Marketing is eating up more of the sales funnel than ever before. Before they even speak to your sales team, customers will have progressed more than 70% of the way toward their purchase decision. How? They will have checked out your website, read some blog posts, looked at sales videos, checked your ‘About us’ page, perhaps downloaded an eBook. They will have checked out your social media channels or subscribed to your newsletter. Simply put, they will have interacted with your content.
Chatbots - artificial intelligence systems that interact with people via text, speech or instant messaging apps - have been on the up for a while now. Today, the global chatbot market takes in marketing, payments, processing and technical support, and according to a report by Grand View Research, approximately 45% of customers prefer chatbots as a mode of communication for customer services. According to LivePerson, only 19% of customers actually dislike chatbots; most are indifferent, as long as their issues are resolved. In a recent Oracle survey, 80% of C-level marketing, sales and strategy execs said they already used chatbots or planned to use them by 2020.
How do you prepare for the unpredictable? That’s the situation millions of business owners find themselves in with Britain’s impending exit from the European Union in October 2019. The best preparation for Brexit, in our opinion, is to focus on the fundamentals. In this series, we explore the best ways business leaders can prepare for one of the biggest political, societal and economic shifts in decades. Our focus this time: Pricing. One likely outcome of Brexit, according to leading economists, is that costs will rise. There could also be damaging currency fluctuations. As such, a focus on your pricing strategy is essential.
Digital marketing is marketing delivered through digital channels. As a term, it covers search engine optimisation, websites, social media, email newsletters and mobile apps. It’s broad, diffuse, and often demands specialist skills and experience that come from dedicated personnel. However, a lot of digital specialists aren’t marketers. They’re not strategists. And they tend to view success on their own terms: if they’ve got you the views, likes and shares, their job is done. They’re not thinking in terms of money spent and money gained, and they sometimes struggle to prove the return on investment - how their activity impacts the business’ bottom line.
Driven by headlines about self-driving cars, robot-run factories and fully automated call centres, businesses are spending an awful lot on AI - the sector is expected to be worth $1.2 trillion by 2020. It’s easy for business leaders to be swept up in the hype and think, “we need to get in on this”. Is that actually true? Maybe. AI is definitely disrupting industries across the board. In agriculture, its ability to track events and make predictions is helping to address labour shortages by directing personnel to where they’re needed; in retail and tech support, AI powers chatbots which automate frequently asked questions and data collection, saving human man-hours for where they’re needed.