As with most industries nowadays, recent and emerging technologies are transforming the marketing world. Abundant tools, process and systems allow marketers to do more, in less time, while improving the quality of outcomes and presenting the opportunity for more accurate projections.
During the last 15 years, social media has completely revolutionized the way we approach marketing. Today, marketers use social media platforms on a daily (or even hourly or minute-by-minute) basis to interact, engage and tell stories. It’s created a space for more communication, where consumers can find what they’re looking for and tune-in to a like-minded community 24/7.
But let’s take it a step further: what innovations are on the cutting edge? What’s on the horizon? And how can businesses utilize the latest technology to make their marketing stand out in the crowd?
Today’s Marketing Technology Fuels Tomorrow’s Successes
Here are a few of the top technologies shifting and enhancing the way marketers target, engage and delight their audience today:
- Data Collection and Analytics – Marketers are able to collect more information about customers and their behaviors than ever before. That means their marketing campaigns can be increasingly targeted and specific – totally personalized to fit the needs and wants of individual consumers and businesses.
Further, they’re able to see, in real-time, how online campaigns perform. With access to enriched data, marketers are able to remove a lot of the guesswork that is inherent to with many printed and physical tactics, such advertising in a magazine or on a billboard.
- Automation – The term “marketing automation” is a broad term. It essentially applies to any automatic function that supports the end goals of a marketer. This might include behavioral triggered emails, chat bots, automatically updated reporting software and more.
Many marketers are highly creative, but are bogged down by repetitive, menial tasks. Automation takes over these administrative and basic customer service duties, allowing marketers to get back to what they know best: innovation, creation and strategizing.
Companies that embrace automation save time and money – and, ultimately, support happier employees who have more time to be creative.
- Ephemeral video – The advancement of creative technologies has opened up the floodgates for countless ways to tell a story. With the advance of social media, companies are increasingly using “ephemeral video,” or short-lived recordings, to share their message to an audience (essentially, followers). These videos – such as those found on IG TV, Facebook Stories and Snapchat – are usually under a minute long and, therefore, get straight to the point.
In contrast to older forms of video marketing, ephemeral video only lasts a certain amount of time before disappearing. It speaks to time-poor consumers who respond best to quippy, quick messaging. It’s also incredibly affordable to make, allowing companies with smaller budgets to create engaging video. Here are a few more tips on how to create appealing social media videos.
AI and Machine Learning: The Next Big Thing for Marketing?
What about the technologies on the horizon – the ones that are just about to go mainstream? At the top of our list are machine learning and artificial intelligence. It’s no longer some distant, theoretical concept: AI and machine learning is already an integral part of service offerings from giants such as Netflix, Amazon and (of course) Google. And, like many technologies, AI software has become more accessible over time, allowing small- to medium-sized business to take advantage.
So, how can companies use AI to take their marketing up a notch?
- Immediate response to customer behavior and analytics – Human marketers can’t monitor and respond to their website analytics every minute day and night – but AI-powered tools can make 24/7 customer data analysis and response a reality. This type of AI software is able to digest enormous amounts of demographic and behavioral data to deliver a hyper-personalized customer experience. A few powerful abilities include displaying customized content and product recommendations, as well as push notifications.
- Attentive customer service (without the labor) – Chances are you’ve interacted with a chatbot before. While they might have come off as clunky and robotic at one time, technology has improved to where it can be hard to tell if you’re interacting with a human customer service expert or a particularly helpful bot. These bots are smart, too. They’re able to detect subtle changes in behavior and can automatically offer recommendations before the customer even asks.
- Automatically generated content – You read that right. Some AI software is actually able to create content, from tweets to basic, short articles. It can even reflect your company’s individual voice and messaging style based on what rules and formats you establish ahead of time.
- Enhanced pay-per-click (PPC) advertising – PPC campaigns are often managed by a marketing team, and these types of campaigns require research and maintenance. AI tools, such as the software Albert, is able to take over this side of your marketing strategy through autonomous media buying. The AI manages and optimizes the campaign from start to finish.
Already, marketers are using technology to pinpoint their messaging with unmatched specificity and personalization. It’s only a matter of time before AI is recognized as integral to marketing as social media. Technology makes marketers more efficient, focused and quick, opening up countless opportunities for companies to embrace novel marketing routes and methods.
Even with all the incredible tools that marketers have at their fingertips, it’s imperative to recognize the equal value of human creativity in conjunction with the power of machines. Yes, machines can accomplish a lot, but they still require a savvy marketer behind the scenes. Technology is a tool – not a replacement for the empathy, insight and perspectives that real people bring to the table. The fact of the matter is: give talented marketers the right tools and they’re basically unstoppable.
How can your company enhance its marketing strategies with some of the latest and most exciting technology? Feel free to contact our team to discuss these possibilities.