With the new year in full swing, my wonderful colleagues — the
marketing experts here at Convince & Convert — came up with
23 ideas for making your marketing and customer experience AMAZING
In no particular order, here are our favorite
recommendations for making 2019 your best year yet. These are
the things that not many companies are doing well, but if you do,
you will be sure to crush your competition this year. Let’s
Jay Baer, Founder, Convince
1. Leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning
as part of your content
2019 will be the year that
artificial intelligence and machine learning are leveraged by a
meaningful number of companies to reverse-engineer the success of
their content marketing, using tools like Ceralytics and others.
2. Create experiences that are talkable to
cost-effectively grow your business.
2019 will be the year that a meaningful number of companies
truly embrace the notion that customer experience is the most
powerful form of customer acquisition. Yes, you need to be good at
content marketing and social media and all the rest. But if you
deliver an experience that’s talkable, your customers become
volunteer marketers, and
word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective (and
cost-effective) way to grow any business.
3. Boost your social media performance with artificial
2019 will also be the year that
artificial intelligence and machine learning are leveraged by a
meaningful number of companies to reverse-engineer the success of
their organic and paid social, using tools like Pattern89 and others.
Zontee Hou, Senior Analyst
4. Perform consistency audits to make sure that your
entire digital ecosystem is telling a complete, compelling
In the high-paced digital world of 2019, your customers will
scrutinize all of your touchpoints as part of their
customer experience. Be sure that you’re performing
consistency audits in the new year to make sure that your entire
digital ecosystem is telling a complete, compelling story that
serves your audience. Your CX isn’t just the message though,
it’s also the load time, the smoothness of hand-off, and the ease
of use. Make sure that your team understands how your
audience uses your products, so they can make them even
better. For instance, web hosting service Bluehost’s
pop-out help module actually activates a layer on top of their
website to guide you step-by-step to the right tool, when you
select a question. That’s forward-thinking customer
5. Connect with your audience in social media with
conversations and based on their interests.
Conversational marketing is going to impact customer
expectations in social media. Yes,
chatbots are going to continue to grow, but it’s also about
social media marketing that responds to the customers. Do your ads
retarget your customers based on their interests, not just their
purchase history? Does your social customer care team use
customers’ information to give them more thoughtful service?
Best-in-class brands are already in these spaces. Are
Anna Hrach, Analyst
6. Create experiences that will be meaningful across
your own customers’ journeys.
Stop thinking like a marketer. Instead, take a step back
and look at customer experiences you genuinely appreciate or were
pleasantly surprised by. Think about why it made an impact
on you and how it made your experience with a brand better. Then,
try to replicate those feelings and experiences by translating them
in ways that will be meaningful across your own
7. Your content marketing should focus on doing more
It’s time to do more with way less. Over the last 10 years,
companies have been investing more and more in content marketing to
create more and more. Instead of racking your brain for new
ideas, spend time figuring out what you can reuse,
repurpose or remix. Is there an old blog that has
become relevant again? Republish it and bring it to the top, so new
audiences can see it. Have an outdated ebook that still has some
solid content? Refresh it with some light updates, instead of
starting from scratch. Have a huge piece of content that took a ton
of time and money? Break it up into smaller pieces, like an
infographic, designed quote, webinar and more.
Jenny Magic, Analyst
8. There’s a goldmine of great marketing ideas and
stories in your company — they just might not be in the marketing
2019 will be the year that we finally bring the ops teams into
marketing — no longer just tapping our customer-facing employees
for story ideas and inputs, but asking them to BE the story.
Companies will begin looking to employees who are challenging
scripts and breaking the mold in how they do their jobs and serve
customers. These insights should be the fuel for innovations the CX
and marketing teams scale.
9. Tap into your best influencers: your
In 2019 companies will finally realize that their best
influencers are right under their nose – their employees.
Millennials already are the largest segment in the workplace.
Within the next two years, 50% of the U.S. workforce is expected to
be made up of Millennials. It will be 75% by 2030, according to the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These employees want to work
somewhere they can make an impact (over 3/4 would take a pay cut to
work somewhere that matches their values), and companies that can
get their staff connected with their why and excited about the
story will find an army of influencers willing to proudly do the
word of mouth/influencer work they’ve had to beg for (or pay for)
in years past.
Kelly Santina, Head of
Operations & Media
10. Remember, customer experience starts with employee
As we work with more and more brands and partners in the
customer experience space, it has opened my eyes that the
customer experience is very much influenced by the employee
experience as the first step. Ensuring your organization
is investing in the resources, tools and personal connections of
your employees will in most cases do more for your customer
experience than any other effort. At C&C, we are a virtual
company, and we place extreme importance of personal relationships
and through tools that help us stay connected across time zones.
When our team is happy and satisfied, our client work exceeds
11. Social media success starts with planning and
Invest the budget and training time into a great social media
monitoring tool and a content calendar tool. Finding one that fits
your organization and team is worth the investment in time and
money, trust me!
Mary Nice, Senior Analyst
12. Get back to the roots of what makes your company
2019 is going to bring people back to the roots of what makes
hour company awesome. Take time to understand that your operation
is what makes your organization awesome, and the experience is the
one thing you can control. In turn, marketing and operations teams
should become closer than ever.
13. Have your organic and paid social teams work
2019 is going to bring the integration of paid and organic
social teams. As organic continues to decline, social marketers
have to know paid and paid teams must know what content makes
social advertising successful. These can no longer be done in a
14. Get more email unsubscribes—really.
Yes, that’s counter-intuitive. But the truth is, list size is
a false metric. (Yes, you may have to explain that to your boss.)
The one exception would be businesses who derive revenue based on
CPM advertising, but for most organizations, there are more
important metrics, like engagement and corresponding KPIs.
A bloated list of disengaged subscribers messes up your
email performance metrics. Those who are truly disengaged
are just diluting the actual metrics you use to optimize your
performance. Ten thousand disengaged subscribers will completely
obfuscate the real learnings for the 100 that are engaged. If there
has been no click-through in the prior 12 months, initiate a
last-chance re-engagement campaign, and if still no response, purge
and archive them
15. Your customers’ expectations are increasing. The
most competitive companies will exceed them.
Tesla. If you are unfamiliar, this fledgling (15-years actually)
automobile manufacturer does almost everything differently than
their long-established competitors. Yes, their cars are all
electric, they have no dealerships, and they want to own their
customer relationship, start to finish. Between start and
finish, there is service. Unlike the traditional auto dealership
service and repair facilities, Tesla does not intend to make a
profit from the servicing of their vehicles. It’s designed to NOT
be a profit center on the books. Heresy, most experts would
Instead, Tesla provides a gambit of services at no cost to the
owners, even out of warranty. They come to your house or business
for a majority of service calls. Stop and read that again. For
example, a Tesla Ranger (mobile service technician) comes to your
house at a scheduled time to repair or replace some part that needs
attention, and often, there is no cost to the owner.
Customers like that. And by raising that bar of customer
service, we customers soon wonder—or even expect–other
industries to behave in a similar fashion. Customer service
is rapidly evolving from what is customary and convenient for the
business, to what is convenient and expected by the
customer. The businesses that most rapidly embrace this
will have a competitive advantage over their competitors… for a
Donna Mostrom, Analyst
16. Show you’re present in real time and connect with
Stories to connect with your audience and customers. Sara Blakely’s
account is an excellent example of how to do this well. She
showed up in Stories on Cyber Monday, and she jumped on Spanx’s
customer service online chat and recorded people’s reactions.
I bought a bunch of unplanned stuff from Spanx that day just so
I could talk to her. It was incredible. If you can
authentically show you’re present in real time doing things for
your customers, it will make a positive impact on how they interact
with you and your brand when you’re not there.
17. Turn unhappy customers into your best, loyal
Focus on service recovery. (Jay calls this “hugging
your haters“). You can’t always provide a stellar
experience for your customers, though that should be your top
priority. We live in a commoditized world full of substitutes,
where it’s easy to lose a customer over one bad experience. And
forgiveness from your customers is not easily won. Companies must
have service recovery plans, combined with an employee empowerment
culture to carry out those plans, to correct mistakes. Service
recovery experience could then be turned into a
talk trigger, too.
Lauren Teague, Analyst
18. Use nostalgia to inspire content and
Sometimes we need to look to the past for inspiration.
Millennials have a clear preference for experiential marketing. Tap
into their memories of adolescence, just like Google did with
Macaulay Culkin’s Home Alone Again advert for the Google
Assistant product. The ad was seasonally relevant (launched at the
holidays, like the original movie setting) and became a viral hit,
earning over 70M views and being named the
top holiday campaign of 2018. Using nostalgia to
inspire content and campaigns, marketers can benefit from a long
history of affinity for beloved memories from the
19. Commit your social strategy to the 3 C’s: clarity,
content and connections.
Social media strategies need to commit to 3 C’s in 2019:
clarity, content and connections. Is your approach to
social media specific and clear to the audience (and internally,
amongst your team)? Clarity allows you to be purposeful
with the content produced and published. Content is the engine of
all social media activity, paid and organic. When audiences
understand the intent of a brand on social, and consume content
that aligns with that purpose, they are more likely to Connect with
the brand. Connections between your audience and brand can be in
the form of reactions, conversation or opting in as a
Kim Corak, Head of Business
20. Activate word of mouth during various points of the
Many SaaS companies (and often B2B in general) have a difficult
time standing out from their competitive set. Rather than
trying to throw money or advertising at the problem, develop a
strategy to help activate word of mouth during various points of
the customer journey. Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin, who quite
literally wrote the book on this strategy, lay out exactly how to
do this and why in their book
Talk Triggers, as well as throughout various (and free!) ebooks
and webinars throughout the site.
21. Invest in continuous training and education to stay
up top of what works and what doesn’t.
It’s very hard for content teams to stay up to date on
all things digital — channels, formats, tools, atomization etc.
— so be sure to pepper education and training throughout the
year. With the water hose of information available and
changes occurring in the industry, ongoing education works better
than a “one and done” approach. For snippets of a wide range of
topics, attending a conference is great but to go deep on a certain
area or heavily customize it for your team, onsite workshops or
web-based training modalities work best.
Chris Anderson, Media &
22. Meet your customer’s needs quickly with chatbots
and other related technology.
2019 will see an increase in the usage of chatbots and other
related technology to communicate with customers and meet their
needs quickly. However, it’s mission critical to support
the technology with the most human influence..