With the rise of digital communication, traditional media has become one of the many spaces in which public relations professionals operate. Due to the advent of social media, the practice is divided into traditional public relations, advocacy and social media. These moving parts dare not operate in isolation.
They must operate strategically over the long term with one goal in mind, to win public trust. In 2019 and beyond, communication and marketing professionals need to place emphasis on big data, user experience, UX and audio when executing their campaigns.
Big data refers to the volume, variety and complexity of information. It does not only include the information itself, but also the attendant challenges when analysing it for a multiplicity of purposes. Big data represents the most profound shift in marketing and communication since the advent of the telephone and internet. It already drives much of the marketing material and initiatives we see online as well as offline.
As a tool, big data provides marketers with solutions in areas, including customer engagement, customer retention, customer loyalty and marketing optimization. It is of great importance to marketing because it provides three kinds of data sets that are invaluable to marketers: financial, operational, and consumption.
Going from data to insight to impact can be a long road because it is not always clear what information to curate, or which analytical tools to use. The most popular include Google Analytics, Reddit, Keyword Monitor, Hootsuite, and Brandwatch.
Big data is of paramount importance to companies as it helps them to not only know their customers but their families and friends as well. Firms desirous of getting deep into a customer’s motivation turn to big data for such information. Indeed, big data continues to be the engine driving a company’s return on investments.
User experience, UX, is more important in marketing and communication than ever before. It is defined as the overall experience you have when interacting with a product, service or anything for that matter. When we think of UX, we tend to associate it with smart phones, tablets, websites, apps, etc. However, experts contend that UX captures much more than that, as it can be extended to the overall customer experience, CX.
Think about UX in the context of driving a car, using an ATM, checking out items at the supermarket, or removing the cap from a drink. A few examples of UX include: Serge Island Dairies replacing their milk caps with ones that are easier to open; NCB making it possible to open a new account in less than 30 minutes; JN Bank’s promise of a 30-day mortgage; the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) making it possible to apply for a passport and be out of their office in less than 30 minutes (my experience); or General Accidents providing complimentary coffee and tea for their clients in the waiting area. These are all examples or acts of improving and or enhancing user or customer experience.
Anything that can be consumed passively ought not to be underestimated. Audio is the rising star among digital marketing and communication tools. Not only are we consuming more of our news and books via audio, we are shopping more with audio – our voice!
With voice technologies like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Homepod and Google Assistant, voice and or audio should not be overlooked. Marketing and communication experts now have to think about meeting customers where they are, that is, everywhere! Whether it’s on their daily commute, or while doing their daily chores.
Think about it, how do you pass the time while doing a task such as washing dishes or even sitting in traffic? You listen to something right? We certainly can’t pay attention to the screen all the time, for example, while driving. So providing audio can meet consumers where they are.
I encourage everyone to use sites such as answerthepublic.com to see what people are searching for or what they are saying about a company or product.
I implore fellow communications practitioners to be mindful of these things as we seek to add value to customer or client experience.