As we close out 2022 and look to the future of digital engagement, we’re surrounded by more powerful tools that are getting easier to use. Here are a few trends we see coming for digital engagement in 2023.
We’re all familiar with AI-based analytics and predictions, but now—the ability to use AI to actually create. AI can write content for you, AI can now create whatever image may be in your mind. It’s a low-effort way to generate interest in your email, your blog, and your website. Over time, copywriters and designers will need to pivot to embracing these tools to at least start their work—and then enhance and adjust based on their human intuition. It should move the entire industry forward.
For marketing teams who are stretched thin and don’t have access to creative teams—they’ll find themselves using Stable Diffusion (open source, local AI) or DALL-E 2 to create images for their emails instead of searching Google Images or Getty Images for what they need.
For example: “Emails flying through the air in a futuristic city, DALL-E 2, https://labs.openai.com/”
Or, “Envelopes in a realistic tornado with lightning, DALL-E 2, https://labs.openai.com/”
We’re also seeing new systems capable not just of storing massive amounts of data, but also drawing connections among data sources to connect that data back to the human being who generated it. Commercial industries, nonprofits, hospitals, universities, etc. are currently spending millions to build these databases in the form of advanced CRM and CDP systems—but haven’t yet identified what they’re planning to do with that data. That’s the next step. The data itself isn’t valuable. Having a centralized view of the customer is the logical thing that everyone should have—but organized data isn’t the end goal. The real question is, “Now what?” How will we meet the needs of our customers, constituents, students, and members with this data? How will we meet the overarching needs of our company, nonprofit, association, hospital, or university with this data?
Automated, Personalized Emails
That’s where digital engagement is the VALUE you derive from the data. Every single function that you perform with data needs to have some kind of digital engagement activity associated with it. And again—it’s not the platform itself that provides the value. It’s not even the ability to send an email, an SMS, a social media post, an advertisement—it’s the messages that you create to achieve an end that benefits your subscribers and your organization.
The consolidated data allows you to identify WHO we want to communicate with at their inflection points in their relationship. It allows you to identify WHEN we need to communicate with them—at just the right moment in time. It allows you to identify WHERE we should be communicating with them, via email, SMS, social, and ads. And finally, it allows you to send messages to your subscribers that are WARM. We already have access to tools that can use these data points to create automated messages that meet all of these needs, it’s just a matter of recognizing the ROI of building automations that can take the existing data and perform these actions with it.
“Lots of Data Moving through the inside of a computer, DALL-E 2 https://labs.openai.com/”
Diversify Tasks Between People and Systems
Spend the time to set up systems that let the computers do what they do best, and free up people to do what they do best. Our march into the future is marked by the ever-increasing capability and ease of use of powerful technology. Leaders in many industries are continuing to push business as normal—not recognizing that the world is changing around them. It’s time to recognize these emerging capabilities, hire partners who can help, and build automated systems that can generate messages to the right people, at the right time, on the right channel, in a personalized way that tells them that you know who they are. This will allow your marketing team’s time and energy to be spent trying out new things and to continue to tweak and modify the automations over time.
“People laughing and having fun designing an email layout around a table in a coffee shop, DALLE-2 https://labs.openai.com/ (AI still struggles with images of people—but I’m sure it will improve quickly)”
Our world has changed, and the tools to utilize that change are already here—I’m hopeful that 2023 is an opportunity for all of us to recognize that dynamic, personal, and automated digital engagement is how you actualize real value from your data investments.
Attain Partners – Salesforce and Marketing Cloud Experts
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About the Author
Aaron Beatty is an Associate Director in Attain Partners’ Salesforce Services Group and leads the Digital Engagement team. Aaron has been working with commercial, nonprofit, and higher education clients to help them get the most out of their Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot investments. He loves the opportunity to automate complex tasks in the world of digital engagement, saving clients precious time and energy.