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CX Trends Marketers Need To Consider In 2022

by on December 22, 2021 in Digital Marketing, Marketing

Customer experience (CX) has been an aspect of marketing greatly impacted by the ongoing effects of the coronavirus crisis, not least because consumer expectations have fluctuated and changed wildly in a comparatively short space of time. CX is a growing discipline and something that all businesses need to be ‘on top of’ if they’re to maintain competitive advantage, but in such unsettled times, which trends should they prioritise and which should they avoid? No longer is basic customer service and advertising an acceptable approach to winning consumers. For brands to outshine their competitors, they must champion an all-encompassing experience and every available touchpoint must be planned and perfected consistently.

The 2022 CX trends report by Feefo, the consumer review and analysis platform, has looked back on developments in the sector over 2021 and made predictions for the year ahead. There’s no expected pause in the tumult seen across customer appetites and attitudes, or in the impacts of the continuing pandemic, but there are some elements of CX that seem a safe bet for businesses to focus on.

Tailoring CX to individual users

Arguably, marketers are in a better position now than ever to tailor their communications and product/service offerings to make them personalised, appropriate, current and relevant to their consumers across channels – as they have more ways in which to do so and more opportunities with which to do it. While initially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic there was a lull in consumer expectations for business-as-usual services (everyone appreciated that businesses were functioning as best they were able to and tolerated unsettlement and service differentiation for several months), this is no longer the case and customers have resumed their hopes for high standards (with some reasonable adjustments made as required).

Changing data usage

The use of data gathered online to inform marketing strategies across various digital channels has included the use of third-party cookies for several years. Third-party cookies are tracking cookies set by a website other than the one the user is currently on. However, from 2023, Google will be eliminating the use of these cookies and effectively ending them across the whole internet, given their monopoly in the market. This means that in the new year, provided they haven’t already, marketers will need to prioritise switching their data collection for customer insight purposes from third-party cookies to first-party data. This will allow companies to facilitate a continued and seamless CX across online channels well into a cookie-less future, as they use data that has been willingly and consensually given to them by their users. This is a considerably more complex process than the usage of third-party cookies and so simply must be prioritised by those intending to provide great CX digitally. Marketers can cleverly and (somewhat) covertly gather such data and may need to get creative to do so. Most marketers will already be working in this space to some extent as the cookie elimination was due in 2022 – but its year-long delay until full implementation does buy more time for those that as of yet are not.

Managing customer insights while remaining mindful of customer privacy

Predictive customer insights are expected to become mainstream in 2022, as they are used by more businesses than ever as part of their CX arsenal to provide exemplary and hyper-personalised services. Customer insights can provide hugely helpful information when planning marketing campaigns and approaches. However, with data scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica drama having been picked up by mainstream media, the public is more aware of their rights and accepted data usage than ever. This presents marketers with the challenge of balancing consumer expectations for personalised services with the privacy and security levels not just dictated by law, but also by industry best practices. There is undoubtedly a paradox between personalisation and privacy but skilled marketers will be able to navigate this and present expertly curated offerings through 2022 and beyond – exceeding expectations and delighting customers time and time again.

Providing marketers are granted the freedom to cater for their customers’ needs and wants in ways that are creative and clever, and not just pushed to sell-sell-sell, their businesses should flourish through 2022. There is no doubt that the pandemic rolling on will continue to impact everyone both personally and professionally but when trusted to do best for their customers, marketers will be able to shine – demonstrating once again that putting the customer at the heart of their roles always pays off.

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