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How to engage customers with creative innovation and technology investment

July 13, 2022

James Stokes (Country Manager UK&I, Infobip) discusses creative innovation in technology and the three key transformations it has led to in CX.

Omnichannel engagement and artificial intelligence are key ingredients for digital interaction. However, the digital space is cluttered and in order to keep customers engaged brands need to invest in creative innovation along with technology.

After, all 76% of consumers say they depend on technology and 93% agree it is the future of communications. But to stand apart creativity needs to go hand-in-hand with technology to create innovative experiences.

The creative industry, including advertising and marketing, has been at the helm of this transformative change. The creative economy is expected to reach a value of $985bn by 2023. This is supported by technology partners helping brands to stay ahead of the curve and their customer’s ever-changing audience behaviors and demands, including:

  • 35% being happier to engage with brands on digital channels since the pandemic started
  • 46% agreeing that technology now plays a greater role in how they engage with brands

This has led to three transformations.

1.) Entertainment boosted by technology

Streaming services saw a meteoric rise during the pandemic but at the same time customers were spoiled for choice – not just by the giants such as Netflix, Spotify and Prime but also by smaller regional players.

This also led to a subscription churn rate of 35%. And on top of that cinemas and traditional television were added to the mix post lockdown. So, how does the entertainment industry stand out?

That’s where AI and customer data comes in.

  • AI helps creators and streaming providers match the right content for their audiences.
  • Customer data platforms help update and store customer preferences—from movies. streamed, or music listened to recommend content tailored to a specific user.
  • Sentiment analysis and chatbots help garner feedback from their customer’s favorite digital channels help contextualize to understand how the audience feels.
  • Marketing automation helps creative campaigns perform better with the ability to measure and track performance.

2.) Shopping becomes conversational

Digital channels were being used for updates, reminders, promotions or support. But imagine if the customer could cover the entire customer journey on their favorite chat app. From signing up, to interacting with ads, getting support and even purchasing? The experience would be conversational.

And enter conversational commerce – a new use case that helps customers interact with brands in an innovative manner on their favorite channels. Leading the way is Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp with new interactive shopping experiences that blends creative content with commerce.

For example, with WhatsApp Product Messages you can not only showcase your products with rich media messages but also interact with a salesperson, and shop without leaving the chat. Customers can also visit a shop from a business’ Instagram profile, feed, or Stories – and can browse products, explore collections, and purchase products seamlessly through the in-app browser.

3.) Events become phygital

Venues are opening up again and seeing the bustle of people, but at the same time customers are looking for convenience and comfort. This is where immersive experiences including live streaming and AR/VR come in.

  • You could live stream to reach a broader audience on the digital channels they prefer.
  • Mobile apps or social networks can help people find each other and network during events.
  • Meet and greets could be conducted over chat apps and perks could be availed via QR codes.

For example, Warner Bros hosted a virtual party for their film In the Heights on Roblox. The party brought to life the Washington Heights neighborhood with music, dance, and Latin American culture in the virtual world.

Finally the emergence of metaverse

There has been a lot of talk about the metaverse, but what does it mean? This means a digital space combining platforms, experiences, customers, and marketplaces where interactions take place in 3D, via AR or VR.

Our CEO Silvio Kutić said: “During 2022, increased understanding of the metaverse concept will compel businesses to consider how they prepare for a digital world characterized by augmented and virtual reality shared spaces. The metaverse will be a place where customers and businesses connect – for commerce, for brand events, for community gatherings, for support. Businesses need to be relevant and useful in these spaces, perhaps building environments where customers can learn and get the help they need. Troubleshooting is a great example. Guiding customers through complex steps can be hard work but VR will make the process so much easier for both customers and agents.”

Gartner predicts that 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse by 2026, and metaverse technology platforms are predicted to be valued at $800bn by 2024, according to a Bloomberg report.

Trends like conversational commerce, phygital events, and AI fuelled engagement will lead us to more innovative and creative experiences powered by technology.