Embracing emerging technologies as we enter “age of convenience”

As we enter an age of convenience, emerging technologies will play a pivotal role in how businesses communicate with existing and prospective customers, according to HubSpot APAC Marketing Director James Gilbert.

Speaking ahead of his appearance at the State of Social Conference, Gilbert shares his thoughts on messaging, the future of inbound marketing, and why it is useful to implement machine learning to help deepen relationships.

With over 1.2 billion people using it and 2 billion messages exchanged, Facebook Messenger can help businesses communicate efficiently and conveniently with clients, help with generating leads, driving traffic, and be used as a destination for Facebook ads, Gilbert says.

“The appetite is there from a consumer perspective, businesses just need to figure out how to implement the technology and create the most convenient experience possible via messaging apps for their current and prospective customers.”

Gilbert, who also leads HubSpot’s global Facebook Messenger team, says HubSpot’s recent acquisition of Kemvi – an artificial intelligence and machine learning startup, helps sales representatives deepen their relationships with prospective buyers.

Kemvi’s algorithm sifts through millions of pieces of content each day to learn what is happening with buyers and prospects and delivers that information to sales representatives.

“This technology is being incorporated into HubSpot CRM, giving salespeople even more tools to carry out more contextual, empathetic outreach to their contacts,” Gilbert said.

Rather than lose personal relationships, Gilbert believes machine learning will only better position businesses to help their clients and customers because of how efficient it will become to filter through data.

“You can use the information to have a deeper conversation around solving their problem, as you’re almost skipping the vagueness of the ‘discovery’ stage,” he said.

“For example, if you can see that one of your prospective or existing customers is spending a ton of time reading through your website content on a certain topic, that’s probably the thing they need most help with.

“You can bring it up with them, and accelerate their path towards a solution, whether that’s via one of your products, or just by offering some good advice.”

Gilbert says although we can expect inbound marketing to remain prevalent in the future to help businesses focus on attracting customers, it is the channel marketers that are changing.

“We’ll need to focus on providing frictionless experiences that match the way modern humans want to buy,” Gilbert said.

“That means using channels like Facebook Messenger, for example, and optimising our content for things like Google’s featured snippets to make it as easy as possible for our audiences to consume the content we’re creating.”

“In 10 years’ time, I imagine the businesses that didn’t prioritise convenience in 2018 will no longer be in existence,” he said.

James Gilbert will be speaking at the State of Social Conference on June 26 at Perth’s Optus Stadium as keynote speaker on the topic of Innovation.