Marketing in 2020 and Beyond: How to Close the CX Gap

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The start of a new year (and a new decade) is a natural time to reflect on what happened the year before and plan for what’s to come moving forward. As marketers, we should ask ourselves how we can narrow the gap between customer expectations and the experience delivered.

According to a Harris Poll Survey commissioned by Redpoint earlier this year, marketers generally rate themselves as 2.5 times higher than consumers on their ability to provide an excellent customer experience. If expectations for a deeper, more relevant personalized experience continue to increase, marketers will need to adapt by moving the goalposts and shifting objectives accordingly.

For this reason, remaining laser-focused on narrowing the customer experience gap must be a priority for marketers. With personalization as the underlying, driving force of all marketing activities, here are a few additional trends I expect we’ll see front and center this year.

Marketers must find an equilibrium between data privacy and personalization
2020 will be a tipping point for marketers to meet data privacy requirements – such as GDPR and CCPA – while also meeting their customers’ demands for personalization. Marketers will find the equilibrium between these conflicting objectives, finally resolving the typical pendulum shifts. They’ll find ways to personalize in both anonymous and known customer situations. They’ll also need to prove to customers the benefit of opting in and sharing their data. Consumers will expect a value exchange, receiving something in return for giving away their information – like a personalized experience, added conveniences or special offers – and marketers will figure out an optimal way to deliver it.

The role of the marketer continues to evolve, as the key cog in turning data into revenue
The role of the marketer will continue to evolve as we move further in 2020 – namely, marketers and data scientists will come even closer together to form a cohesive team that is truly empowered to innovate customer journeys. With this, goals of marketers will also change as they learn to create a comprehensive, single customer view, use that view to deliver individualized next-best actions and orchestrate engagement across all touchpoints. We may even see a change in title for CMOs, shifting from a marketing focus to a growth focus as Chief Growth Officers, leading the charge as a revenue-generating entity, not a cost center.

Consumers will tune out poorly aligned ads more often, forcing marketers to focus on innovation and performance
Consumers will no longer tolerate the influx of irrelevant, intrusive digital ads this year. With this in mind, marketers must focus on innovating the customer experience to deliver relevant messages in the context and cadence of the customer. Innovation will require real-time access to deep customer data, automated machine learning, and an open garden approach to connect all the different last-mile touchpoints to consumers. While an open garden approach is key to delivering a consistent omnichannel experience, it needs to also include a strong security perimeter around the enterprise’s data assets to ensure privacy compliance.

Adapt and Repeat
As if marketers didn’t already have their hands full, another key objective will be to implement AI and machine learning technology in-line with the customer experience, rather than using it in one-off projects. With this technology continuously running behind the scenes to interpret changes in consumer preferences and market conditions, businesses will successfully drive real-time decisioning for personalized engagements with consumers.

Needless to say, consumers and marketing leaders are rapidly advancing toward experiences that are both personalized and omnichannel. Those organizations willing to adapt and evolve will come out on top.

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