Insights: 6 ways to transform customer engagement in 2024
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Insights: 6 ways to transform customer engagement in 2024

Insights: 6 ways to transform customer engagement in 2024

We look at the top trends that will redefine and reshape customer engagement for MEA consumer brands in 2024

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CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

The year 2023 was one of collaboration between marketing and predictive analytics to yield insightful customer engagement.

Strategies such as personalisation, omnichannel, and transactional messaging backed by advanced technologies like Gen AI, AR, and VR made rapid inroads into customer engagement approaches.

In 2024, the focus for organisations will be on leveraging these technologies and pivoting towards some new strategies to improve customer engagement.

Gen AI and AI optimisation: More focused engagement

More and more businesses in 2024 will use Gen AI-powered platforms to create dynamic, personalised content on the go. These platforms have powerful abilities such as pattern recognition that can help with precise micro-segmentation that uses data to create contextual content.

AI systems with their built-in ability to predict buyer behavior from structured data will become a must-have technology in all platforms. AI-based models help recommend suitable products for each customer, in real-time. These recommendations will give enterprises a competitive edge by helping them interact with customers intelligently and in an optimised manner thus increasing personalisation.

Zero and first-party data: A more trustworthy era

The year 2023 ushered in a new era of privacy for customers. The UAE’s Federal Law No 45 started the ball rolling in 2021 to set stricter standards for data privacy and protection. The Personal Data Protection Law will become enforceable from September 2024. The Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence also has set stringent requirements for data protection.

Brands that respond by implementing state-of-the-art customer engagement platforms powered by first-party data and conforming to new privacy regulations will be at the forefront of creating great brand experiences.

Omnichannel engagement: For higher customer wins 

Almost 30 per cent of respondents in a study of customers across the MEA region have said they prefer brand interaction with relevant recommendations and prefer a connected, seamless experience, which involves a phygital interaction.

The distinction between digital and physical channels will reduce further in 2024, thanks to the omnichannel strategy and its customer-centric offerings. For businesses too, it is a magical strategy as it improves customer retention by 91 per ent and LTV by 3.4 per cent.

In 2024, the new digital landscape will accept this sweetheart deal where the customer’s buying experience will be seamless and consistent across multiple touchpoints, and the marketer will see healthier bottom lines

Marketers that integrate Whatsapp into their omni-channel strategy will stay ahead of the game because of its global reach and multilingual feature. It is also trusted by users and enables easy payment.

Hyper-personalisation: For relevant customer engagement

According to the same survey, 30 per cent of customers gave their top vote for a brand that understands them and their needs. The same number of customers are ready to share their data only if it is used to personalise their experiences.

Hyper-personalisation requires sensitive customer data which customers are tentative to part with. What will bring cheer to marketers in 2024 is customers’ readiness to share their data in exchange for hyper-personalised experiences. And the fact that personalisation reduces their customer acquisition cost by half.

In 2024, personalisation and privacy will become two faces of the same coin, and customers will engage with a brand that they can trust.

Use of AR and VR: More immersive experiences

In 2023, the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) offered enriched experiences by fusing the virtual world with the real one. For example, Ikea Place, the furniture retailer’s AR-based app, allows customers to visualise Ikea furniture in their homes by overlaying a 3D representation of the piece atop a live video stream of their space. Similarly, in the beauty industry, Sephora’s Virtual Artist allows customers to try on makeup virtually.
In 2024, brands will use AR and VR to enhance customers’ brand experience by offering interactive product visualisation, gamified engagement and storytelling.

Read: How AI-driven solutions are revolutionising customer service in contact centres

Transactional messaging: For better customer connect

Transactional messages (TMs) deliver valuable information to customers; like a payment confirmation for a Huda Beauty order or a leftover 5G data alert from Etisalat.

Effective TMs are clear and concise, triggered in real-time, have content relevant to each customer, and stay optimised for each device. TMs keep customers engaged without pushing them to buy more. A caveat worth noting is that sending the same message across multiple channels can put customers off. In 2024, brands can employ TMs to their advantage with an insightful customer engagement strategy to manage transactional SMS, email, and push notifications from a single platform.

This year, brands must leverage new technologies to harvest insights and analytics that understand consumer behavior and align their customer engagement strategy accordingly. After all, understanding what customers truly want is the key to creating a robust customer engagement strategy for brands.

The writer is the regional head, MoEngage – Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

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