2020 is an exciting time to be in the marketing industry. We’re simultaneously becoming more data-informed than ever while coming back to the roots of why data matters in the first place: our customers.
How can we utilize data in the service of customers and users? How can we be more responsible with data? How can we make data more meaningful?
The top data-informed marketing trends help to answer these questions and more. Read on to learn more about the future of data-informed marketing.
1. Ethical data collection
2019 was a year of privacy lawsuits. A UK court determined Google would have to face charges for violating Safari users’ privacy during 2011 and 2012 (for bypassing security settings to track web activity). The lawsuit could see Google paying £3.3 billion. It was also the year that a $35 billion lawsuit against Facebook for the use of biometric data (facial recognition) was advanced by a US court.
GDPR was in full effect in May of 2018, and the California Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect on January 1, 2020.
In 2020, companies will not only strive to comply with these and other laws, but they will seek to distance themselves from Google and Facebook.
Ensuring that all data collection tools are GDPR-compliant is an absolute must. However, there are other ways that companies can collect data more ethically as well.
For example, collecting website analytics data independently, without the use of tools provided by gigantic corporations allows you to ensure proper utilization. You’ll know that your customers’ and users’ data is being used as your company intends, and not for the marketing needs of other corporations.
2. Personalised marketing automation
With fully compliant data that’s collected ethically and independently, you can (and should) set up highly personalized marketing automation campaigns.
As we learned from these data-informed marketing examples, true personalization isn’t just dynamically inserting a customers’ name or other basic information. It’s about serving them the right message at the right time.
Fortunately, what’s good for customers is good for business. 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands who deliver relevant offers and recommendations.
We put together a guide to audience analytics and customer filters that includes ways that ecommerce, SaaS, digital publishers, and other types of businesses can utilise website analytics data to create personalised marketing automation.
With GoSquared, you can set up Smart Groups for important customer filters and trigger automation when customers and leads meet the specific criteria, such as having viewed your pricing page.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the top data-informed marketing trends for 2020, and the companies who master it will likely win more customers, especially if their competition is failing to personalise their marketing campaigns.
3. Seamless multichannel experiences
Although 51% of companies use eight channels or more to communicate with customers, only 14% of companies report that they are currently running coordinated marketing campaigns across all channels.
While you may not be able to coordinate every single channel into personalized customer experiences (organic social media, for example), you should be able to combine the following channels:
- Paid advertising
- Direct sales outreach (if any)
Abandoned cart emails are a popular example of a multichannel experience. The user journey takes place largely on the website, but then an email brings the customer back to the site after they’ve abandoned checkout.
However, emails can be triggered for more than abandoned carts. This ecommerce company sends emails showing customers products that they have viewed, even if they weren’t added to the cart.
For B2B companies, a multichannel experience might look more like this: user reads blog, downloads whitepaper, receives whitepaper via email, receives a phone call from sales the next day but doesn’t answer, receives an email for a relevant content upgrade, clicks through to website, engages with a sales representative with a live webchat.
The simplest and easiest way to set up multichannel experiences that fit the customer’s journey is to utilize a website analytics tool that includes marketing automation so that your data-informed market campaigns can be created in one place.
4. Artificial intelligence for lead follow up
Many companies are actively seeking out new uses for AI to be faster and smarter than their competition. AI can give you an incredible competitive edge when used to improve response times to customers and leads, or to make complicated decisions in much less time (so you have far less opportunity cost from waiting to act).
There are many industries where AI is being utilized, including travel support, investment advice, and apartment rental leasing.
The property management and real estate industries especially are booming with AI innovations because, in these industries, quick response times are critical. Rental leads will only tour the first couple properties that get back to them, and real estate leads will often choose the first real estate agent who responds.
An AI assistant like Elise is trained to answer questions for a leasing agent, so that response times can be instant (and faster than any competitor who is doing everything the old-fashioned way).
Similarly, real estate agents can use AI to engage with their leads from ads or listings immediately.
5. Predictive analytics for better customer experience
We’re all familiar with predictive analytics for Google searches. You know, you start typing a few letters, and suddenly Google is guessing what you’re trying to ask.
Predictive analytics can help product marketing, UX, and other digital marketing teams who are in charge of not just marketing, but the full customer experience, from before acquisition through retention.
One of the smartest ways to implement it is in your help center. Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible by using predictive analytics to serve up help desk articles before they’ve even finished their search query.
Predictive analytics can also be used to identify customers who might churn soon because they match the criteria of other customers who have churned in the past year. Then your team can proactively reach out to them about features to utilize, or help to downsell them if that’s the best fit.
6. Data-informed SEO
More than ever, selecting the right keyphrases matters in SEO. In 2020, marketers will use data-informed marketing to help them outrank the competition. When using tools like Clearscope and Ubersuggest in combination, you can discover the following:
- The average domain score of websites that are ranking in the top 10 for your desired keyphrase
- The average number of backlinks of websites that are ranking in the top 10 for your desired keyphrase
- The average word count and readability for sites ranking in the top 10
- The average amount of monthly search volume for the keyphrase
- Secondary keyphrases and variants to include
- Relevant terms to include (ones that searchers, and of course Google, would expect the article to cover)
All of this data can help marketers make better decisions about choosing the keyphrases and also know how much promotion needs to be done for specific posts. For high volume keyphrases that have lots of backlinks, it will likely be more necessary to do backlinking outreach (incentivizing backlinks or guest posting).
Some keyphrases might be won with great content alone, while others won’t be worth targeting based on your website’s domain score stacked up against the competition that’s already ranking.
Expect to see more advanced tools like Clearscope entering the SEO market, and more trends around data-informed decision-making and strategy for SEO.
7. Prioritising the use of qualitative data
In our quest for data, we focus too much on quantitative data: behavior analytics, audience analytics, usage metrics, etc., etc.
The popularity of marketing sites like Forget the Funnel and its focus on customer research proves that qualitative data is making a comeback. There’s a consensus that to increase revenue, you need to increase your understanding of what your customers want.
Of course, there’s plenty of quantitative data for customer research, but much of it is qualitative. For too long, customer surveys and customer interviews have been procrastinated because marketers deem them too time-consuming, too difficult to organize, too inconclusive, and too soft.
But in 2020, customer understanding and customer empathy will win, so expect to hear even more tips and tricks on winning with customer research.
For example, if you’re struggling with your messaging, you might ask a subset of your best customers to describe your product, service, or company in their own words.
Going through these responses will require some manual effort. You can quantify survey responses and interview transcripts by tracking the frequency of certain words, phrases, and concepts. You might find that 60% of customers explain your product using the same word, or that 70% of customers have the same pain point, even if they describe it in unique ways.
Qualitative data (especially when paired with the data-informed marketing trends above) can give your company a significant competitive edge because you’ll have a strong foundation of customer research to build your marketing campaigns on top of.
Entering a new decade always brings in an even greater feeling of change than just the New Year Alone. And in 2020, the top data-informed marketing trends in 2020 are all about significant change.