Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

2020 CX and Marketing Prediction: Shift from Tracking Trends to Creating Possibilities

Photo by Martin Shreder on Unsplash

I’d like to think of 2020 as we think about it with vision, 20/20, which means normal visual acuity. Marketing and CX in 2020 will be a lot like marketing and CX in 2019 (not a bad thing necessarily.) As we kickoff the new year, we’re already talking about hot new trends and how to integrate shiny new tech into existing thinking, processes and programs, doing cool things, without really changing the game. If 2020 can stand for something, make it about shedding the legacy mindsets and processes that hold us back from boldly moving forward and breaking new ground.

Someone’s going to do it. And once someone takes a bold leap, everyone will see the light and wonder why they didn’t do it first. For example, in marketing, Aviation Gin’s “fast advertising” ad captured the industry and media’s attention over night. Copycats ads are inevitable. In the world of CX, we have AI and machine, 5G, mixed reality, and voice setting the stage for that next bold move to reimagine the entire customer journey. Again, someone’s going to do it.

There’s more to innovation than fast-following or copy-paste strategies. Bold moves change the game. We need to think differently. We need to help executives think outside the proverbial box. We need to do more than update our existing playbooks. We need to be the ones who take those bold moves in the name of the customer to create a new playbook in 2020 and beyond.

Everything starts with how we see the people shaping our market so that we can apply new thinking, tech and possibilities to forge new molds. I believe that empathy can stoke imagination and foster new expertise that can then unlock new possibilities.

We need growth in how we see markets and ultimately how we see people to move forward in new and meaningful ways. For example, data needs organization and massive cleaning to get a clear view, a single truth about our customer. This sets up AI and machine learning to help us identify useful patterns of customer behaviors and forthcoming trends to then set the stage for personalization (and humanization) in engagement across the journey.

But that’s the thing when it comes to predictions and ultimately GTM strategies…we think about them from a position of what we know vs. from a place of curiosity and aspiration. It’s a matter of “here’s what I see” vs. “what if …? For example, “what if I explored these new technologies and new opportunities with a beginner’s mind?”

What if customer experience became the catalyst for a new generation of cross-functional, orchestrated, customer-centered marketing?

What if CRM empowered marketers and CX professionals to collaborate around personalizing, unifying and adding value to the “customer’s experience” at every step?

What if we aimed AI at uncovering the patters of frustration customers experience with marketing and in their journeys to fix problems?

What if we did the same thing to identify patterns of love in the existing journey and in the journeys of other beloved brands to innovate and create new touchpoints and experiences?

What if we explored how customers feel as they go through the journey and use that to inspire content and touchpoint designs to ease their chaos or stress and deliver reprieve, validation and direction?

What if marketing added value to customer experiences based on their real truth?

What if 2020 became the year we changed the game?

These are questions someone has to answer. What if it was you?

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