Like the front and back-of-house technologies used by brands to optimise business operations, marketing has undergone a transformation in the last year. Marketing tools which were used infrequently before are now front and centre of customer campaigns. Here we look at three that are rapidly growing in popularity.
With the COVID-19 pandemic came a rise in contactless, mobile technologies. As brands adopted web ordering solutions, they faced a challenge communicating their ordering URLS to customers. Rather than ask them to type long web addresses, they sought a simple solution – step up, the QR code.
QR codes have been in existence for a number of years, and for a while, people thought they would be a marketing phenomenon. As the digital world exploded, their purpose was meant to serve as a bridge from the physical world to the digital world, taking users to a website, image or video. The user experience, however, wasn’t great. Websites were rarely mobile friendly and mobile phones didn’t have scanners built into their software. Soon enough, their popularity faded.
Websites have moved on a lot since QR codes were first used, and their use now is moving from ‘nice to have’ to essential. Consequently their popularity is skyrocketing. They are an ideal tool for marketing an app, directing people to a website or even encouraging people to send an email (especially when printed onto posters, flyers, business cards and table talkers). Faced with a QR code, customers now simply open their phone, point their phone camera at the code (scanners are routinely built into the camera software) and they will be redirected to the correct destination.
We particularly love their application for streamlining online ordering. One great benefit of online ordering is how fast it can be – using a QR code, makes it even easier.
In the last year, trust and brand loyalty have become more connected than ever. Where brands have lacked the opportunity to communicate with customers face-to-face conversational marketing has been relied upon as a way of building that trust.
Operators need to embrace conversation at this time and make customers feel part of their brand, even when they can’t physically engage with it. Using conversational marketing tools, customers can reach out and talk to a brand via every possible avenue. Email, chatbots, social media and text message should all be options – while the responses received must live up to customer expectations.
Increasingly, developers are finding ways to include an element of ‘chat’ within their technology platforms. The kerbside collection tool, iAmHere, for example, uses chat to facilitate conversation between brands and customers once an order has been collected. In doing so, customers receive an element of human interaction inside a digital experience. For this tool the extra benefit is that it allows order errors to be corrected with minimal fuss or detriment to the overall experience.
Intelligent marketing automation
Marketing automation is getting more intelligent, using data to make decisions about who to contact with what offer and when. The success of marketing automation relies wholly on the data a brand collects and the way in which they analyse it.
While most brands are now collecting data through their website, social media platforms, reservation and ordering technologies, many still don’t assertively apply it to their marketing and operations. When it comes to data, analysis is often seen as being too time consuming, and it is therefore left unmined – with only the most basic information applied to campaigns.
That’s why intelligent automation tools are growing in popularity. Integrating with the data a company already collects, they automatically flatten and rebuild the information, using it to send personalised, relevant emails to the right customers at the right time. This helps brands retain existing customers, wake sleeping ones, drive loyalty and maximise spend per head.
Speak to us to see how you can integrate your marketing tools with our suite of brand enhancing and customer experience technologies.