Increasing advanced marketing technology lets businesses offer highly personalized and entertaining experiences to many individual and corporate customers. Already, people can receive content through digital assistants, via smartphones like Siri, smart cars, and even smart thermostats. Unfortunately, technology changes so quickly that sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Here are some useful new marketing technologies and trends that every business owner should know about.
1. Augmented reality
Augmented reality has been around for several years, but it’s only recently become popular, with the augmented reality game Pokemon Go. You can use the camera and the location technology on your smartphone to search for Pokemon at work, at home, and almost anywhere else. You can also use your Pokemon to fight with the other players you encounter. Millions of mobile users are discovering augmented reality, and marketers are racing to develop new AR games and apps that bridge the gap between physical and the virtual worlds.
2. Location-based marketing
In addition to smartphones, location-based marketing technologies like iBeacons and RFIDs let event attendees and visitors to the same park interact in new ways on social media. iBeacons are small, inexpensive transmitters that use Bluetooth technology to detect nearby devices in retail stores and point of sale displays. Marketers can also use these devices to let customers know about nearby vanues and restaurants.
3. Virtual reality
Virtual reality, or VR, is even more immersive than augmented reality, completely generating a digital world for willing participants. The new Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR devices offer a wide range of capabilities. They’re great for games, ads, and messages. Someday soon, you will even be able to try on virtual clothing through a VR headset before ordering a real outfit online. Marketing teams can also use VR to demonstrate their products to businesses in lifelike scenarios.
4. AI assistants
Personal digital assistants like Siri and Cortana make finding information and performing functions easy for users. Many businesses are including phrases which are applicable to voice searches, as well as keywords for voice searches on their websites. The reason for both is that people tend to use sentences like “where’s the nearest Chinese restaurant” instead of searching for keywords in voice searches.
Devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Now can search for and play music, answer questions, play e-books, and even control connected lights, ceiling fans, and other devices. They can also show you ads if you use similar products or do similar activities. For example, you could learn about a new shampoo right after you get out of the shower.
5. Machine learning algorithms
Self-updating machine learning algorithms can actually improve themselves over time and increase the pace of future breakthroughs. The Nest smart thermostat can learn your family’s schedule over a few weeks and then turn down your heating or air conditioning when you normally go to work or go to sleep. That way, you can save money while keeping your home comfortable. Advertisers can also use the Nest’s data to tell you about products you would be interested in. For example, the Nest could tell you about a new brand of air filter the next time you need to change your HVAC system’s filter.
6. The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is the term for all the internet-capable, interconnected devices that have become available recently, like smart thermostats, smart ovens, smart TVs, and other appliances that can be programmed and integrated into the same system. With the right app, you can turn all the smart devices in your home on or off from your smartphone.
You can also program your appliances to follow your regular schedule and use them to monitor your home while you’re away at work or on vacation. Turning off a thermostat or another smart device can be as convenient than turning off a regular TV. Plus, advertisers can use these devices to communicate with people in their homes, and all these devices can provide marketers with a huge amount of new data about their consumers.
7. Marketing automation
Marketing automation technology includes platforms that allow the scheduling and syndication of social media posts, software that can help you write content, segment contacts, and more. Domino’s, Taco Bell, and many others already use chatbots to take online customers’ orders. Autopilot is a new program for creating marketing automation workflows through an easy drag-and-drop, illustrated interface.
In 2015, Beckon launched Marketing Scorecards, another program for automating data collection and simplifying reporting. Bizible helps marketers track the results of their ad campaigns and understand which ads get the best results, giving businesses deep insight into their leads. Salesloft is a scheduling platform that helps marketers easily track and automate their sales processes. It guarantees a 300 percent increase in the number of qualified demos and appointments.
With all these tools available, you can get more done with less effort and pay less if you decide to outsource your company’s marketing. On the other hand, relying too much on software could make your content seem automated or uninteresting. Make sure a human edits all of your content. That way, you can retain your creativity and your brand’s unique personality.
8. Predictive analytics
In today’s data-intensive marketing and consumer reality, analytics are essential. New technologies let businesses predict customer needs and behaviors, supplementing traditional lead generation programs. These tools let companies anticipate demand for new products and services, understand customer reactions, and give customers better service. You can also predict which products and services certain customers will be interested in, and then make sure those customers learn about those types of products and services.
Marketing technology trends
Customer expectations around personalization are rising, and people want solutions and services made especially for them. Businesses can use predictive tools, research, and real-time customer behavioral data to create different content, and even different products for different types of customers.
Personalization can deepen customer engagement, increase revenue, and improve consumer loyalty. It can also increase the value of each individual customer to the company.
However, personalization can only start when a visitor shares his or her email address, signs up for an account, or has a trackable IP address. A few years ago, companies that personalized needed a large budget and lots of resources in marketing and engineering. Now, several vendors are available to solve personalization challenges, and they’re affordable enough for smaller businesses and startups. Some people call hyper-personalization “relationship marketing” because it focuses on building relationships and getting to know individual customers. Expect mass-market strategies like ads to become less important, as more and more companies focus on personalization.
Creative mobile videos
As smartphones become more popular and broadband coverage gets better, more people will regularly watch in-app video ads as well as other types of videos on their smartphone screens. Many brands even broadcast live content at scheduled times or create regular videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.
As ad blockers also become more common, businesses will work harder to make entertaining ads that people don’t want to block. In a few years, most ads could be as entertaining and creative as the much-anticipated yearly Super Bowl ads. Companies like AppLovin and AppsFlyer can help you place the right video in the right app with a message that encourages your customers to respond. You can also skirt ad blockers by asking social media influencers to endorse your company’s product or service.
More images and infographics
Faster internet access makes viewing images more convenient for more people. Infographics are colorful mixtures of text, images, graphs, and charts that usually summarize a complex topic. They’re easy and quick to read, so they’re better for marketing than text alone. You can also use free stock photos to encourage people to focus on your content. Several programs are available to help you create unique images and infographics.
Snapchat is becoming a standard marketing platform for many businesses, not just a place for fun experiments. Many millennials use Snapchat and similar platforms to digest social media in real-time and experience exclusive content that has an expiration date. According to Facebook, users watch live videos three times longer than other content. It is important to develop entertaining communication that’s short and to the point, such as a memorable meme.
Use this information to help your business adapt to the most recent marketing technologies and trends. Staying on top of new developments in marketing will help you grow your business’ customer base.