The world of marketing is changing rapidly. New technologies, new customer expectations and a more competitive market have all played their part in forcing marketers to evolve quickly. In an increasingly digital world, brands must think beyond offline strategies if they are to remain effective. With that in mind, here are 5 key trends you need to know about now if you want to stay ahead of the curve in your marketing strategy.
Consumers are in control
Today's consumers have more control over their online experience than ever before. From the brands they trust and their preferred content to the speed at which they are delivered and the experience they receive, consumers are in charge of their online experiences. As a result, they are also more wary of brands who are too eager to control the way they live their lives. Consumers are more likely to challenge brands who overstep the mark, particularly on sensitive issues such as gender, race and sexuality. And with more and more brands moving into the online space and consumers keen to spend their time on services that offer value, brands are increasingly looking to offer premium experiences. With this in mind, marketers are also starting to consider the role of virtual assistants in their strategy. Virtual assistants offer a range of benefits for brands, such as creating bespoke content and automatically responding to queries or requests, and consumers are increasingly looking for ways to interact with brands and AI. This is especially true for voice-first experiences and the increasing uptake of virtual assistants and voice search is another trend marketers should keep an eye on in 2019.
Personalization is the new norm
In the past, personalization was seen as a way to increase brand recall and engagement. However, as consumers become more wary of brands and want to ensure they get a high level of value, personalization has become the norm. Advertising, sponsorship and media buying are all being personalized to help brands adapt to the shifting context and communicate more effectively with the right audience at the right time. This is particularly important for retailers and e-commerce brands as personalization helps brands in these sectors engage with consumers on an emotional level. From this, consumers are far more likely to act on any relevant message or impulse.
Video marketing is here to stay
Video marketing has grown significantly in recent years and racked up an incredible 6.8 billion video views in 2018. This is largely thanks to the growth of online video services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. Video content is ideal for different devices, is more shareable than images and is a more effective way to engage with consumers than written words. And when it comes to mobile video, consumers are increasingly looking for brands to create engaging experiences that help to create a sense of belonging. However, it's important to remember that video is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Brands that want to gain maximum engagement can find the right balance between longer form videos and shorter, more frequent content. As with most things, the key is to create engaging and relevant content. Consumers will respond to brands that are thoughtful and creative with video having particular potential.
AI and machine learning are taking over
AI and machine learning are revolutionizing marketing. Though still in its infancy, this technology is already helping to make a huge impact on the future of marketing. For example, AI is helping companies to analyze unstructured data, such as images and video, to create more effective content. This means that brands are better able to identify and target relevant audiences. And with this data set finding a much larger audience thanks to the growth of social media and the internet, brands are better able to build relationships and provide value both on an individual and brand level. This has led to a significant shift in the way marketing strategies are being put in place. Rather than focusing solely on brand growth, marketers are now looking to help companies create an impact on a higher level. This means organizations are starting to think beyond numbers and metrics and are instead looking at how AI and machine learning can help to achieve real business results.
VR will soon be a mainstay in marketing strategy
VR is proving to be a surprisingly powerful marketing tool. While it may be relatively new to some brands, it's already becoming a key part of many strategies. This is largely thanks to the growing number of VR headsets in the market and the huge potential for VR to benefit brands and consumers. VR allows brands to create engaging content that helps drive engagement and conversion, establish a sense of belonging and give consumers a memorable experience. And with just a few simple steps, it also allows brands to reduce consumer friction, such as improving shopping experiences and lowering costs, while helping to reduce the risk of consumer fraud. In short, VR allows brands to stand out from the crowd and offers consumers a memorable experience.
With so many changes taking place in the world of marketing, it can be difficult to keep up with all the latest trends. However, it's important to remember that change is inevitable, so it's important to stay on top of new developments and trends. And with all these new developments, it's important to be prepared by having a marketing strategy that's up-to-date and ready to adapt. Turn to Content-1 to help with the development and execution of your marketing strategy. We’ll help you take the best advantage of all that digital marketing has to offer in today’s quickly evolving business environment.