamlessly adapt to trends, unlock potential and ensure that, no matter where interconnectivity takes you, your customers will follow.