Our Top Three Marketing Predictions For 2017 and 2018
Let's establish this at the very beginning: nobody can be sure what will the future bring. Sure, we can do our best to try to predict it, but oftentimes it's a fool's errand - especially when it comes to fields that rely on innovation as heavily as marketing and technology. That, however, will not stop us.
While they might or might not come true, we are at least going to try. Predictions are fun, they are necessary, and are usually quite useful. Sure, many people went on record bashing technologies that we currently use every day - Bill Gates claimed we'll never create 32-bit operating systems, while Albert Einstein said we won't split an atom - but that's not what we are going to do here. We won't be predicting success or the lack of it, but rather we'll focus on what might gain traction in the next year.
1. Further push for personalization
We hear this everywhere, and there are good reasons for it: personalized experience is key, and it will become more and more important as time goes on. While the idea itself is very simple, it's not nearly as easy to implement as businesses expect.
Let's consider this scenario: Your customer is looking for a solution for his restaurant on the internet. He stumbles upon your website, and is immediately presented with your main page which describes your product. Ideally, the content situated on the site will be able to immediately reflect his interests. You might have your most valuable case studies on display, but if none of them pertains to the topic of using the solution in a restaurant, their value is significantly diminished for this particular customer.
With no personalization, you are counting on your product or service, your website design and company brand to ensure that the visitor is interested in pursuing further information. Oftentimes this might not be the case. Instead of looking around for more details, he might simply leave and look for something that seems more tailored to his needs - even if your product would fulfill them completely.
Fortunately, we already have the technology to automate and provide this sort of solutions. HubSpot is already on the trail with its content personalization functions, and so is Adobe. Displaying various content to particular leads is in our opinion a likely advance that we might see in the next year.
2. Video will remain on the rise, and become even more potent with the help of VR and AR
Video has inherent advantages over pictures and text when it comes to marketing. It is capable of transfering information much, much faster, and captivating the audience on a much deeper level, fostering a feeling of engagement. It is a great way of communicating with the viewers. Interesting videos encourage interactive behavior, giving you a chance to increase the number of performed actions such as likes or shares.
If you're wondering just how powerful videos are, you should know what according to MWP, 55% of people watch online videos daily. Additionally, 59% of executives agree that people are more likely to choose video content over text in order to acquire information regarding the same topic. It's not unusual, considering that people tend to prefer visual clues. Including a simple video under 60 seconds on your landing page can improve your conversion rate by 80% (EyeView).
The emerging technologies od AR and VR might also influence the way we conduct marketing. The very basis of those technologies are videos and interactive interfaces. However, unlike your typical promotional materials, those should not be acting as blatant ads. The whole point of VR and AR is to provide an immersive experience for the customer, which is going to be quickly dismissed, if you are not careful with your marketing.
3. AI and machine learning
While AI is already available for commercial use in technologies such as digital personal assistants such as Cortana, Siri or Alexa, they also have quite serious implications for businesses. AI can be successfully used in analytics, managing other devices and machine learning. Those aspects make it a perfect solution for things such as customer identification and customization.
The technology is already integrated with search engines, being able to find valuable information on the web within seconds - and they do it by using conversational syntax instead of keywords. That in itself is impressive, and it might be used to develop interfaces for our software and hardware that will respond to our every-day language with even more ease.