The future of customer dialogue requires transparency and relevance

In the future, customer dialogue will look much different in a transformed media landscape. Fast-paced digitalization brings new technological innovations, which impact how we communicate with our surroundings. New ways of communicating with our technical devices, such as voice, and new platforms for customer dialogue in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, will impact the customer buying process and create new marketing channels. With increasing amounts of customer data, Artificial Intelligence will create new possibilities for individualization of the customer dialogue. But as the debate around data collection on social media continues, will integrity beat convenience in the future?

We are standing in the middle of a digitalization of our everyday lives’. Media consumption, entertainment, information and social communication are happening on platforms created for a certain purpose. This fragmented landscape creates challenges for today’s marketers, where the buying process is executed digitally to a greater extent. The information overflow makes it even harder to get the customer to listen and act. The traditional strategy of sending out messages to a broad audience is no longer efficient. Today, customers will ignore, block out or steer away from your marketing actions that feel forced or irrelevant.

A new paradigm for engagement is taking shape, which recognizes the dominant role that the customer plays in today’s marketing landscape. Marketing actions should therefore be an active choice from the customer such as a conversation or a way of creating relationships. Finding a communication channel, to an even more niche target group, could mean possibilities for an efficient way of engaging potential customers.

Here’s 7 recommendations for a successful customer dialogue:

1. Develop a war-room marketing approach

The conditions for customer dialogue are complex and are shifting fast. The dialogue is happening on the customers own terms to a higher extent, in their own chosen channels which can be replaced fast. The customer is always “on” and as a marketer you should be on “standby”. This new agile communication requires flexible and fast paced organizations. To be able to grasp opportunities on the go, even small actions can result in major impacts. Marketing strategies needs to be flexible and fluid. Utilizing new technologies for external environment analysis makes it easier to catch when customers are paying attention, and are interested in the message you want to send.

2. Influencer-marketing creates relevance in the information overflow

Influencers will continue to play an important role when trying to catch the customer’s attention. Adblockers are increasing and commercial messages are filtered out. This is where influencers could create value since the customer is already listening to created content. Influencers don’t have to be a physical person, it could also be a company that curates content.  The collaboration needs to feel genuine and not bought to create credibility, which will become an even more important factor in the future of customer dialogue.

3. Create trust and gain loyalty from your customers

In a digital landscape where consumers are tired of irrelevant commercial messages, fake news and disinformation it will become even more important to have a company brand which is perceived to represent credibility. Genuineness and transparency will be important when consumers review your content. Regulations in Sweden make it clear that sponsored post son social media need to be marked as sponsored. This will create higher requirements on authenticity and relevance – especially for influencers, the content needs to create value for the customer, otherwise they will lose interest in you.

4. Make sure you have a transparent strategy for your data collection 

When consumer becomes even more aware about the value and significance of their data, companies need to be better to motivate why they should get access to it. Transparency in the collection and usage will become even more important, as what the trade-off will create in value for the customer. Most of us will probably be willing to trade data for convenience, but some of us will probably rank our integrity higher. We might just give our data to them we trust and will use it wisely.

5. Be prepared for customer segment where data collection is limited

GDPR, E-privacy, and the discussions about data collection on social media could be the start of increasing skepticism towards the collection of private data. Those who don’t execute strategies for ethical data collection and storage will witness the consequences, and it will be a crucial issue with regards to trust and credibility. New creative ways to get to know customers and create relevant content without data will be required.

6. Adapt your customer dialogue for voice assistants

The new smart voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple Homepad, are predicted to be in everyone’s home. These devices create possibilities for automatization of the buying process, since they could be programmed to make purchases by themselves. The purchases we want to spend the least amount on, such as commodities, will probably be automatized first. To be able to get your offer presented by a voice assistant, you have to adapt your content online to voice and be aware of the platforms that connects to the smart assistants used by your customers.

7. Create a new B2AI strategy

Price comparison services have existed for a long time on the internet, as well as algorithms showing competitor’s prices. When it’s the digital personal assistant who will make the purchases for the customer the price strategy will need to adapt too. How will price comparison operate in such environment, how will supplier contract be executed and how will paid search results look like with AI as the personal shopper?  These are the questions companies need to discuss in the near future. The fast-moving consumer goods sector (FMGS) soon needs a B2AI strategy towards the major platforms such as Amazon, Google and Alibaba.

To succeed with your customer dialogue and marketing in the future, companies and organizations need to:

  • adapt their marketing strategies to the increasing information overflow and a reluctant customer
  • be aware of new technological innovations that will transform the buying process
  • have a strategy for transparent data collection and data storage.

These are the three major forces that will shape the future of customer dialogue and respond to an increasing demand among customers for efficiency in their everyday life, relevance, trust and credibility. If these are met, you will succeed with creating a loyalty loop and a shorter buying process. In a future scenario, relevance and credibility will be key to getting the customer to listen!

At Kairos Future we will continue to research the questions around the future of marketing. In our new multiclient project Mytopia the participant will be able to gain new insights in the future marketing organization, how the future of advertising will look like, and how to utilize the new technology for best results. For more information about the project, contact Erika Charbonnel

By Therese Lundqvist