AI in Buyer’s Journey: How Important It Is for Marketers to Know About It

SHAWN HADDEN | April 10, 2020

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently one of the fastest evolving technologies in the world. In 2016, the AI market was valued at $4.06 billion. By 2025, this sector will have a market capitalization value of $164.41 billion, signaling a 55.6% rise in compound annual growth rates. Today AI is everywhere you turn. You will find it in the auto, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education, legal, retail, and marketing industries. The technology now runs self-driving vehicles, crucial medical equipment, and various programs and platforms online. Businesses such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM are heavily invested in AI development. These platforms are also continuously making this technology more accessible to users. You can, for instance, access Google’s AI via its RankBrain search engine algorithm. This AI interprets search queries to provide Google’s users with the most relevant results.

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We help clients imagine the best they can be, write their stories and deliver those stories to the right audiences. We’re a successful media company with its roots in storytelling and building audiences. We bring that expertise to our clients. About 100 marketers in the heart of Upstate New York imagine and manage local, statewide, national and global campaigns for hundreds of companies scattered across Upstate.

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Roots vs Risk: How companies can effectively create a new culture and customer-base

Article | February 10, 2021

It’s common for brands to become stagnant, rooted in their ways and too set on a specific course which restricts their ability to adapt to change. It is the classic example of the “That’s the way we do things around here” mentality. But over time, competition increases, markets develop and consumer needs shift. Consequently, very few industries have remained static over the past year let alone the last decade, which has created an urgent need for businesses to evolve. This notion is backed by Matthew Hayes, Managing Director of Champions (UK) plc, a strategy-led growth agency in the brand, digital and communications space. In this piece, he explains how digging up a business’ roots can actually help sow the seeds for a successful future. Letting go of your roots Resistance to change is one of the greatest barriers to a business’s long-term success. This resistance is often the result of a business becoming too attached to its roots, which can sometimes be so deep that they begin to act as an anchor, weighing the business down rather than enabling its growth. These roots can be categorised as values, goals and characteristics of a business that define how it operates, the messages it communicates, the way in which it conveys them, as well as how consumers perceive the brand. But as times change, it is common for business roots to become outdated and unsuitable for the current commercial climate. And as a result, businesses begin to face difficulties in keeping customers engaged and in turn, achieving a profitable financial return. To see this in practice, we only need to look at the demise of some the biggest named brands in recent times. For example, the Arcadia Group is one of the latest victims of digital transformation, a trend that has been gradually impacting the retail space in recent years, and that has only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital shift has been led due to the need to meet changing consumer expectations and behaviours, with online sales are increasing year on year, and even more customers are expected to be shopping with a digital-first perspective following the pandemic and its related disruption. Instead of responding to the change in the market and embracing online opportunities, businesses operating as part of Arcadia Group continued to do things as they had always done. And it was this lack of focus on their digital offering, particularly when compared to competitors such as PrettyLittleThing, boohoo and Asos, that ultimately resulted in their commercial downturn. Although not so great for the individuals effected in the process, the case offers other businesses a vital lesson in the importance of letting go of outdated roots and adapting to change. Taking a risk But due to the deep-rooted nature of such characteristics, there is a perceived risk involved with letting them go. It’s understandable as it will no doubt involve a significant change to business as usual. But, any risks can be mitigated if businesses take a strategic approach in their decision to make change. For instance, by undertaking branding exercises, such as a brand audit and the formalisation of a value proposition, stakeholders can gain an in-depth understanding of the business’s current position, its offering and their consumers’ expectations, through the creation of audience personas and its market via detailed industry insights and competitor analysis. From here, there will be a clear view of which aspects are not appropriate for the current commercial landscape, and where there will be opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labour once change has been implemented. Once a new proposition has been established in theory, it then needs a detailed project plan to role it out in a practice, combined with an effective communications strategy. Taking a look at an example from our own experience. We rebranded Delta Global, a packaging provider for luxury retailers that, at the time, was doing great things with regard to innovation, technology and sustainability but was failing from a branding perspective to communicate its capabilities in those areas. Our branding exercises helped to redefine the business’s values, creating a four pillar model that communicates them much more clearly. Formed of innovation, sustainability, luxury and ecommerce, clients and stakeholders can now, at a glance, understand exactly what the business does and how it does it. And to ensure the business and its position only benefited from the activity, it was complemented with a robust communications strategy. This gained the brand exposure in industry-leading titles, including Forbes, WWD and The Sunday Times, as well as a greater presence across social media channels. This helped mitigate the risk of unsuccessful change through use of effective communication targeted at new audiences, existing customers and internal stakeholders, who now understand the new direction but also be on board with it. Is change always necessary? In short, no. Change for the sake of change can actually be just as damaging to a brand as staying consistent. This is because sometimes, the deep-rooted characteristics of the business form a vital part of the audience’s understanding of the brand and its offering. This might include family-run business values or branding elements that are connected to the location a business was founded in, for example. Often, it’s unlikely that these elements will be hindering the business’s growth potential, but are instead, adding value to it by acting as a USP and differentiating it from the competition. However, in these cases, while the message does not need to change, the way in which it is communicated might, as often, it is the methods of message delivery that become outdated. For example, this might mean making better use of online marketing channels such as social media, content creation, SEO and email promotions to support both online and offline activities. It’s all about making well thought out changes in order to remain relevant, rather than constantly altering your messages and offerings, which could actually cause confusion and disconnect between the brand and its consumers. Ultimately, businesses need a solid footing upon which they can build on. But while these foundations are important for business growth, like a tree’s roots, some often go off at a tangent and become stuck in the past, anchoring the brand to where it used to be rather than allowing it to move forward into the future. Put simply, if you don’t evolve, you die.

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COVID-19 Is Changing Behavior on Social Media for Both Brands and Users

Article | February 10, 2021

People are staying at home and have plenty of time to consume content; we’re even seeing that the times people are consuming digital content is spread across the day. As a result, the supply is significant, and in addition to that, brand’s advertisement budgets are being cut. That’s shifted the balance of the marketplace. On the positive side, data from parts of Asia, where the virus has diminished, show a rebound in advertising as workplaces have begun to re-open.

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Valuable Strategies to Increase Website Engagement

Article | February 10, 2021

According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site on mobile if they had trouble accessing it, and 40% visit a competitor's site instead. Therefore, creating an attractive website is a vital part of your marketing strategies. People search online for information that will help them make a more brilliant purchasing decision. Nowadays, the buying behavior of consumers depends on your website. If you want to stand out among others in this modest time, you will have to create an engaging and attractive website for your business. User engagement is a vital indicator that decides the success and ranking of your website. When visitors visit your site, you want them to read your content, interact with your forms, and appreciate your content enough to stick around, absorb, and convert. Unfortunately, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layouts are unattractive. Engaging users is the first step of the conversion process. Therefore, you must have a robust strategy to increase website engagement. Types of User Engagement There are various types of user engagement. However, here are some common types for your reference. Social Engagement Emotional Engagement Contextual Engagement Engagement of Convenience Why is Website Engagement Important? Whenever consumers research, they always give priority to a website. Your website determines customers’ purchasing decisions. An eye-catching website with valuable information attracts visitors. Your website provides consumers thorough information about your products or services. Even it helps SEO to perform better and give favorable responses quickly. Once your target audience lands on your website and finds what they were looking for, they automatically start liking it and moving towards your brand to know more. Some Surprising Statistics about Website Engagement 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. 77% of agencies believe that a bad website User Experience is a weakness for their clients. 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long. 47% of Users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an average website. Slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year. 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design. If given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds would instead read something beautifully designed than something plain. A study found that 94% of negative website feedback was design-related. According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site on mobile if they had trouble accessing it, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. Innovative Ideas to Increase Website Engagement Let’s take a look at some of the most essential and result-driven strategies to increase website engagement. Increase the Speed of Your Website Loading Visitors only will stay when they find the website is loading instantly. People exit the website when the loading time is more it makes them impatient. A study conducted by Soasta revealed that one second slower page loading could experience a 56% increase in their bounce rate. Include live Chat to Improve Customer’s Experience Including live chat for real-time assistance helps your audience to solve their queries and meet their requirement. Adding customized welcome messages and responding increase website engagement. It satisfies customers and influences them to take action. Keep Your Message Clear and Concise Every website or business has a purpose: selling products, educating your audience, or something else. While designing your website, you must keep your audience at the center. Your message should be crystal clear so that visitors don’t have to misguide. It should include value intention and appeal to your audience to experience what your offer. Keeping a crystal clear message increases website engagement. Keep Social Proof to Let Them Believe in Your Brand Social proof is the vital factor to increase buyer’s confidence and attraction towards your brand. Businesses use testimonials, real-time statistics, reviews, etc., in building brand credibility. Marketers considerit a valuable tactic to validate buyer’s decisions and increase website engagement. Personalize Your Communication Brands believe that personalized messages give better responses as compared to normal messages. Sending personalized messages makes consumers feel special. By creating a personalized message, you build robust connections with your consumers and convert them into long-term customers. Make Your Website Mobile-Optimized Mobile users accounted for a whopping 56% of website traffic. As a result, mobile has become one of the most used devices to enhance conversion. Therefore, ensure that the consumers should easily access the information you are sharing. Giveaway and Contests You can conduct interactive and attractive contests to influence your target audience. Customers love to participate in such contests. Creatively designed, well-researched, executed contests woo the audience and significantly enhance your website traffic. Make sure your contest endorse your giveaway regularly. Segment Your Visitors for Better Communication If you are planning to make a connection with a broader audience, you will find it challenging. Segmenting your visitors improves your communication with your audience. With the help of a targeted marketing strategy, you can divide a large market into smaller segments to focus on a particular group and experience an increase in website engagement. Approach with Persuasive Writing Your writing is an integral part of the website creation strategy. Your way of writing creates an impact on consumers. It will help if you think twice before delivering your message that the style, tone, information, slang you are using is worthy or not. Marketers believe that the language should be subtle, quirky, and sophisticated. Your content marketing should help your visitors to make you stand out from the others. Create Attractive Design An attractive and engaging website effortlessly woos the audience. The design should be minimalistic and still provide complete information. You can use infographics, videos, GiF, etc., to make your website informative and eye-catching. Know your target Audience Try to find out your target audiences’ requirements or value. It helps to create engaging content that your audience will love. You can ask for feedback that will help you to find out where you are lacking. Avoid taking too much time of your visitors by conducting a lengthy survey. Follow a Logical Structure and Have Enough White Space Placing images and content at an appropriate place plays a significant role in increasing website engagement. The complication in designs or having less white space on your website bothers your visitors. It is a science that involves organizing visual elements in such a way that help visitors to identify what they are looking for. Data Collection to Re-engage with Your Audience You need to secure all the data you are receiving from your audience. It allows you to re-engage with your customers and drive them back to your website. In addition, you can share valuable updates with them. Enhance Your Linking Structure Make sure that the link should have relevant and descriptive anchor text. It improves your SEO strategy. Creating excess internal linking annoys your visitors. Essential Tools that Can Help You to Measure Website Engagement Nowadays, marketers have different tools to measure website engagement. Here are some most essential website engagement tools. Google Analytics Heap Optimizely Hotjar Marketo Hello Bar Final Thoughts It becomes challenging to maintain the performance of your business without keeping website engagement strategies. Website engagement is an integral part of marketing that attracts visitors to buy products or services. While creating a website, you have to take care of many things that play a crucial role in increasing website engagement. Focusing on these websites engagement ideas will enhance your chances of success. Visitors only will stay when they find valuable and relevant content on your site. Creating an engaging and attractive website. Analyzing website performance. Make your writing style persuasive and crystal clear. Approach your audience with a personalized message. Increase the loading speed of your website. Frequently Asked Question What is website engagement? Website engagement is one of the most significant tactics to make your consumers loyal and stay with your brand for a long time. It makes your connections stronger with your consumer and enhances your sales. What is a good engagement rate? The engagement rate depends on the industry size, audience size, types, etc. However, brands believe that above 63% for B2B and 71% for B2C is the ideal engagement rate for a website. Why is website engagement important in metrics? Tracking engagement metrics on your website helps you understand your target audience and their requirements better. In addition, it takes your business to the next level by finding out your business loopholes. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is website engagement?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Website engagement is one of the most significant tactics to make your consumers loyal and stay with your brand for a long time. It makes your connections stronger with your consumer and enhances your sales." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a good engagement rate?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The engagement rate depends on the industry size, audience size, types, etc. However, brands believe that above 63% for B2B and 71% for B2C is the ideal engagement rate for a website." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is website engagement important in metrics?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Tracking engagement metrics on your website helps you understand your target audience and their requirements better. In addition, it takes your business to the next level by finding out your business loopholes." } }] }

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CONTENT EXPERIENCE IS THE FACE OF CONTENT MARKETING

Article | February 10, 2021

Content experience refers to the overall experience associated with assessment, engagement, consumption and responding towards a stream of various brand contents across different channels, platforms, and devices during the complete journey from prospects to customers. When content experience is done successfully, it delivers the highest possible extent of personalization, relevance, consistency, timeliness, and convenience. This is because; content experience focuses on the holistic approach.

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Spotlight

Advance Media New York

We help clients imagine the best they can be, write their stories and deliver those stories to the right audiences. We’re a successful media company with its roots in storytelling and building audiences. We bring that expertise to our clients. About 100 marketers in the heart of Upstate New York imagine and manage local, statewide, national and global campaigns for hundreds of companies scattered across Upstate.

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