The 6 Hottest Customer Connection Trends for 2019
Connecting with customers is critical for building relationships and ultimately for increasing sales. In order to connect with customers, both information and great service have to be consistently provided to consumers, so as to encourage strengthening of the relationship between your company and your target audience.
Each year, the Texas-based marketing team at Spiceworks makes marketing predictions based on a survey conducted among marketers for tech companies in Europe and North America. In 2018, some 350 marketing executives and other personnel were surveyed to gain their insights on the strongest trending methods for connecting with customers, and these trends are discussed below.
Customer care through social media
The survey showed that almost 74% of millennial Twitter users are less likely to buy products from a company or brand which received negative commentary from other consumers on the social media. This is a strong indication that customers who are unhappy with the service provided by a brand are likely to share their experience with their friends and acquaintances on one or more of the social media.
It is obvious that the social media are one of the very first touchpoints for customers who have a comment or complaint about a company. The reason for this is that they expect a quick resolution via their social media connection, as opposed to any other potential resolution. On Twitter especially, approximately 40% of consumers indicated that they have issued a comment or complaint to accompany via social media, because they anticipated a rapid response.
On the positive side of consumer commentary, about 67% of Twitter users say that their decision to make a purchase resulted from some kind of useful interaction with a brand on the social media, so there are some positive impacts of customer care on the social media as well.
It is anticipated that 2019 will be a banner year for influencer marketing, rising from the current rate of 31% to a whopping 48% in the coming year. Many companies have already discovered the value of using influential people on social media to sway the masses’ opinions toward their companies, and these companies for the most part intend to increase their usage of the strategy.
Other companies which have not engaged in influencer marketing in the past, have observed how powerful it can be in guiding user opinions toward a desired idea or product, and are jumping on the bandwagon to derive benefits for their brands as well. Huge numbers of consumers are heavily influenced when a trusted celebrity discusses or recommends the latest available products to their followers, and this can be more effective at times than any other well-crafted marketing campaign.
Programmed ad purchasing
In the past, programmed ad purchasing has not enjoyed the status of being a mainstream strategy for most marketing executives. However, the trend for 2019 appears to be poised to reverse that status, as nearly 43% of respondents in the survey indicated their likelihood to try programmed ad purchasing in 2019.
Coupled with this strategy, about the same number of survey respondents indicated their strong intentions to engage in increased mobile marketing as a means of connecting with existing customers and acquiring new ones.
Marketing powered by chatbots
While you may have heard that virtual reality and augmented reality experiences are sweeping the country, and making strong inroads into marketing, survey respondents from the 2018 technology survey seem to dispute that. Only 14% of technology executives indicated that they plan to make a major investment in either VR or AR during the coming year.
In contrast to that relatively small figure, a full 30% of marketers conveyed their intention to invest in chatbot-powered marketing. Chatbots are appealing because they can directly engage with potential customers, and even though it’s not quite like connecting with another human, it still makes users feel important and necessary.
There is very little dropoff in the popularity of video marketing, and wherever it’s used, it seems to universally achieve good results, which accounts for its burgeoning application. Already used by 49% of marketing personnel, video marketing is expected to jump to 68% next year, and will become even more prevalent than it has been previously.
Part of the appeal of video marketing is its versatility, since it can be used to inform users with how-to tutorials, to share live streaming events, to convey customer testimonials, and to describe all the benefits and features of any given product. Even more appealing, videos can be personalized to generate interest among specific groups and individuals, thus providing an extremely powerful connection with customers and other users.
Purchase intent targeting
The real appeal of purchase intent targeting is that brands can directly influence businesses which are already active in pursuing their services and products. Knowing that another business is prepared to buy your products or services will allow your company to quickly deliver the most relevant content to those parties, so as to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Buyers are happy because they get information they wanted anyway, in a very timely manner, and marketers are happy because customer relationship is established and/or improved, and a sale is made. This is why purchase intent targeting is expected to jump from the present rate of 29% to an impressive 44% in 2019.
Customer connection summary for 2019
Above are discussed the hottest trends for connecting with customers in the coming year, and whether you plan to implement some of them, all of them, or none of them, these are the strategies which most marketers plan to implement for 2019. The common thread amongst all the strategies is that customer care is critical to developing and maintaining connections with customers.
Marketers now understand that what customers say about their brand and their company matters much more than what the company says about itself. Therefore, it is essential that the best strategies be used to genuinely connect with customers and influence them to deliver positive commentary about your brand.