Get Your Internet Market Ready | Trends for 2017
Every company has a website, and every consumer knows how to access it. This global network of computers is very much a “web,” capturing and transmitting data anywhere in the world.
/noun/ A general term used to describe a global network of computers used to transmit information. The most familiar aspect of the Internet is the World Wide Web, which consists of various interlinked websites.
Your business has to look good online, and you need to make everything available for your customers where they want it, when they want it across a variety of platforms, including computers, phones and tablets.
It’s not going backwards, only forwards.
If you are behind today, you will be more behind tomorrow. If you do not catch up you will become obsolete, no longer relevant and out of business.
According to the Market Ready Index, most business-to-business Internet (column 5) is scoring 38.0, although the 2017 target score is 69.0 – a variance of -31.0. Overall, the average B2B scores 40.5, 25.4 lower than the 65.9 target score. Based on best practices, these scores provide a metric for comparison.
Internet Trends for 2017
As all things Internet continues to evolve based on advancements in technology and customer behaviors, there are some trends that could create more engagement in your communications.
CSS Web Design
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the way web designers are impacting the content that fills in a blank web page. It’s more than just making content responsive to a browser, its adaptive to the user and device.
Customers are accustomed to a digital lifestyle and the new advances in CSS, so the stage is set for designers and marketers to become much more comfortable with non-traditional layouts.
Consumers are more willing—excited even—to try a new and unique experiences. Adding something new and unique can get them to try yours.
Think “Artificial Intelligence invades Customer Service.”
The tone and personality of the chatbot will contribute to the brand experience (think of Siri, Alexa) and help differentiate one company from another just like the personality of a celebrity impacts perception (Think Progressive’s Flo versus Farmer’s Professor JK Simmons).
Companies across industries will use the convergence of messaging platforms, chatbots, and increasingly powerful AI to create friendly interactions with customers. Gartner projects that chatbots will account for more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human by 2020.
Chatbots are also expected to be the No. 1 consumer applications of AI (artificial intelligence) over the next five years.
- Taco Bell’s TacoBot lets customers order on Slack chat.
- Sephora lets customers skip a trip to the store by fulfilling makeup orders on the messaging app Kik.
- Ticketmaster customers can now use a new website chat widget to ask questions regarding their order or learn about other events of interest through the automated recommendations function.
More Personal Content
A mail merged form letter or including their name in the subject line of an email won’t cut it. Neither will those retargeted ads that follow them across the Internet. Consumers are getting too smart for that.
Consumer expectations are trending toward hyper-personalized communications. The trend of human-centric design, writing, and marketing will become even more niche, with consumer expectations trending toward hyper-personalized communications.
Consumers want authentic, human experiences, but they want them tailored to their wants, needs, and aspirations. Personalized digital experiences that learn and grow with consumers (AI, CRM), tailoring messaging and design based on where they are on path to purchase.
Interactive content that gathers information from consumers in a fun and unobtrusive way, which can then be used for tailored communications and experiences. Look for an increase in one-to-one communication, whether it’s person-to-person or person-to-chatbot.
The more sophisticated our consumers become, the more we have to know how to cut through the noise and market to them in a way that connects.
Getting Market Ready for 2017
Understanding where your Internet presence is today is a first step in making the decisions and changes that can help you compete in the marketplace. The Market Ready Index™ Self-Assessment is a free (beta) resource that helps you understand where your Internet, and other channels of Communication, is today.
It also provides benchmarks for B2B, B2C and NonProfit organizations to better understand how they compare to other businesses, just like them.
The point of all of this is that if you are really trying to make a different this year, then you’ll have to do something different this year. A subjective evaluation is a start, an objective evaluation is a next step. Get real about how prepared your business is to compete and you’ll stand a much better chance in reaching your goals. – kp