We are truly embedded in the digital age, and when it comes to marketing, change is the name of the game – just when companies think they’re getting to grips with the shifting tide, they’re suddenly sinking in a sea of confusion as trends continue to transform.
What people want, how they think, and how they interact with each other is constantly influx and evolving – making it a priority for any marketeers to keep up to date with the ever-changing, dynamic digital world.
With this in mind, here’s a list of some digital marketing trends that are set to take the industry by storm this year, if they haven’t started to already…
The Audio Experience
Over the last year or so we’ve seen the exponential rise of the smart speaker, or rather heard it… ha, did you see what I did there? Or hear it? And again… okay I’ll stop now.
Nobody really expected the smart speaker industry to blow up the way it has, there was a poll taken last year in the U.S. by radio syndicator NPR and Edison research, which found roughly one in six Americans now own a smart speaker – and the tech is gaining big traction in the UK as well.
The industry is predicted for huge growth by 2022, by which time the smart speakers are expected to be a staple part many households. With an ever-increasing range on offer, including the Amazon Echo and Facebook’s rumoured Portal device, people are interacting with this technology more than ever, as part of their normal daily routines.
Voice assistants are popping up everywhere from smartphones and cars, to televisions and toilets – that’s right, a high tech toilet that flushes with your voice command, and here’s me still using the handle like a loser!
People are slowly getting accustomed to using interfaces without any physical interactions or inputs, and this will have a huge impact on marketing communication.
From sarcastic Siri to Elon Musk’s self driving car ambitions, the Artificial Intelligence revolution is truly under way. We’re still a good while away from our machine overlords Control-Alt-Deleting us – so while the industry is seeing positive advancement, many digital marketing companies are looking ahead to the possible benefits.
Considerable confidence amongst marketeers has grown with regards to the application of A.I. – largely due to the technology’s evolution through natural language and machine learning, allowing for the potential of better advertising and programmatic solutions.
A.I. can enhance the user experience to a much greater level – one example being chatbots, that are programmed to interact with customers, based on the data that they receive.
These devices can personalise the entire consumer experience for users, who would feel as though they’re talking to a real person, helping them find exactly what they’re looking for.
Augmented reality, is another aspect of A.I. that is giving consumers the option to see and feel a product before the actual purchase. Making the decision process easier, whilst also stimulating a quicker response from customers.
A.I. solutions will give companies much better insight into their target market, maximising return on investment, and allow for the innovative crafting of custom content, targeting specific niches.
Brands constantly search for new ways to drive sales, or reach their target customers across the hyper-competitive digital industry – with many now turning to influencer marketing as a key tactic, to gaining that much needed competitive edge.
Word of mouth is a hugely influential thing, and these days masses of consumers follow, listen to and trust social media influencers – and act on their recommendations.
No longer just a marketing mechanism for larger brands, smaller companies and start-ups are now gaining significant traction from working with influencers. With a key strategy being to harness those influencer words and use them as a marketing campaign, all whilst capitalising on an audience network that’s already been built.
High quality image posts, blogs, emails, newsletters and more, can all help companies to expand the personal user experience, connecting their audience to real experiences, recounted by real people.
Making Use Of Micro-Moments
Again, people’s behaviours are constantly changing, and micro-moments are further evidence of this. These are moments when users reach for their smartphones to conduct on the spot research – usually to help make a decision or quickly learn something.
This mostly happens when using public transportation, during a meeting at work, or when they’re in the middle of a task. These micro-moments quickly build up as people keep checking their devices for absolutely anything.
According to research conducted by Think With Google, 82% of smartphone users consult their phones when making a buying decision in a store, and 1 in 10 end up purchasing a different product, than the one they originally set out to buy.
Users are now expecting brands to be extremely reactive at all times, letting them find exactly what their searching for, whilst they’re literally out searching for it.
Digital marketing companies will need to correctly anticipate and address these impulsive informational micro-moments. With on the spot decisions becoming more prevalent than ever before, more brands will be providing pivotal instant information, at the right time and the right place, to meet the micro-moment demand.
Now if you’ll excuse me… I’ve got to take a moment to check my phone, to work out how to tell my smart speaker, to communicate with my kitchen, so that I can turn on my A.I. microwave, because I’m starving… Oh and then I can post my resulting ready meal on my Instagram!