“In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility. That’s it.”Jeff Bezos.

Looking at the business landscape today, who would have thought the words of Amazon founder, entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer, Jeff Bezos would continue to ring 4 years after they were spoken?

Transformation continues to be a buzzword because customers are demanding connected, transparent and hyper-relevant experiences. Businesses are becoming aware that a digital-first approach is key to delivering successful marketing strategies. Undergoing a marketing transformation can help companies improve customer experiences, boost brand reputation, and ultimately increase revenue and profits.

In the digital world, you need a total marketing transformation to stay ahead of the game. According to Marketing Insider Group, marketing transformation isn’t just a makeover – it’s a complete “paradigm shift” in strategy and execution. It must encompass your company culture, a complete  reinvention of your operating model and a restructuring of your marketing processes.

As the saying goes, digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. Below, we dive into 5 mega-transformations that are likely to influence marketing in 2020 and beyond.

Personalisation

2020 will be the year where marketers get personalised marketing right. The effort to enhance personalisation will continue into the new year as consumers voice their appreciation for relevant information. Today’s consumers are flooded with marketing messages from multiple channels to the point where they have started to tune them out. So, what’s the answer? Personalised marketing messages that forge a real connection between the brand and the target market.

To truly unlock the value of personalisation, you must create a unified view of your customers. Your content needs to become highly specialised, in recognition of your consumers’ preferences. Ultimately, you should strive for a user experience that is holistic, multichannel and incomparably personable.

Focus on Sustainability

A new era of sustainability is rising and it’s touching every corner of the world. Driven in part by Generation Z, who are growing in size within the consumer market, sustainability initiatives are becoming ubiquitous. Consumers are becoming socially and environmentally driven, caring not only about the impact a product has but the corporate responsibility of the company behind the product too.

In order to stay relevant, companies will need to ensure they are putting consumer needs at the heart of business and double down on their marketing and execution strategies.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to take centre stage. 2019 saw a huge increase in the development of AI; and in 2020, machine learning and automation will continue to pick up pace. With AI performing complex tasks faster and better than humans, Gartner predicts that by the year 2024, AI’s identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements we see.

AI will be the key to delivering successful business outcomes. And digital marketing agencies who invest in AI technologies will be able to improve customer services, reduce human error and increase productivity.

Voice-Powered Search

Voice search is not simply another feature for devices. It’s a true game-changer. Studies show that by 2024, the global voice-based smart search market could be worth $30 billion. Companies will continue to recognise the importance of voice search for modernised interactions, as consumers continue to demand seamless experiences. When done properly, voice search can create a clear path between the customer and brand, opening more opportunities for sales conversions.

This means digital marketers will have to prepare for the voice search era and create content that accommodates the new consumer experience. It’s time to create optimised strategies that take advantage of voice search engines.

Data-Driven Storytelling

The most successful organisations are unlocking data to innovate faster. Only the best storytellers – with both amazing narrative and data-driven research will survive this social revolution.

If your marketing is set on a path for transformation, you’ll want to rely heavily on storytelling and data. With these two elements, you can elevate your message and cultivate deeper relationships with your target audience. When identity, values and experiences are core brand differentiators, storytelling becomes essential. Vital to this is data, which helps marketers understand customers and makes stories more meaningful. Data and storytelling are important additional layers in enabling your marketing to become more innovative and strategic.

Final Thoughts

Let this be the foundation of your marketing transformation strategy as you formulate a plan for sustained omnichannel success in the new year. Incorporate the above into your 2020 marketing playbook to build a stronger brand and craft better marketing programs by understanding your customers and adapting to their ever-changing needs.

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