Marketing has come a long way since the days of Mad Men. These days, there’s far fewer cigarettes and morning martinis, and more discussions centering around ‘search engine marketing’ and ‘click-through rate’. Digital marketing is an exciting sector that is constantly looking for new ways to harness technology to improve the customer experience.
As a leading digital marketing agency in Australia, Newpath Web considers it one of our top responsibilities to stay up to date with the latest trends and strategies emerging out of the digital marketing space. Continue reading to discover the top trends we expect to play a leading role over the next few years in the sector.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is transforming most aspects of our lives and is set to completely revolutionise the way in which marketers reach their audiences.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, can be defined as the ability of a computer to mimic the capabilities of the human brain through solving problems, making decisions, and learning from past experiences. Once a technology reserved only for science fiction novels, AI is already being used by many industries, from tourism to finance, to create greater engagement with their customers.
In digital marketing, AI provides marketers with the tools and raw data to predict customer trends. These days, visiting the homepage of a large online retailer such as Amazon or eBay is a personalised experience; data collected and analysed by AI technology (based upon a user’s search history) provides key behavioural information that can be used by marketers to increase sales.
Chatbots are not exactly a new invention, but they have certainly undergone a rapid transformation in recent years.
If you are someone who spends time in the digital world, you have almost certainly interacted with a chatbot. An amalgamation of the words ‘chat’ and ‘bot’, a chatbot is a program that engages in automatic conversation with a human user. They are used in every kind of site, from e-commerce to social media platforms.
Chatbots predominantly use a combination of AI technology and predetermined scripts to provide users with the answers they are looking for. In the world of digital marketing, this can be anything from customer service questions — such as, ‘where is my order’ — to providing users with advice on what products might suit their needs.
Chatbots have been proven to significantly enhance customer engagement, which has a flow-on effect to increased sales numbers.
Personalisation is considered to be the future — not just in digital marketing, but across every industry.
Engagement with the Internet of Things — a network of connected ‘smart’ devices, such as smartwatches — has provided businesses with unparalleled levels of user data. This data can be used to engage potential customers with products, services, and special offers that are tailored to their wants and needs.
For example, ‘geofencing’ is rapidly gaining traction as a digital marketing strategy and has the potential to drive increased foot traffic into stores. Geofencing is the use of GPS technology to create a virtual geographic boundary. Once a potential customer steps into this boundary, a pre-programmed action is triggered on their smartphone. For example, a retail shop might choose to geofence their physical storefront. If a customer has that store’s official app downloaded, stepping into the shop will trigger notifications with information about current sales and special offers.
This information is also often personalised based upon the user’s search history. A customer who has been searching for a new skirt, for example, might receive a notification that the store currently has a buy one, get one free sale on skirts.
Digital marketers do have to be wary of providing an excessively personalised user-journey. Some customers do not respond well to the implication that their data has been accessed and harnessed as a sales strategy — even if doing so is perfectly legal.
Influencer marketing is one of the more controversial strategies used in digital marketing. However, when done right, there’s no argument that it has the potential to rapidly increase customer engagement and sales numbers.
Celebrity marketing has been around for decades now and so on one hand, influencer marketing is nothing new. However, while a celebrity has the ability to influence consumers through their pre-established fame, ‘influencers’ are famous because they have the ability to influence consumers. Most of these influencers would be regular, everyday people with the platform provided by social media.
Influencer marketing has already been through quite an evolution in the past few years. Moving forward, digital marketers can expect to face stricter regulations with regards to influencer transparency, both from governing trade bodies and consumers themselves.
CGI influencers — computer generated bots — are also starting to emerge as a dominant force in the marketing space. Miquela (@lilmiquela) is one of the most popular CGI influencers, with over 3 million followers and dozens of high-profile collaborations including Calvin Klein and Prada.
Search is no longer restricted to text, or even audio. Visual search, embraced by search engines and e-commerce platforms including Google, Amazon, and Pinterest, enables users to search for products via an image.
For example, snapping a pic of your friend’s black leather couch and searching for it on Google can bring up hundreds of products that bear a visual similarity.
The technology required to conduct a visual search still has a little way to go before it can be deemed seamlessly accurate. However, digital marketers are right to be excited by the potentially limitless possibilities of image-related search.
Consumer wants are constantly shifting. It’s the (oftentimes tricky) role of a digital marketer to stay on top of these desires and predict how emerging technological trends are set to shape the consumer experience. As a full-service digital agency, Newpath Web has the knowledge and skills to elevate our clients above their competitors. If you are looking for a digital marketing agency in Australia with their finger on the pulse, contact us today to discuss how we can transform your business.