Marketing to Customer Expectations in 2023

Cohesive customer experiences

Customers expect a personalized, tailored experience that speaks directly to their needs. At the same time, marketers must avoid looking through a campaign-only lens since customers don’t interact with brands through a single method or channel. 

Marketers must understand specific interactions in the customer’s entire journey and focus on a complete experience, not a point-in-time campaign. 

One way to better understand your user experience is to create a customer journey map. A customer journey map is a visual representation of how a customer acts, thinks, and feels through the buying process and can be a valuable tool for creating a cohesive experience. 

Improved user experience across devices

User experience, or UX, is more than just a popular buzzword. It refers to how a person feels when interacting with a system. Good UX design provides a positive experience that fulfills a user’s needs and keeps them loyal to the product or brand. 

Your website (and/or app) is arguably your most valuable marketing asset, and a great UX can make all the difference when convincing top-of-funnel consumers to become customers. When designing your site, keep the layout simple, include easy-to-use navigation, and don’t overwhelm users with too much information on the main landing pages. You should also optimize your website for mobile, especially since more than half of users worldwide use their phones to browse the web.

Some examples of current UX design trends include:

  • Minimalism and “blanding,” or websites free of intrusive advertising and popups  
  • Voice-activated interfaces
  • Hands-free controls
  • Animated elements to add intrigue
  • Block web design
  • “Scrollytelling,” or telling a story as the user scrolls 
  • Bold colors
  • Video content

Voice search tactics for SEO 

Marketers are beginning to leverage voice search as a search engine optimization (SEO) tool. These digital assistants are designed to answer short, informational queries such as “Who sings Bohemian Rhapsody?” and “What’s the weather in San Diego?” but they’ve also started to process more customized searches, like “What coffee shops are open near me?” and ”Do they serve chai lattes?”

Businesses are responding by changing how they frame information. To answer reader’s questions based on intent, creators are opting for more conversational question-and-answer formats. This way, when consumers use voice search, they’ll get high-quality, accurate responses more quickly. 

Digital marketing techniques to lean into

Conversational marketing

Instead of directing people to lead capture forms and waiting for a response, conversational marketing uses targeted messaging and AI automation to engage with people when they’re on your website. 

This digital marketing trend employs intelligent chatbots with machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), allowing customers to have a two-way conversation with a brand. Shifting from an asynchronous way of marketing to real-time conversations presents a major learning curve as conversational marketing grows in 2023.

Interactive content

If you’ve used the internet within the past decade, you’ve likely come across interactive content without even realizing it. Gone are the days of static posts and passive consumption—today’s audience wants content that demands attention. Marketers are developing dynamic, two-way experiences that encourage active engagement from their target audience with content such as:

  • Interactive infographics
  • Quizzes
  • Games
  • Calculators
  • Contests 
  • Assessments
  • Interactive maps
  • Interactive videos

81% of marketers agree this low-cost, high-impact content strategy is much more effective at grabbing potential buyers’ attention than static content, but the benefits don’t stop there. Interactive content is a great trend to try if your content marketing goals include:

  • Enhanced audience engagement
  • Improved customer learning
  • More leads and conversions
  • Increased brand loyalty
  • Streamlining the customer experience

VR-based tools and apps

In 2021, Meta (formerly Facebook) unveiled their up-and-coming metaverse. This fast-tracked the need for marketers to implement hybrid and mixed-reality experiences into their marketing mix. Virtual reality (VR) marketing allows brands to promote their products or services using VR technology to create a simulated but realistic experience. 

While many brands have successfully used augmented reality (AR) tactics to attract customers, like Sephora’s Virtual Artist app and Ikea’s AR app, few have designed a completely immersive virtual reality experience that would require a VR headset. 

Virtual try-ons and branded Instagram filters will continue to have an impact on 2023’s marketing landscape, but expect to see even more innovative VR marketing tactics take center stage this year. 

AI for better trendspotting

According to a recent study by Razorfish, three-quarters of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting. New technology is working to make this data more accessible and affordable for small businesses.  

Artificial intelligence is poised to make a huge impact in many industries within the next few years. Marketing professionals are now leveraging AI methods such as data models, algorithms, and machine learning to better understand their target audience. This data can help marketers optimize spending, customize and target content, and personalize their customer experience. 

Marketers are already reaping the benefits of AI technology, such as:

  • Smarter, more targeted advertisements
  • Accurate trendspotting and predictions
  • Better understanding of buyer behavior
  • Increased customer retention and loyalty
  • Enhanced self-service capabilities
  • Higher ROI through effective targeting

Incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) 

The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken off in recent years and is now broadly accessible (think Alexa and Siri). This term describes a network of “things” that are connected through sensors and software for the purpose of connecting and sharing data with each other over the internet. 

According to Cisco, 500 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet by 2030. This means marketers should start thinking about how to incorporate IoT and artificial intelligence into their programs to maintain omnichannel marketing across channels their potential buyers will be using.

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