Many of the processes and benefits associated with these and other current circumstances are already part of the expectations of numerous web users. As a company, it is essential to embrace this at the marketing level. Even in business areas where new communication channels and the digital future in general are still less firmly anchored, corresponding factors hold immense potential. The latter is particularly evident in the unique position in the respective market often given by their consideration as well as a signal of an obvious future orientation towards (potential) customers. Last but not least, the consideration of such options guarantees a future-proof future for the company in case of a further establishment of such options. Three of today's very relevant features of the digital future are voice search, chatbots and next-best-action methods, which can sometimes also be applied via already common and established social media, email marketing or other corporate communication channels.
A large part of today's communication in marketing already takes place via the Internet, business - also in B2B companies - is primarily initiated there, artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible to meet the general demand for high-quality information more efficiently than ever before and ever new (AI) systems provide ever more sophisticated simplifications, automated optimizations, etc.. In a business context, all of this can contribute to a significant increase in customer satisfaction, among other things.
The spread of voice assistants, such as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, etc., is advancing inexorably. This is no longer a completely new evolutionary stage for user interfaces - however, the corresponding options are becoming increasingly interesting for users and companies due to the now much more mature technology. Voice marketing will gain immense relevance, especially due to the likely further strong increase in the use of voice-based applications. According to a survey by the market researchers at Comscore, a whopping 50 percent of all customer search queries will be made via voice input in 2020. Pindrop surveyed 500 IT and business decision-makers in the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany on the subject, and it emerged that 84 percent of the companies in question would like to make greater use of voice technologies in the future. The terms "Voice Search", "Internet of Voice", "Smart Voice" or "Digital Voice Assistants" have been hotly debated for a long time and their considerable marketing relevance is undisputed. Nevertheless, many companies do not yet know how to use these developments effectively for their own purposes. At the moment, voice search is still more interesting for less complex searches, for example for weather forecasts, sports results, recipes, addresses or opening hours. However, this will change very soon - especially as a result of the increasing customer use of such options. Sooner or later, it should be possible to make very complex enquiries or even make increasingly efficient purchases by voice control. According to a study by Yext, 16 percent of Germans already use voice commands for online shopping. But not only in B2C, but also in B2B communication, such processes will become more and more normal in the near future and thus part of the expectations of (potential) customers.
Companies that want to remain competitive should definitely take voice search and related voice SEO seriously. In the latter context, it is more important than ever to produce unique, value-added content, which must now be even more structured and, above all, geared towards the natural language of the respective target group. Likewise, in this context, long-tail keywords, which are primarily used in speech input, as well as the answering of concrete W-questions, which Google and Co. prefer to take into account for speech output, and last but not least a marking of important passages in this regard via shema markup, take central positions. In addition, the focus should be increasingly on mobile content and the local searches that often accompany it.
Chatbots can actually be described as a logical consequence of general trends and currents of the modern increasingly web-centric world. On the one hand, (potential) customers today - despite a spatial separation advancing in all areas due to digitalization - want the most personal support possible. On the other hand, due to the central position of new communication channels such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, they have become accustomed to corresponding chat-based conversational orientations and often no longer want to do without them. Chatbots working with artificial intelligence combine these factors in their procedures and offer users and companies various (economic) advantages and new marketing opportunities. Chatbots automatically analyze user input and provide suitable answers. This can and should always be done via different target group-specific channels. Of course, users are not left to their own devices with this new technology. Various tools are offered to guide those through the conversation and a human contact is (at best) never far away. In the process, these AI-based systems are constantly learning, allowing them to answer more and more specific questions over time. Humans cannot (yet) be completely left out of the equation, but valuable human resources are much more efficiently deployed via this automated optimization. Nevertheless, the personal level that is so important today is taken into account. In addition, chatbots form customer-oriented support constants across multiple channels and thus optimally contribute to a holistic customer-friendly customer journey.
Next Best Action systems are already relatively widespread in B2C - and their advantages are also increasingly being recognized in B2B. Not only can dates, such as birthdays or wedding anniversaries, be precisely targeted with suitable offers, but recurring industry purchases or corresponding advanced products can also be brought to the customer. The goal of such proactive actions should always be the most service-oriented, customer-friendly orientation possible, which ultimately leads to a massive increase in customer satisfaction. Such measures based on artificial intelligence know the individual customer requirements even before the customers themselves become aware of them. Those companies that are aware of their customers' requirements in detail can tailor their communication with them exactly accordingly. This is exactly what Next-Best-Action-Marketing has to take into account or transfer to central communication mechanisms in order to increase the hit probability for future events and to be able to proceed more and more precisely. At the end of the analytics and usually numerous tests, there is a customer loyalty plan that combines all relevant factors in the respective next-best-action system.
A simple comparison should illustrate the relevance: A good service employee is well aware of what food and beverages regular customers prefer. This knowledge is decisive, for example, in deciding whether to offer his guests another drink or a dessert for dessert. These simple marketing measures to increase customer satisfaction lead to a direct and long-term optimization of sales. The application of Next Best Action systems has a similar effect on existing B2B customers. A positive customer experience is the name of the game. For example, it can be determined very efficiently whether a lead should receive a whitepaper, an invitation to a webinar or a phone call in the next step. The big advantage here is that these actions are largely automated.
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