The internet is saturated with articles based on content and digital marketing trends for this year. And while many of them say similar things, all trends stem from the development of technology.

The bottom line is that consumers and customers want things instantly and want things tailored to their needs. They want to feel like you know who they are, and that just makes marketing on a one-to-one basis of mass scale even more challenging. While this may be an over talked about theme, it’s worth noting the key trends floating around and how they will affect your marketing strategies this year.

Activating Artificial Intelligence

AI will soon become a refined tool, improving robotics, data analytics, mobile marketing and websites. This will bridge the relationship between business and consumer. As AI improves, so will better sentiment analyzation, website features, mobile marketing and advertising.

The internet is a busy place, and as more consumers want one-to-one experiences with brands, more businesses are turning to chat bots as cost effective alternatives for websites. By the end of 2018, these will become the norm and will be highly customisable. Chat bots are ideal for securing leads and meeting instant customer demands.

Personalisation

Customers are inclined to trust companies that send customized and individualised content. While this may be tricky, having an ordered and segmented database with specific user details and patterns accelerates this process.

There are numerous platforms that make it possible for marketers to recommend specific pieces of content similar to the way Netflix suggests specific series.

Your content should be customised to suit that consumer’s needs; however, it should be displayed differently through each avenue e.g. Social Media, Digital Advertising etc. to best reach your target audience.

Multi-channel Cold Outreach Campaigns

The average cold email response is low and will continue to decrease as consumers learn to better filter their inboxes. The best way to reach new consumers is to develop an integrated multi-channel marketing strategy, reaching customers through new and exciting ways. With a combination of email, digital advertising, video and social media channels – businesses can retarget highly qualified prospects.

Customers Will Expect More

Voice assistants, same-day delivery and on-demand content will mean that both B2C and B2B marketers must find innovative new ways to delight prospects and customers with nearly instant service (Entrepreneur 2017). Tis comes back to personalization, customization and data. Marketers can look at more data than ever before and should use this to improve customer service. Managing reports, data and analyzing trends are essential for meeting consumer satisfaction (which leads to continual sales and better brand awareness). Technology has created a transparent environment in which customers are able to speak positively or negatively about your product or service and the impact can be massive. So pleasing the customer is more important than ever before.

Immediate Selling

Marketing in 2018 is moving towards ‘quick sales’. This is because customers are flooded with so many options, distractions and hesitations. Businesses want to secure customer purchases on the first visit, and rightly so. The results are high and majority of online customers do their research and visit numerous sites to find the best suited product/service before committing. Which means marketers need something to seal the deal immediately.

Again, chat bots can largely speed this process up by building an instant and specific customer relationship and instantly respond to queries. Follow up emails for customers who have left items in their cart are also increasing with outstanding results.

There you have it, a few ways technology is helping us succeed in an ever-challenging marketplace. The opportunities are endless in online marketing, but as marketers we need to continue to be strategic and focussed.

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