The Future of Customer Experiences, the Technologies They Love, and Where Marketers Need to Be in 2019

A Lookback at CES by Stefanie Henderson and Kelsey Smith, Zeta Global VPs

Everywhere you turn, it is evident that technology is a pervasive part of our daily life. As marketers, we have to be ready to react at a moment’s notice and drive the way consumers want to receive content – whether it be marketing, sales or customer service. Our recent visit to CES confirmed that we, along with 200,000 of our closest worldwide friends, want to learn more about every facet of technology in 2019 and beyond. Technology and innovation aren’t just for Silicon Valley or “the techies” any longer. It’s part of everyday life for everyone, and for all industries. And as marketers, we need to keep pace!

Amongst dreamers, innovators, creators, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and those hungry to be part of tomorrow, Zeta had an up close and personalized tour to better understand how technology drives what consumers do every day.

We observed, touched, and were amazed by how technology has woven itself into nearly every company’s vision from autonomous driving, to disruption of day-to-day farming practices. As marketers, we marveled at how our industry will have more and more touchpoints with consumers based on some of the latest technology innovations. With self-driving cars that look like living rooms, we will have more opportunities to create content and connect with people. Whether consumers will respond favorably to mailing away for custom razor handles remains to be seen, but innovations like bendable iPad screens opened up our minds to the possibilities of where and how consumers may utilize content in the future.

It will be interesting to see how consumers and industries adapt to the influx of innovation around them and determine their own “right amount” of technology. Can a machine pick a better grape for winemaking than a person? Do we need our kitchen devices recommending the appropriate Chardonnay for the chicken we are cooking? Maybe … maybe not. Either way, consumers are getting more and more comfortable with technology having a more significant role in their lives.

Let’s break down some of the trends and the new challenges marketers will face as a result…

1: The Power of Connection – 5G brings the ability to put content at consumer’s fingertips instantaneously, as well as the ability to transmit data at a moment’s notice.

Marketer Challenge: What is your plan to respond to this “Micro Moments that Matter” approach?

2: The Power of Intelligence – Machine learning is one thing – use machines to learn and adapt, but AI (as Zeta uses) allows machines to execute tasks “smartly.”

Marketer Challenge: Is your ML/AI strategy thinking smartly about how to solve your business problems?

3: The Power of Immersion – Consumers can move seamlessly from one digital experience to another, which makes identifying consumers as individuals to speak to them from a 1:1 conversation vital as we move forward.

Marketer Challenge: Are you identifying a single customer across devices with consistent messages?

4: The Power of Experience – Innovation around customer experiences (even things like security and blockchain) and immersion is essential for brands to build consumer trust and keep them as customers longer.

Marketer Challenge: Have you, or are you, thinking about experiential marketing programs for your brand?

As robots, smart houses and self-driving cars continue to become mainstream and not just reserved for celebrities or “early adopters,” marketers will be presented with more and more data collection points and additional avenues to engage consumers in the precise moments that matter to them most. When done correctly, brands can deliver a cohesive story not only across all devices and screens but now across autos and homes! It will become even more vital to understand users and how they are connecting all those experiences. Consumers will expect marketing to be that smart.


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