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Top marketing technology trends to leverage in 2021
2020 has forced unprecedented levels of consumer reliance on digital technologies, as many professional and personal interactions moved online.
Digital marketing continues to reign supreme in 2021, as this type of marketing accounted for nearly 80% of marketing operating budgets over the past year. It is also a cost-effective solution, which is no small consideration in a year that has seen marketing budgets decrease across industries as a result of the pandemic.
With that in mind, it's time to review which marketing technology trends your company should leverage this year to stay on top of your marketing game.
Accessible visual data analysis
An increase in time spent online has resulted in a massive spike of user data generation: survey data suggests people's frequency of posting on social media has gone up as much as 43% over the past year, with Instagram, TikTok and YouTube being the preferred platforms. The latter supports a known trend that the majority of recent user-generated content is visual. In order for digital marketers to glean insights from these massive volumes of visual user content, they need sophisticated visual data analytics software.
Companies can benefit from visual analytics tools like YouScan, which leverage machine-learning algorithms and offer extensive coverage of a variety of online platforms, including emerging ones like TikTok. This social media intelligence tool is designed to automatically sort through large volumes of visual data and extract meaningful information, helping marketers save time. YouScan’s Visual Insights provides users with actionable insights that give a fresh look at consumption situations, consumer opinions, and original use cases, presented as accessible visualizations, allowing for easy interpretation to suit any level of data analysis skills.
Both the budget constraints and the need for physically remote or hybrid work over the past year caused an increase in interdisciplinary work for marketers. Professionals in these fields are learning new skills and new ways to save time, which are accommodated by low-code or no-code tools – as the names suggest, tools that require minimal to zero developer expertise. Low-code/no-code solutions help marketers address the what, where, and how of digital marketing: What is being communicated? (content personalization in various channels); Where the communication takes place? (UI and platforms) and How the communication is perceived by the audience? (data analysis). This can be achieved without additional strain on the company's IT team, and reduced time between planning and execution stages of marketing strategies.
Low-code/no-code software like Creatio can help digital marketers address the what, where and how of marketing, by providing solutions for automating business process management and customer relationship management. The automation of business processes and customer relations can not only speed up the company's digital transformation, but also push it closer to digital maturity, further reducing future operational costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
Chatbots and AI assistants
As customers spend more time online, their expectations for brands change accordingly: they expect brands to offer their services online and respond to customers' comments and concerns quickly. But budget constraints and concerns for employee well-being may get in the way of your company staffing its customer success team around the clock.
Chatbots can be programmed with simple logic using low-code/no-code tools, and offer the customers a satisfactory experience with simple queries, such as "What is your return policy?" or "What are the hours of operation?" AI assistants can train on existing CRM or helpdesk databases to learn about common user questions, and offer answers to more sophisticated queries. These MarTech solutions can offset the workload of your customer success teams while reducing response times for your customers.
Extended reality (AR, VR and MR)
Users are becoming more comfortable with extended-reality software, with the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram filters (examples of augmented reality, or AR) rising over the past years. A lack of in-person retail during the pandemic in some countries led to an increased need for AR adoption to recreate a satisfying shopping experience – for example, by helping shoppers envision what kind of glasses would suit their face shape, or what kind of beauty products would look best with their skin tone.
Industry specialists have said that a killer VR app is still yet to appear on the market, but project a rise in the extended-reality sector in the next two years nonetheless – so 2021 offers a great opportunity to see if incorporating extended-reality marketing technology trend can be right for your business.
The proliferation of smart speakers means digital marketers can no longer limit their SEO efforts to text, and should also consider optimizing their web properties for voice search. Voice search queries tend to be longer than text ones, so ensuring that your content accommodates both can help voice assistants surface your content before others. An example of voice search optimization is incorporating two- and three-word keyphrases into your digital content in addition to the necessary single keywords.
Remote work calls for more collaboration between teams than ever. Even as people start coming back into physical workspaces, a higher standard for collaborative workflow has been set – so MarTech solutions that allow for seamless coworking experiences will continue to be popular in 2021. Examples of such features include: easy messaging between team members within software; simple task assignment; and intuitive integrations between tools.
The past year has underscored the need for marketing technology that can help companies save time and money by automating certain tasks, as well as achieve greater personalization and reach of their digital marketing campaigns. MarTech like visual data analysis, low-code/no-code and collaborative tools help digital marketers be more efficient on a reasonable budget; while extended reality, voice search and chatbot technologies offer a chance to be innovative and try something new in 2021.
This is a guest post by Elena Teselko, Content Manager at YouScan.