There has been a huge jump in focus when it comes to predictive analytics.
Companies are guessing what customers need based on search activity and past actions with the company. This attempt to keep things relevant for the customer has led to an expectation of increasingly personalized experiences.
In 2019, Walker reported 15% of companies planned to put a big emphasis on gathering metrics for predictive analytics. But, it’s really no surprise in 2020 the number of B2B companies focusing on predictive analytics has jumped to 83%.
Most of the drive for predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing comes from the expectation from the customer. Customers are going to be expecting a new level of “customer obsession” in 2020, according to Walker, and want brands to know them “inside and out.” They want the company to understand their next step before they know it themselves.
62% of professionals in customer service said “understanding individual customer characteristics” was one of the most important actions for impacting the customer. The second highest response was “simplifying products and processes” (58%).
A whopping 96% of customer experience professionals expect an increased demand from customers for customer intelligence.
Brands Need to be Transparent with Data Collection
Gartner is seeing a shift in businesses tracking biometrics and increasing the use of artificial emotional intelligence. Their prediction is that businesses will soon be able to detect the emotions of the viewer to increase sales with adaptive marketing techniques.
“By 2024, AI identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see.” – Gartner
The focus has increased across the board to gain advantages with AI technology in marketing. Currently, most marketing and sales departments are placing their focus on AI and machine learning more than any other company department, according to Dresner Advisory Services.
Nearly half (40%) of sales and marketing teams report AI and machine learning science is critical to their success as a department.
But the danger of collecting customer data can take shape in accusations of customer manipulation. Companies need to be transparent with the customer, making it very clear how data is being collected and used, especially as they enter into emotional AI.
Use Social Media to Target Select Audiences
According to a study from YPulse, more than half (62%) of young consumers (13-36-year-olds) look to purchase directly from their social media feeds.
54% of Generation Y and Millennials want a streamlined process that reduces steps, including a link-to-purchase right on the post.
More than half (55%) said a recent ad on social media made them want to make a purchase, but they were easily off put if the link didn’t go directly to an instant purchase portal. This number faces a big drop off for those who said their last convincing ad was on TV (12%), online (10%) or a streaming service (5%).
Zenith expects social media ad spend to jump to 16% of all ad spend by 2021.
Sales Tactics Have Changed Completely
Because of the popularity of social media, it is easy to find product reviews, comparisons, ratings and personal recommendations. The traditional “sales pitch” will be obsolete within the year, since the average buyer has their mind set before ever talking to a sales rep (Walker).
“In 2020 we’ll have more electronic interfaces. Customers like human contact, but there is a continuing trend toward electronic. Customer interactions are going to be more indirect.” – Market Knowledge Manager, Oil and Energy
While an old sales pitch would ask questions to solve the customer’s problem, sales today must follow the lead of predictive marketing. Sales teams have to be prepared to understand customer problems without asking (data based) and provide informed solutions immediately.
Customer service must be tailor fit and proactive.
- The vast majority of companies using account-based marketing (80%) reported their win rate was higher than before the ABM approach (SiriusDecisions).
- Those with control groups said their ROI was better in the ABM accounts (91%).
- 73% of companies with ABM accounts, reported an increase of their average size deal.
- Nearly all companies using ABM (99%), reported increased engagement in ABM accounts.
Email is Still a Winner
77% of customers are most likely to use email often, but that number is expected to be surpassed by the online community, social media and the corporate website in 2020. Still, email is a key method for reaching out to the customer, segmenting contact lists and differentiating customers for targeted campaigns. It is expected to remain high throughout 2020 at 58% (Walker).
And SiriusDecisions reported an overreliance on email and paid search over a number of other delivery mechanisms that tend to have more impact, including in-person delivery, company-hosted events and sponsorships.
So, while targeting, personalization and prediction are all a major part of impressing customers, companies need to stay transparent and avoid looking opportunistic.
Customers want an effortless experience with fewer hoops, increased clarity and improved relevance with AI. For the brand to successfully integrate these demands, the need of the customer has to stay the focal point of the company. As soon as the brand places ROI or revenue above the customer need, the love for “customer obsession” comes to a screeching halt.
Personalization In Marketing Statistics for 2020 Sources
Dresner Advisory Services. (2019, August). Data Science and Machine Learning Market Study, 2019 Edition. https://gumroad.com/l/dTfno
Forbes. (2019, September). State of AI and Machine Learning in 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2019/09/08/state-of-ai-and-machine-learning-in-2019/#5e61c6381a8d
Gartner. (2019, October). Top Strategic Predictions for 2020 and Beyond. https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-top-strategic-predictions-for-2020-and-beyond/
SiriusDecisions. (2019). The State of the Account-Based Revenue Engine 2019. https://intelligentgrowth.siriusdecisions.com/account-based-marketing-leader/the-state-of-the-account-based-revenue-engine-2019#
Walker. (2020). Customers: The Future of B-2-B Customer Experience 2020 https://www.walkerinfo.com/Portals/0/Documents/Knowledge%20Center/Featured%20Reports/WALKER-Customers2020.pdf
YPulse. (2019, July). 5 Stats that Show how Gen Z & Millennials are Primed to Shop on Social Media. https://www.ypulse.com/article/2019/07/15/5-stats-that-show-how-gen-z-millennials-are-primed-to-shop-on-social-media/
Zenith Media. (2019, October). Social media overtakes print to become the third-largest advertising channel. https://www.zenithmedia.com/social-media-overtakes-print-to-become-the-third-largest-advertising-channel/