The nature of communication has always been heavily influenced by technology. We want to communicate or consume information as conveniently or enjoyably as possible. For marketers, that meant changing with the times – from newspapers to the radio to the television. Wherever the consumer could be reached, advertising spends followed.
The communication landscape is now more fluid than ever with several mediums available and a host of technological advancements. Consumer habits are increasingly relying on digital mediums and so are the innovations to reach them at their most receptive states.
It’s common knowledge people turn to digital media for their purchase decisions, especially big, research intensive purchases. However the extant cannot be underestimated as illustrated by a study in 2016 by Luth Research that revealed over 900 digital interactions took place before a vehicle shopper decided to lease her vehicle.
As marketers understand the nature of these micro-moments and what consumers are searching for, they will be better able to incorporate that knowledge into how to boost traffic and sell more of their product.
These days, mobile device usage has far outripped desktop usage, with countries with India, Mexico and Indonesia having upwards of 4 times higher audiences for mobile devices. As users tap and scroll throughout their day, marketers have seen a prime opportunity and are now creating content keeping mobile in mind and designing their material in anticipation for it.
Marketing trends and tech innovations are set to make more use than ever of the wealth of opportunities that mobile devices offers. The proliferation of wearable data (biometric and general movement data) offers insights into its users. This can help in creating personal and understandable content or encourage customers to engage with content more naturally.
Traditional marketing currently holds sway over the bulk of advertising expenses. That is set to change as digital adoption continues to rise and major corporations take notice. Expect to see ad prices for digital marketing go up with the arrival of new players. As prices inflate due to increased competition, anticipate changes in marketing strategies and trends.
Big Data and AI
A wealth of data is generated from our numerous connected devices and their sensors. Understanding this big data through analytics firms allows us to convert that information into actionable insights. This helps refine a company’s sales and marketing strategies and tells a business how to improve upon them.
Deriving its strength from big data, artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise how humans interact with machines. It removes a lot of the hard work involved in studying data and identifying trends, as seen by Volkswagen in its ad-buying decisions. This information can be used to come up with content that resonates and adapts to consumers and can appeal to a target audience with a higher degree of accuracy.
VR & AR
Innovations abound like self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and more. As the technology that drives consumer devices progresses, marketers are wisely embracing and adapting to it. Virtual and Augmented Reality are great tools to offer strong visual impact.
This changes the user’s experience and can be added to the consumer’s life in useful, non-intrusive ways. If used for marketing purposes, businesses able able to display or market products straight to the customer, often from the comfort of their homes.
The marketer’s battle for the decreasing attention spans of consumers has lead them to storytelling. Storytelling is a compelling option to get your brand to stand out, especially visual storytelling, and create an immersive experience that allows the consumer to connect on a deeper, more emotional level with the brand. A wonderful example of this is Land Rover’s detailed and interactive storytelling experience.
Standing the Test of Time
While the rise of newer technologies bring in impressive possibilities, certain digital marketing trends have proven they work consistently over a period of time and show the promise of continuing to do so.
Social media – Always evolving, social media has proven to be a great marketing tool and made a substantial impression, especially in the automotive industry. It is a platform that allows users to broadcast videos easily and now, brands are using Live Streaming to market products. It could be a product launch or creating publicity for an activity and is an easy, cheap and convenient way to reach out to your audience.
Native Advertising – People have grown accustomed to seeing relevant ads alongside similar content. That, along with refinements in the technology, help native advertisements be perceived as less intrusive.
Email marketing – A perennial favourite for marketers, email marketing has been around for a while. The reason it is still going strong as ever is simple. It works well and is an easy way to provide more value to subscribers and prospects.
Video – It already commands the lion’s share of content consumption and is especially powerful for brands. It’s appeal lies in the impact it has on a large audience and the ability to cross barriers such as language across a country and visually explain the power of the product. An added bonus is that users can often interact with content, creating an even deeper connect.
Preparing For a Digital Future
The relationship that people share with their devices is closer than ever. That intimacy is a tool marketers would be wise to be receptive to and make use of.
Communication is always one of the first fields to benefit from new technology, which means that change is a must for marketers looking to reach out to the right audience. Companies like Google and Facebook will continue to change their algorithms or other new interactive technology like digital outdoor advertising might take off.
While many of these technologies are a long way from being adopted by a mainstream audience, a digital future seems inevitable. It’s up to marketers to stay abreast with each change and companies to embrace it as part of their regular business strategy.