The growing influence in data and technology in marketing research is more than just a trend by now. Several years of advances and innovations have altered the way that companies understand, track, and target key customers. As the novelty of applying technology and data to marketing problems wears off, a new set of mature concepts is delivering even more insight to decision-makers.
Access and Use
Coming up with ways to use data for finding new customers is one thing, but actually implementing these ideas is another. For a long time, using data from modern marketing tools such as social media, email, and mobile advertising required the right software, training, and experience. Linking specific marketing initiatives with outcomes took a lot of work. Often the data was stored in formats that did not work together. The analytical and statistical tools for understanding the story behind the data needed years of education and training in order to use. All of this meant that while plenty of companies were aware of the potential for data to help their marketing, few could afford the time, money, and attention to actually make use of it.
A major element of making marketing technology productive for more users has been streamlining access to data through greater automation. Customer relationship management software can track each potential buyer’s history of interactions with your brand and then aggregate that information to show trends and patterns. There is no need for cumbersome database management or a highly-trained data analyst when a few dashboards can provide intuitive, powerful ways of organizing and visualizing the data you need. This form of advancement reduces the barriers for data and tech use.
The steady development of AI and neural networks that can read and respond to human language has opened up a new avenue for businesses to contact potential leads. Although many people may visit a website, most of them will not make a purchase. Often, this is because the information they are looking for is not displayed properly on the company’s site. With the substantial growth in mobile web browsing, it is extremely easy for potential customers to give up on a site and move on if they can’t find what they want right away. Imagine if customers had a chatbot that was immediately available and could greet them and answer their questions as soon as they landed on a page. Chatbots would be faster and easier than waiting on a human customer service representative. Additionally, the AI could always have the option of turning things over to a human if the customer’s need was too complex. There are already AI products that can, for example, manage a person’s calendar by emailing back and forth with coworkers or clients to plan out meetings. The advancement of AI software that can handle customer contact would free up resources for other tasks and generate data about customer needs and wants that the company would not have otherwise.
Social media is transforming the contemporary economy, and marketing research is not immune. While some prominent social media platforms are now fully mature in terms of their user base growth, there is still much to learn about using them effectively. For example, growing numbers of brands are beginning to centralize their content on Facebook pages. A smart campaign can generate plenty of new leads and data, but that depends on balancing out mass appeal, interactivity, clarity, and plenty of other factors. Tools such as livestreaming make it possible to reach potential customers in a much more immediate and personal way than mass emails or status updates. Platform-optimized video can convey the core benefits of a product and work even better with a memorable style. However, customers are increasingly wary of how social media platforms use their personal data. Marketers need to exercise caution around targeting and research because it has the potential to turn off customers. Transparency is key. Many social media users may not be aware of how much of their data is available to others and how it is being used. It only takes one bad outcome to cause serious brand damage. In a sense, it’s the most extreme form of market segmentation. As social media giants add new features and tools, it is worth keeping the risks of data misuse in mind.
By incorporating streamlined data management systems, AI features, and efficient social media tactics, your business should gain more insight into its marketing results that will be useful for research in the near future.
About the Author Caryl Anne Crowne is a contributing writer and media specialist for Allegra Network. She regularly produces content for various marketing and business blogs.