Brevard Nelson, CEO of Caribbean Ideas Synapse
Don’t sleep on the Metaverse
A metaverse, an immersive, self-contained and fully functioning universe that facilitates user-generated content, is always active and exists in real time. Outside of the gaming industry, major brands like Nike, Louis Vuitton, Coca-Cola, Hyundai and Wendy’s, to name a few, have been creating immersive experiences for their audiences. The experiences include anything from brand or product placement, to Augmented Reality integration, to creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as branded collectibles, to simple interactive games. These various platforms offer new ways to interact with your audience and as your target market spends more time on them, you need to find unique ways to reach and engage them.
Tip: Explore the Metaverse and think about how you would like your target audience to interact with your brand. Remember, don’t try to force fit your brand in spaces that are not aligned, take the time to understand the best way to build an experience for your audience. Also, you don’t need to do it alone. Consider partnering with experts in the space or other aligned brands. This will help with the learning curve and in some cases, upfront costs.
Go deeper with your DATA
Marketers have a lot more tools now that can connect seamlessly with multiple platforms that allow them to visualize data and ultimately make it much easier to analyse performance and spot trends.
I have come across many companies that are sitting on a treasure trove of data on their customers and not doing anything with it or only now starting to mine that data and doing trend analysis and creating predictive models. If you combine the empirical data from any research you do and the data collected from your existing customers you can get a much clearer view of your audience, their habits and more importantly you are able to craft your messaging to resonate with them. Not doing this in a data-driven way is akin to a spray and pray approach and is almost an insult to your audience. Capturing data to track the performance of your campaigns and content is very important and a critical input to calculation of your Return on Marketing Investment, which Marketers are quizzed about a lot, especially over the last two years. McKinsey research shows that 45% of CFOs have declined, or not fully funded, a marketing proposal because it didn’t demonstrate a clear line to value. You should use data captured to bolster your business case for your campaigns and budgets.
Tip: A modern marketer needs to be part Einstein, part Picasso and equally strong in both areas. Set up your infrastructure to capture the right data and USE it in your analysis. Also ensure that you set S.M.A.R.T. KPIs
Strengthen your MarTech Stack
Pretty much every aspect of modern marketing now is algorithm-driven, from social media newsfeeds, display ads, social ads, search engine optimization, marketing automation and ultimately, they are optimized to improve user experience.
Having an appreciation of the power of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is critical so you will be left behind if you are not ramping up on these areas, and at least getting functional knowledge so you can work with the ‘techies’. Martech advisor summarizes that “artificial intelligence in marketing uses online and offline customer data along with concepts such as machine learning, natural language processing, social intelligence, to gauge your audiences’ future actions. It allows you to target audiences with the appropriate message at the right time through the relevant marketing medium to guide them through the marketing funnel.”
Some of the Marketing areas that are benefiting from AI and machine learning include:
- Content creation, with AI-driven tools creating sporting, financial and other reports
- Conversational AI, like Chatbots, Digital Assistants
- Audience segmentation through personalization
- Predictive Analysis – spotting trends and anticipating future actions or behaviour
- Automating digital advertising eg programmatic ads
- Using data to get more accurate with Forecasting performance throughout the entire funnel.
Tip: Recalibrate your MarTech Stack, and at a minimum you should understand how the algorithms on various platforms work and have an appreciation of how Artificial Intelligence and machine learning can refine your marketing efforts. Ensure that your team gets the necessary training in these critical areas otherwise you risk disconnecting with your audience
Ride the Audio Waves
The last two years of the pandemic have forced many to be in front their screens (in some cases across multiple devices) and this has resulted in screen fatigue. So as restrictions continue to lift, we will find more consumers opting to tune in to audio content while getting on with their lives. Types of audio content include podcasts, audiobooks, audiograms, social media audio, branded audio channels, internet radio stations and audio streaming services. We saw more of this type of content being created last year, so this year expect more branded content catering for specific audiences.
Tip: Understand the habits and practices of your target audience and how that may have shifted during the pandemic. The beauty of audio content is that it reaches a consumer in a more intimate way than other forms of content marketing and presents a different sensory experience. This is a very cost-effective way to get high quality content to your audience. You can create your own content or sponsor/co-brand existing content.
Balance the Art and Science of Marketing in your Storytelling
Connected to some of the points highlighted before, modern marketers are called upon to capitalize on the efficiencies and intelligence of machine learning and AI without sacrificing the empathy and emotion that resonates with your audience. The technology is important but then you still need creative, talented people to create stories leveraging the data and personalizing content.
Tip: Ensure you are thinking about unique ways to tell stories that will resonate with your audience. You need to stand out from the clutter, and using the data and insights from your intelligence platforms will help you to make that connection with your audience and there will be a higher propensity to convert to become customers or remain loyal.
Brevard Nelson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Caribbean Ideas Synapse. He has over 20 years of experience in the world of Marketing and Communications. He is impassioned by our Caribbean region utilising technology to drive development. When he’s not working with Team Synapse on integrated marketing client strategies, he’s actively giving back to his alma mater, St. Mary’s College as well as the music industry.