In the past, marketing trends were set using traditionally buzzworthy marketing techniques. People would often make purchase decisions based on marketing messages companies presented on the TV or radio.

The emergence of more innovative technology has led marketers to focus on new channels rather than traditional media. Technology is reshaping the traditional marketing landscape by allowing marketers to create more personalized digital experiences for consumers.

Today, digital devices and other technology are more readily available, meaning consumers are spending more time online. Companies can gather more data on their consumers, which helps them understand consumers on deeper levels and connect with them more authentically.

Thanks to individuality and diversification, consumers no longer covet certain products over others. To stand out from the crowd, marketers must create personalized digital experiences to meet consumers’ rising expectations for meaningful connections with brands. It’s not only about finding attention, but also maintaining it. 

Before, consumers were an afterthought to a good product or service. Now, they’re at the forefront of many marketing decisions made possible by the rise of technology and data access. Consumers have more options than ever and can access those options anywhere and at any time. 

At the same time, marketers have more access to consumers than ever. Platforms such as Google Analytics allow marketers to collect large amounts of data, organize it, and create actionable insights. By knowing how to properly access and use this data, marketers can make better business decisions, resulting in a win-win for both companies and consumers.

The Importance of Data Accessibility

Let’s start from the beginning. To use the data available to you, you must get familiar with data science. Once familiar, you can turn data into personalized consumer experiences. To do this, set specific business goals and tie personalization efforts into them. Then, implement dynamic audience segmentation to enable individualized online experiences. By employing the power of data science and AI, you can enable predictive personalization at scale and inspire consumer loyalty.

In many cases, there is often so much data that a single marketer can’t manage it all by themselves. That is why AI in digital marketing is so important. AI can collect, tag, organize, and analyze millions of data points, giving you deeper, more actionable insights into your consumer base’s wants and needs. Using AI in digital marketing means you no longer have to waste valuable time sifting through data and can focus on consumer experience optimization instead.

This is critical, as only 45% of marketing professionals surveyed by Ascend2 have a strategy in place to achieve unified marketing data. However, a poll conducted by Harris Poll and Adweek found that more than half (56%) of consumers prefer personalized content, with those numbers jumping up dramatically for Millennials (71%) and Gen Zers (70%).

Barriers to Data Optimization

Although the process of gathering and analyzing data can be streamlined, it doesn’t come without obstacles. Even with AI, obtaining and analyzing millions of data points can be difficult. Fortunately, knowing which challenges to look out for can help you avoid them in the long run.

A big obstacle in data analysis is not collecting high-quality data to begin with. In this landscape, you need detailed data — and lots of it. You also need people who can collect and analyze this data. This is an obstacle because most data scientists go to work for tech giants, leaving retail and consumer goods brands at a disadvantage. Having this capability internally also takes considerable time, but your competitors and consumers won’t wait. If you can’t offer consumers what they want, they’ll likely switch to a company that can.

However, many marketing firms are picking up zero-party and first-party data as alternatives to third-party data to revamp their marketing strategies. In many cases, traditional audience segmentation no longer works. Instead of a one-to-many approach, marketers need to adopt a one-to-one approach. This will be the only way to create personalized digital experiences, and it will go hand in hand with the move away from third-party data.

It is crucial in a fast-paced society to use real-time data for better consumer experience optimization. No longer can you say, “X group of people like this product.” Instead, you must find ways to cater to individuals based on their unique contexts in real-time. Using SMART goals for your marketing plan can streamline this process and add additional clarification. By making your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you can make your data collection and analysis intentional, worthwhile, and ultimately successful.

The Democratization of Data Science

Trends in digital marketing show that intentional data collection and analysis aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Fortunately, the democratization of data science will make predictive capabilities accessible even to those who don’t have full technical capabilities yet. To stay aware of digital marketing trends and create personalized consumer experiences, follow these three guidelines:

1. Identify measurable goals.

First, ask yourself what your overall objective is. Once identified, you can begin brainstorming the steps you must take to meet that goal. If you can establish a specific business objective, you can establish the type of personalized experiences you want consumers to have. Once you’ve gathered more consumer insights for marketing, you will be able to do this much better.

2. Move away from traditional audience segmentation.

Consumers are not happy with a one-to-many approach to marketing any longer. Instead, dynamic segmentation allows you to create much more personalized experiences for your consumers. In the end, this will be more beneficial for consumers and more rewarding for your business.

3. Be predictive.

Predict what your consumers will want and need. Remember, consumers who regularly buy one kind of thing in the winter will probably purchase something entirely different in the summer. Take, for example, a consumer who regularly buys whiskey. A change of weather wouldn’t alter this. But based on the customer’s past purchasing behavior and historical data, you can see and predict that they like to add beer to their orders in the warmer months. Staying on top of details like these makes all the difference in today’s landscape.

With all the ways data is collected and the many marketing trends to stay on top of, it’s important not to lose sight of the end goal. Making wise marketing decisions that will positively impact your consumers and brand is a great place to start, and data accessibility will help make it possible. Creating a personalized marketing strategy for each consumer is necessary in today’s fast-paced, individualistic society. Fortunately, democratizing data will allow non-technical yet data-driven marketers to make the best digital marketing strategies possible to meet their specific consumers’ needs.

Diane Keng

Diane Keng is the CEO and co-founder of Breinify, an AI and predictive personalization engine that helps brands curate dynamic, meaningful experiences for their consumers at scale. Diane is on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for enterprise technology and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, TechCrunch, OZY, and Inc. Magazine. Diane ran three successful businesses before she was 18 and is a noted software innovator who frequently speaks on the intersection of AI, personal data, privacy, and the future of smarter products. Breinify works with retailers and consumer packaged goods brands to enable data science in marketing campaigns that secure 51% year-over-year online sales, 20 times the click rate, and six times the reaction rate.

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