While it is important for digital agencies and SMEs to be on top of current trends in digital marketing, it can be even more valuable to focus on “the next big thing” in digital marketing, and prepare to adapt accordingly. After all, outdated marketing strategies will never win over innovative ones. But what does the future of digital marketing look like? Here are just a few predictions, according to industry experts:
AI Will Be EVERYWHERE
While artificial intelligence (AI) may still seem to many a futuristic and irrelevant technology, the truth is that by the end of 2021 those organisations not using AI will begin falling behind. Businesses who do adopt AI in the coming year will be able to accelerate growth, reduce staffing costs significantly, and get an edge over their competitors. When it comes to digital marketing campaigns especially, using AI to analyse and predict patterns of consumer behaviour (including when, how and why they are purchasing products or services, which platforms they are likely to be referred by, and so forth) will become critical to success. According to Salesforce, 67% of marketing leaders already rely on marketing automation, and 21% plan on implementing it over the coming 12 months.
Voice Search marketing Will Grow
Early on it was predicted that by the end of 2020, 67 million voice devices would exist in the US alone. The current number actually exceeds that, meaning that the capacity for voice search-enabled marketing is now absolutely enormous. Formulating campaigns using intelligence that scans voice search data and uses past purchase information is set to become a new area of growth in digital marketing, and those marketers who focus on this have an extraordinary opportunity to reach new audiences.
Shoppable Posts on Social Media
Fifty-four percent of shoppers now use social media to research trends and make product purchases, with Instagram the most popular choice for millennials. For retailers who buy vending machines for instance – to reduce the chances of sales abandonment, they need to focus on creating less steps for consumers and making the purchase process a simple click and confirmation. Automation of course already helps with the payment side of things, but making social media posts themselves connect directly to e-commerce stores will soon become the new norm in online shopping.
Influencer Marketing Will Also Become Automated
Soon the monotonous process of shifting through thousands of could-be social media influencers to decide whether or not they should represent a brand will become redundant: influencer marketing is set to become automated very soon. With the ability to sift through millions of images in milliseconds while analysing them for specified characteristics, AI will be able to perform the “influencer-brand affinity analysis” instead of people. AI will also be able to help brands analyse the success of influencers’ posts, analysing data to determine how well the post was received and which posts led to actual purchases. AI can also potentially be used to predict which incentive works best to encourage an influencer to post, and then proceed to offer this incentive at the exact moment it is needed, enabling influencer marketing (which, we all know, is the ‘human-centered future’ of marketing we have all been waiting for) to become quicker, less-resource intensive and more data-driven.