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Under the Tree for 2020: Customer Experience

All throughout the year, marketers have been trying to keep up with shoppers. They adopt omnichannel strategies and customer-centric messaging to meet valued buyers at the right time, in the right context. With increased fragmentation and new popular platforms, the job appears to be getting more difficult, instead of easier.

In the spirit of giving, DMN drew on a wide range of digital experts to share what presents will help marketers the most in 2020.

Keep checking under the tree for more gifts in the coming days.

Contextual eCommerce In 2020, we can expect to see more platforms (beyond YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram) releasing interactive eCommerce features that surface the products higher in the purchase funnel, while offering a seamless user experience. Meanwhile, publishers will continue to diversify their revenue strategies and double down on the contextual e-commerce, similar to the NYTimes’ Wirecutter.

— Claudia Page, SVP, partner product, Dailymotion

People-based, open-web-friendly marketing Over the last decade, marketers have relied heavily on platforms like Google and Facebook to effectively reach specific audiences. While these two heavyweights dominate digital ad spend – some 64 percent of the total — their share is disproportionate to consumer behavior…Marketers that stick with advertising on the open web will be leaning heavily into methods that meet a publisher’s privacy litmus test. There’s an interesting upside we expect to see amidst this confusion in 2020. New compliance requirements and cookies being replaced will also accelerate an impetus for new people-based marketing solutions to surface on the market. Open web-friendly digital marketing platforms will help brands and publishers gain insights into individual, opted-in audience members. With this newfound consumer knowledge and permissions, these platforms will offer a “walled garden-like” consumer experience across sites on the open web. Then, as more ad dollars move to the open web, we’ll see brands gain marketing scale by more effectively reaching their customers and prospects; a better focus on consumers’ desires and pain points is certain to drive better results for marketers, consumers and publishers alike — not just from within the high walls of Facebook, which is compromising the stability of local news outlets and other small publishing businesses.

— Todd Parsons, chief product officer, OpenX


Data-focused storytelling Busy marketers need to ensure every piece of content they make has a purpose. In 2020, we’ll see brands using interactive content experiences like quizzes and polls to not only build brand engagement, but also to learn about consumer preferences – directly from the source! Information volunteered through these content experiences can deliver specific insights that aren’t easily gleaned from other data sources. The key to this approach? Ensuring your content has value to your target audience. 

— Shachar Orren, CMO, EX.CO


Advanced IoT In 2020, IoT (Internet of Things) will continue to gain popularity by giving power back to the customer, saving time and allowing for a more seamless, hands-free purchasing experience. Customer preferences today are decidedly omnichannel – brands will continue to invest in voice assistants, 5G and smart wearable products (i.e. Apple Watch) in order to help reach customers on the devices where they’re spending most of their time.

— Jonathan Cherki, CEO, Contentsquare


Real-time personalization, contextual experiences Personalization will evolve to be more individualized and real-time. While personalization has been segment-driven in the past, in 2020 the technology will be used to create more contextually relevant experiences for the shopper, from the offer to the products and content, even how the content is displayed. Machine learning will play a bigger role in personalization initiatives next year as it allows brands to analyze and action large amounts of data in milliseconds, regardless of whether it’s coming from a laptop or smartphone. The more contextually relevant experiences brands deliver the more they will command the attention of the shopper, increasing the LVT and share of wallet from that customer. In this context, personalization will make the CMS, and data and ecommerce platforms more effective. Customer-centricity will be fully realized because machine learning models will actually understand each customer individually, giving retailers the ability to send relevant emails to that customer if they haven’t visited their website recently or have outstanding wishlist items, for example.

— Graham Cooke, CEO and co-founder, Qubit


“Latency tax” evasion Consumers are expecting better online experience and there’s a big problem with latency in digital advertising. There will be a greater spotlight on the “latency tax” that the open web experiences – slow down from trackers and ad tech that hurts user engagement, audience growth, and ultimately, monetization. As we head into 2020, the disparity between content load times and ad load times will increase, resulting in higher bounce rates and loss of revenue for publishers. Publishers will need to address latency issues now or risk losing the ability to retain their audiences over the long term.

— Justin Choi, CEO & founder, Nativo


Blended-channel experiences In 2020 we will see an increase in blended-channel buying experiences that combine digital self-service, AI-powered chat, and offline human-to-human interaction. In turn, we’ll also see increased data complexity and the potential for further fragmentation of the buying experience. Winning companies will be the ones that are able to unify data across channels and internal organizations to create friction-free and people-focused customer experiences.”

— Gregg Johnson, CEO, Invoca


Brands acquiring adtechs The ad tech sector is facing a resurgence in M&A with a new set of interested parties – brands looking to enhance their personalization efforts. Companies like McDonalds, Walmart and Nike bought up ad tech companies in 2019 to do just that. In 2020, I expect that this trend will continue, with brands competing more fiercely to provide personalized offerings and improve the customer experience.

 — Michael Benedek, CEO, Datonics


Smarter social Social in general may struggle in the future – why? Because fewer people are using social and/or are likely to decrease their usage during the upcoming election year. Simultaneously, ad costs for social are going up. Brands should keep a close eye on their metrics and adjust spend based on where their users will be spending their time. The good news is that brands will continue to get smarter about how to use social media, which will help counteract other trends. For example, more brands are using social for branding and equity, not just lower funnel conversion.

— Mike Menkes, SVP, Analytic Partners


End-user experience management Drain the data lake of its opaque clickstream metrics. Invest in search and your users will guide themselves.

 — Marcus Eagan, director of product, developer tools, Lucidworks


Partnership-palooza The most used word in 2020 will be “partnership.” Brands and publishers are starting to come around to the notion that no one can afford to be an island and expect to compete. Publishers will begin to see each other as collaborators, whose connected and combined datasets can generate a greater return for their clients and themselves. The same will be true of brands and a growing openness to not just one partner but a range of partners who can collaborate and connect easily. One real example of this partnership-palooza will be around the notion of a 360 view of the consumer. In order to achieve that holistic view, you need to work with others who can round out what you know about your customers and fill in the gaps of what you don’t know because of business limitations or consumer relationships.

 — Adam Solomon, CMO, Lotame 

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