It’s been a wild few years in the field of marketing for sure: thanks Covid-19. In fact, a lot of people are still running at 100 mph and haven’t taken a moment to truly recognize the major growth that’s been happening in marketing. But once you do, it’s hard not to notice that the marketing landscape has experienced an accelerated growth in digital transformation, innovation, and personalization.
During this time a few of the interesting trends we’ve seen are:
A continued shift toward digital/automation
Growth of ecommerce solutions
Personalization (AI included)
We’ve seen a resurgence in marketing teams cleaning up customer data - striving to make it more actionable through validating customer preferences, bringing in CDP and reverse ETL tools, or moving to cloud databases for faster processing. As a fast follow, marketing leads were cleaning up marketing operations processes to optimize execution and delivery.
Most marketers have known that the marketing landscape was shifting to a digital-heavy medium, but things only doubled down during Covid when you couldn’t go out and the supply chain broke down. For those who were already digital, there then became a greater emphasis to re-evaluate, streamline, and automate their marketing processes
It may not always be blatantly obvious, but the way you perform and execute your marketing has evolved. Meaning the marketing processes that worked in 2018 aren’t necessarily the same processes your team should be using today. As such many organizations smartly choose to re-evaluate those legacy processes as well as look to automate them using a software like Adobe’s Workfront.
With many physical stores closed or operating at reduced capacity, ecommerce became an essential channel for businesses to continue to sell their products. The online marketplace grew at an increasingly rapid rate in order to capture sales that were no longer happening in-person. This trend affected almost all consumer goods across the board from clothing to groceries to electronics.
To make things even more interesting, many retailers have historically relied on third-party cookies for their marketing. However, in an effort to protect their users’ privacy and enhance security, most internet browsers removed the usage of third-party cookies (we actually talk about this topic here). With this change new solutions like Google’s Publisher Provided Signals and Resulticks’ Smart Duo fingerprinting have emerged.
For as long as we can remember (which is a long-time considering our grey beards), marketers have worked to build in some form of personalization. From the basic “Dear <First_Name>” to AI driven web images, products, and offers that are likely driven by past purchase data and real-time behavioral triggers.
Considering all of the afore mentioned data clean up and rise in ecommerce maturity, most consumers expect Amazon-like digital journeys with all of their online experiences. This expectation of knowing them individually goes beyond the bounds of just retail and is the standard by which all industries (banking, medical, publishing, etc.) are being judged today.
But (marketer) beware. With the inclusion of AI as a tool (ex. ChatGPT), we’re seeing the needle swing into the hyper-personalization territory, which, depending on the individual, is on the cusp of being too invasive to the consumer’s liking.
And I’m sure you could name a few more trends that we didn’t. Regardless, one of the coolest things about marketing is that it’s adaptive and always evolving. Sometimes the disruption is in the form of a world event and other times it can be drawn from a new innovation by a clever vendor. We’re always keeping our eyes peeled and ears to the ground searching for that next thing to help the marketers we know be more effective and efficient!