2018 is coming to an end and we likely can all attest to an increase in technology use in our homes and on our bodies (wearables). We have been thrown into the age of personal assistants and many technologies have evolved to increase automation further with the goal of improving our quality of life. Many digital tools and trends have increased in popularity in 2018 and we are excited to see how they can further compliment our demanding lifestyles in 2019.
Google home, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Apple Siri, you name the rest. Smart speakers were a big hit when they first came out and you can only imagine better and more coming in the new year. 31% of smart speaker owners say they spent more money on Amazon/Google since getting their smart speaker and more people are buying straight from smart speakers. Businesses are all excited about integrating their marketing strategies into voice search because smart speaker optimization (SSO) is now becoming a thing! Search ‘intent’ has become much more personal with the use of voice search and people are using questions more than statements. “Where is the nearest fast food restaurant?” More and more people are relying on voice search, so marketers need to focus on understanding the customer behaviour and applying the right tactics into their SSO. We’re excited to see what extensions will be added to increase the functionality of these products in 2019.
Influencer marketing has proven to be successful in the past year for many brands and will continue to be heavily invested in by businesses. SocialMediaToday.com pointed out in their early 2018 article that influencer marketing generates 11X more ROI than traditional marketing methods. ThoughtCatalog.com reports that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, companies reportedly earn an average of $7.65. The authoritative and trusted voice of an influencer can boost your brand’s reputation and impact customers’ purchasing decisions. Influencers can make use of social media and video platforms to advocate for a certain product or service. This a new and maturing form of marketing. Rules are still not standardized, stories of innovation and mis-abuse in this field are rampant, and influencer campaigns in 2020 may look a lot different from 2019 or 2018. The key to influencer marketing is authenticity. It is important to collaborate with influencers who genuinely like and respect your brand. Marketers are encouraged to use creative approaches instead of doing soulless product features.
In 2019, 2020 and further on, artificial intelligence (AI) is just going to keep remaking the world. Chatbots are smart computer programs commonly used by e-commerce companies, airlines, retailers, and restaurant chains to handle simple customer support functions. 45 % of people prefer using them as a primary mode of communication in customer service. In the coming year, chatbot use will continue to increase and businesses will keep improving them for better responsiveness and information acquisition. Be on the lookout for turnkey ways to implement them into your business website, app, social media platforms, etc.
Omni Channel Retailing
Omni channel is the rising trend which blurs the lines between online and in-store shopping. It provides customers with an integrated shopping experience, whether they are shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in store. 90% of multiple device owners switch between devices an average of 3 times per day to complete a task. In our digital age when customers can access your brand whenever and wherever they want, it is important for brands to deliver a consistent cross channel experience in order to drive customers down the marketing funnel. A joint research form the CMO Council and Netsertive shows that 94% of marketers believe that providing an omni-channel experience is crucial to business success. Businesses are encouraged to work with their sales, marketing, and customer success departments to build customer-centric approaches.
Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something or buy something. They are intent-rich moments that influence consumers’ decision making and purchase preferences. Consumers are really relying on those moments when they receive relevant information upon those “I want to know”, “I want to buy”, “I want to go” and “I want to do” intentions. Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand. The challenge of micro-moments marketing is to deliver exactly what customers are looking for at the right timing. Marketers need to stay on top of customer trends and demands to ensure they dominate that moment to influence buying decisions. Micro-moment strategies don’t just come over night, marketers are going to keep improving them in the coming year.
The digital space is fluid and we are always expecting new breakthroughs. Our reliance on technologies is ever increasing and the applications have paradigm-shifting potential. Each of the above trends play a role in evolving the digital marketing landscape and we can only expect to see them grow in 2019 and beyond.