2017 Predictions #1: Context Enables Connection

Andy Harding House of Fraser

To give you a jump start on the new year, we asked industry experts about their predictions for the future of location, marketing, and technology in 2017. We’ll be posting their responses over the next month here on the Yext blog. Follow us on Twitter @Yext for new posts, and tweet us with your own predictions.

By Andy Harding
Former Chief Customer Officer, House of Fraser

There are three key trends for next year that I think will be at the top of many people’s agenda. The first is how businesses will connect with consumers in a more context-relevant way. Location is one of the most important contexts and surfacing your products and services in front of customers when they demand it will be a key driver for ensuring competitive advantage. However, other context will be around preferences and a deeper understanding of user intent based on their social graph. Micro-segmentation and targeting to very small groups with very specific messages will be a big area for investment.

The second is around how businesses measure cross channel customer behaviour, in particular how this understanding will provide the ability to more accurately measure store contribution to a multi-channel customer journey. Stores play an important contribution in many shopping journeys yet their value, in most cases, is still measured purely on how many units they sell and not on a wider contribution to a final sale.

Lastly, businesses need to find a way for content to be more relevant and measurable. The way that content is presented to a customer through their journey will be different, particularly as it will be across owned and non-owned channels. However, context (again) is critical and content at the bottom of the funnel needs to be carefully knitted into a journey if it is to drive real benefit. This remains a challenge for most brands.

This post is part of a series of 2017 predictions from industry experts.

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