Digital marketing is a fast-moving industry. To remain competitive and grow profitably, marketers need to be vigilant and innovative. They need to update with technology trends and to apply them in making their brand stand out.
Moreover, today’s audience has become a lot smarter, choosing to ignore conventional marketing strategies that have worked well a few years back. They skip TV ads, unsubscribe from email lists, some refuse to open emails, and most detest websites that have pop-ups.
Marketers need to step up now more than ever. But it’s still important to understand buyer behavior – who they are, what they need, where they hang out.
Here are 6 of the important technology trends that are revolutionizing marketing:
1. Predictive Analytics
Consumers have so many choices available to them that competition for their attention and purchase is fierce among marketers and businesses. Companies are now required to be competitive and use the smartest marketing strategies out there. Predictive analytics can be applied in marketing and it works similar to the scientific method – with the hypothesis and testing if it’s right or wrong. The data can be used for different customer segments and determine the best way to reach out to them and optimize the campaigns to get the best possible outcomes.
As stated in a SAS report, “Predictive analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. The goal is to go beyond knowing what has happened to provide the best assessment of what will happen in the future”.
The use of predictive analytics in marketing has become viable as computers have become more powerful. As compared to 30 years ago when it was still a backward-looking tactic
There are 5 predictive analytics applications today that marketers may use to up their game, here they are:
- Targeting the right customers at the right time with the right content
- Pushing marketing strategies based on predictive analytics insights
- Bringing the right product or services to the market
- Qualify and prioritize leads
- Predictive modeling for customer behavior
With much data available, marketers can make use of them to advance their marketing campaigns through predictive analytics.
2. Voice Search
This was introduced by Google in 2011. Back then it was more novel but with the improvement in speech recognition, it has become a common tool in search marketing. This SEO update has changed the game in search marketing with the rise of voice search, the recent BERT update, and the increasing complexity of the Google algorithm.
As of 2020 statistics show that around 27% of the online global population uses voice search on mobile. A report from comscore.com, states that more than 50% of smartphone users have used voice search in 2020. There are several more stats that are worth mentioning about the widespread use of this technology. It just goes to show that this tech is worth including in marketing strategies.
3. AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Applications for this technology span different types of marketing strategies. In SEO (Search Engine Optimization) AI has simplified spreadsheets and reports. Real-time analysis powered by AI lets marketers make quick adjustments to optimize their websites, and campaigns to take over their competitors.
AI technology in LED and LCD screens enables screens to be digital photo frames, TVs, video-calling hubs, etc. AI and machine learning can also improve image quality on the screen.
4. Compelling Video
Leveraging video marketing is one of the strong trends in 2020. Around 92% of marketers surveyed use video as part of their marketing campaigns. The video promotes the product or service in a more digestible, simple, and memorable way. It is strategic as it offers value to the customer upfront which makes it easier for them to decide to make a purchase.
5. Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality
Enterprising and forward-thinking Adidas with tech marketing agency Somewhere Else used this VR in 2018 to promote TERREX, an Adidas line of outdoor apparel. Using a VR headset and 2 sensory remote controls this immersive technology lets customers experience a product before they buy it. In this case, it lets them have an idea of how they would feel once they use the apparel in the great outdoors all in the safety of the retail outlet or kiosk. This marketing campaign is successful in attracting and converting customers into buyers because of the immersive brand experience.
Chatbots that we know of, were introduced in 2016 made possible with the first wave of AI (Artificial Intelligence). As explained by Mark Zuckerberg, AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) merged with human help. This makes it seem that talking to a messenger bot is like talking to a real person.
It is a tool that uses automated messaging software along with AI to converse with people. I can understand questions, give answers, provide options, and do tasks for the user.
For businesses, it can free up time for the social media marketer or admin by answering common questions. It can also increase revenue by improving the customer experience as chatbots can provide quick responses to users. This lowers the chances of frustration on the part of the customer. It will keep on answering queries until it faces questions that only a live agent can handle.
Basically, chatbots can handle simple tasks and it depends on how good the chatbot creator is on anticipating questions. They don’t completely replace humans but they give the user an alternative way to communicate with the business.
Quality content is still king in marketing but applying trends in technology can make it more customized to potential customers, build trust, increase engagement, simplify and delight them.
Following and including technology trends in marketing makes campaigns cooler and it shows people that you gave much thought to how you relate to them – how you show them your services and what you can do for them.
The future of marketing is better with tech. With every year seeing more new technological developments emerge that can be used to take advantage of some existing gaps in digital marketing. Adopting these new technologies in marketing campaigns may disrupt the convention but change is essential for businesses to thrive.