This week, industry leaders in marketing, advertising, media, and technology gathered in New York City for Advertising Week to discuss challenges and opportunities that businesses face today. At the conference, the leaders shared their thoughts and best practices for how businesses can tackle the obstacles they encounter and provide better customer experiences.
One particularly popular topic at the conference is how businesses can leverage messaging effectively to better serve customers.
In the Next Generation Messaging Companies session, Zingle founder and CEO Ford Blakely joined two other technology software founders Elias Guerra (Popwallet) and Keith Rinzler (1Q) to discuss how messaging can help businesses reach more customers than ever before.
Here are 3 key takeaways from the session.
1) Businesses Have Challenges Adopting Messaging
With Over 20 billion texts sent every day globally, it’s obvious that every business should be using messaging to communicate with consumers. But what’s holding some of them back?
Education seems to be a factor for businesses adopting text messaging. It’s not businesses don't know the value of messaging, it’s that they don’t know how to roll out a messaging program it in an organized way. Since messaging for businesses is somewhat new, businesses are still trying to figure out how they can effectively handle large message volumes and still provide a personalized service to their customers.
Another factor is that some businesses don’t take the time to understand consumer behavior to build personalized messaging programs. Leveraging data and surveying customers is one thing that businesses need to do more to truly understand how customers want to be communicated with, especially with younger ones.
2) Messaging is All About Context
Text messaging is supposed to be personal. Like the concept of impersonal spam email, mass blasting irrelevant text messages to customers may cause your business to lose customers. Businesses need to make sure that when they send any type of text message, it needs to be not only relevant but sent at the right time.
Again, leveraging customer data and behavioral trends can help provide the context businesses need to send more relevant and personalized messages. For example, based on the browsing behavior on their website, an ecommerce retailer could send out a text message to the visitor an hour later for an item that customer did not purchase. This is what relevancy and context are all about.
3) Artificial Intelligence in Messaging is Coming Soon
AI is a buzzword that has been thrown around in many industries promising a better experience for consumers. However, as Keith Rinzler from 1Q pointed out, “How many times have you yelled at Siri?” I thought this was quite funny as this morning I asked Siri to give me the weather and it kept telling me it didn't understand what I was asking. It was quite frustrating.
AI has a place in practically all applications in business, but few understand how to apply it to their business. Zingle founder and CEO Ford Blakely believes that “AI will be a major component in messaging but it’s not there yet”. “It’s all about marrying AI with an authentic customer experience,” said Blakely.
It’s all about marrying AI with an authentic customer experience.
There is no denying that messaging will reshape the future of customer experience and businesses need to start taking it seriously. But to do it right, the perfect balance between automation and personal conversations will be important for businesses to create a long-lasting relationship with today’s consumers.