A new research from Phrasee shows that brand language is increasing in importance for marketers, but the majority of them are reportedly feeling more stressed over creating high-quality content amidst constant change over the last one year to suit customer demand. The research also indicates an increasing appetite for, and faith in, new technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) to alleviate these challenges.
The survey that polled more than 300 senior marketers at large organizations in industries including ecommerce, travel and hospitality, restaurants, communications, telecom utilities, and BFSI reveals that even though 9 out of 10 senior marketers agree that brand language is a core part of marketing strategy, constant change has marketers feeling challenged to consistently develop on-brand, sensitive messaging.
Sixty-one percent believe they struggle to keep brand language interesting and engaging and 68% are under more stress about striking the right tone compared to a year ago. Another 55% consider a lack of resources one of the internal barriers that prevent the creation of good content.
“The challenge marketers face now is optimizing and scaling their brand language for maximum impact across the customer journey, all while staying true to that unique voice,” says Parry Malm, CEO of Phrasee.
Malm however sees signs of growing pains. Finding, fine-tuning, and scaling a brand voice while staying true to the company’s vision is a delicate balancing act at the best of times. Pair this with the resource-draining ecommerce chaos of the early 2020s, and what you have is high-wire havoc.
Brands are not doing enough to test, iterate and optimize the messages they deliver to their audiences, driven in part by a lack of top management support, says the report. Only about one in four marketers does any testing to understand what’s resonating with customers. Also nearly half or 48% of marketers consider testing too time-consuming and nearly a third claims that top management does not support their trial of new technology.
“Sure enough, marketers are stressed, under pressure, and increasingly ready to turn to AI technology to solve their problems,” he agrees.
As Jen Capstraw, Founder of Women of Email believes the vast majority of marketers don’t have a solid grasp on testing and optimization fundamentals. When they are able, they’re going through the motions of rudimentary tests without accomplishing much. Bad testing advice is widespread. And many testing tools aren’t designed to compensate for marketers’ lack of optimization expertise.”
“Now more than ever, brands need to be able to forge deeper customer experiences with on-brand, personalized, and optimized message copy to meet customers where they are and in the moment,” says Anthony Chiulli, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Iterable.
“Leveraging AI-powered copy optimization can maximize engagement and manifest your unique brand tone to enrich customer experiences at scale. Business leaders need to take full advantage of tech solutions that improve consistency with their brand and increase efficiencies across digital touch points with their customers,” he says.
The silver lining is that most marketers agree that data-led approaches would improve the impact of brand voice on the customer experience, with trust in AI increasing, according to the study. Nearly 82% believe that their organization would benefit from data that provides insights into how consumers respond to brand language.
AI is playing an increasing role in marketers’ technology investment, with three in five (63%) saying they would consider investing in AI to generate and optimize copy – an increase from only 36% of respondents in 2020. Compared to a year ago, 65% of marketers have more trust that AI can help generate desirable brand language, the study says.
“Constant turbulence and a lack of resources have made this already time-consuming task even more difficult, with most senior marketers struggling to keep customers consistently engaged across all digital channels. Our survey results show an increasing willingness to turn to data-led approaches to solve these issues, but it remains to be seen whether brands will follow through on their intentions.”
As Blake Miller, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce, explains, “Customer relationships are built moment by moment. It’s really about creating personalized engagement that shifts, moves, and evolves based
on who the customer is, the content they interact with, and what they’re interested in.”
According to him, “To build lasting relationships, marketers should use data to deliver relevant content throughout customers’ journeys with the brand and AI/automation to optimize content for real-time personalization, based on customers’ engagement, to ensure meeting customer expectations.”
In short, while businesses increasingly recognize the importance of brand language to the customer experience, a number of limitations are testing these good intentions. Marketers are missing the resources, the data insights, and in some cases the tech know-how to be able to stay on-brand and keep customers consistently engaged across channels. As Malm says, make their unique brand voice heard, marketers need to have the quality content to back it up. “The question they need to ask themselves is, are they doing enough to ensure their customers are consistently hearing, recognizing, understanding, and downright dancing to it?”
Malm believes, it’s a tale as old as time: as the pressure on resources increases, so too does our drive to seek the help of technology. Time will tell, though, as to whether this is a breakthrough – the turning point at which technology such as AI and marketing combine to fulfill the potential of brand language.
“Our data suggests we might be on the cusp, but that methods and mindsets will need to change at the top level before we reach a watershed moment,” he concludes.