As the new year gets underway, we spoke to the team at OglivyOne UK to find out what’s next for customer engagement in 2018.

 

Jo Coombs, CEO at OgilvyOne UK

The future customer experience is plural, individualized and empathetic – and will mirror the needs of the customer. The most successful brands will be those that instigate a conversation that allows for this in the context of personal data, so that consumers both trust and utilize a brands customer engagement offering. Ideally, the journey should be one that people opt into in a bid to get the most from their brands of choice.

The AI & machine learning element of customer engagement will create additional tools to those we saw in 2017, such as chatbots and phone trees, for brands this means even further opportunity to provide more efficient & personalized experiences. The challenge will be for those in the driver’s seat to apply the right mental experience models, and continue to test and iterate on the experience.

Brian Jensen, Chief Strategy Officer at OgilvyOne UK

Based on 2017, predicting what will happen feels like a fool’s errand. Instead, here are my hopes for 2018.

We renew our curiosity and passion about what really matters to customers. We rediscover the fun in customer engagement: the hunt for meaning for people and the new ways to show them the value of brands in their lives.

We nurture the renaissance in Loyalty and see if we mine the new value for loyalty marketing in the post-Sharp world. We have to address the fact that people want to feel valued by the companies they do business with. 

Demographics disappear and we create experiences around what makes people unique, not what meets their lowest common denominators. We get smarter about "who and why", not just the "when and where" that seduced media owners.

We prove that our great customer engagement work works. We become more consistent and methodical about proving the value of engagement across the customer journey to both brand equity and the client’s bottom line. 

We prove the immense dividends of increasing the diversity of our people. People who will already know why inclusivity is good for our business, our clients and the experiences we create for the full spectrums of our customers.

We continue to uncover the brilliant possibilities in AI and machine learning and learn to contain the negative impacts it will have on people’s livelihoods (including our own!)

The death of ‘the death of….’ in our industry press and thinking which makes people hesitant to try new things.

Charlie Wilson, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer at OgilvyOne UK

As customer data grows exponentially and becomes more and more connected, our knowledge and understanding of our customers deepens. This allows us a more omni-channel approach to engagement where a customers experience of the brand is seamless between web, social, phone, outdoor, TV, face to face and more.

But as all brands master an omni-channel approach, it's the brands that master the art of cultural context that will stand out. What are our customers interested in, what do they care about, what truly matters to them? And how is a brand relevant to that?

It's cultural and emotional personalisation that will make a brand truly matter to its customers.

 

For more thoughts on the year ahead, read O&M London's predictions for advertising in 2018 here

Coley Porter Bell also share their predictions for brand design in 2018 here.

Read OgilvyOne Business' B2B new years resolutions here.