What does connectivity in marketing mean?

2018 Connectivity Report

The connectivity between people, processes, and technologies allows marketers and creatives to perform their best and create incredibly meaningful experiences. But how? That’s exactly what Widen’s 2018 Connectivity Report set out to answer by interviewing 538 marketing, technology, and creative professionals from around the world. The research involved 32 one-on-one interviews and 506 online survey respondents in the second year of this research.

The goal of this year’s report was to understand how connectivity influences marketing operations, strategy, and business results. This includes timely topics such as customer experience, content strategy, data, content personalization, artificial intelligence, and the integrations of systems across organizations.

Six key findings are highlighted in the report. If you download the free copy you’ll find detailed information and action steps for each of them. Let’s dive in to the findings!

1. Customer experience is core to a successful content strategy.

Creating quality content that represents your brand is challenging on its own, but bringing your customer into the content mix makes it even harder. Customer experience is how organizations perceive a brand throughout their relationship and is a driving factor in customer satisfaction, retention, and advocacy. An interesting stat is that 55% of participants said that their organization has a content strategy, but few people know who owns it. Your content strategy should line up with your business goals. If you don’t know how to accomplish this, you can gain insights from the report.

2. Personalization goes deeper than just inserting someone’s name or saying “you” or “your.”

According to interview participants, personalization means having a feeling of being special or important, feeling like they’re not one of the masses, and an overwhelming sense that “you get me.” The number one trend that respondents are focused on in 2018 is personalizing the customer experience. But while 93% say personalization at scale is possible, 58% said they don’t know how to achieve it in their work. The report shares more perspectives on personalizing the customer experience.

3. A global brand means localizing what you stand for.

And this was a challenge for research participants. Localizing the brand was people’s number one concern, followed by distributing content at the right moment. Another challenge is working with teams in different countries and being responsive across time zones. The report gives a few examples of different technologies that can help with this problem.

4. Data is only one piece of the analytics puzzle. Talking to your audience completes the picture so you can tell the right story.

The biggest challenge survey respondents said they face with their data isn’t collecting it from different sources, understanding it, or simplifying it, but telling the right story. They also mentioned factors that can’t be measured with analytics but still felt were important. These included honesty and authenticity, human nature, brand resonance, and sentiment. The key takeaway is that data doesn’t tell the whole story and talking to your audiences can bridge critical data gaps. The report talks about ways to get started.

5. Artificial intelligence tools have the greatest potential when people create the strategy and machines execute it.

When asked, over 50% of respondents didn’t know how to define artificial intelligence. Machine learning was more familiar. Additionally, 86% of people are not using AI tools in their work, but 100% of people say AI will make a big impact on the marketing and creative industry in the next three years. Why the disconnect between thinking that AI will make an impact and people not using it in their work? The report gives some insight into why this may be.

6. Integrations are critical to the future success of modern marketing organizations.

File sharing, customer relationship management, email marketing, and project management were among the digital tools teams can’t do without in their everyday work. And 75% of survey respondents are integrating at least two of these tools. When asked, “When approaching a digital transformation, what requirements are most important to your organization?,” respondents said technology that supports business operations was most important. Using the right tools and integrating them is important to maintaining the efficiency across people, processes, and technologies that businesses need to succeed. If you haven’t started integrating your tools, now is the time.

Few marketers have researched what “connectivity” means and how they should incorporate it into what they do to achieve the greatest level of success. Download the full report now for more details plus the action steps you’ll need to be more connected in your work. It’s free!

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