As we enter into a new decade in a few days, I think it is safe to say that time flies as fast as technology is evolving. The same can also be said about consumer interests, which are rapidly changing and becoming harder to predict manually. Taking cognizance of this, the latter half of the decade gone by saw the increasing penetration of marketing technology, which helped marketers understand their target audience and aided their outreach programmes.
There was a time when artificial intelligence, voice search engine optimisation, and data-driven marketing were considered ambitious and novelty concepts. Today they are among the top priorities for most digital marketers and brands alike, and will continue to dominate the market in 2020. After all, for one’s brand to remain relevant, they must adapt to the evolving digital market. Here are five trends one should consider investing time and resources into, in order to succeed in the coming year.
User Experience Is the Master KeyOver the course of the 2010s, the rising use of smartphones and mobile applications has fuelled growth of marketing through these platforms. Marketers must remember that despite the technological advancements and improvements in gadgets, the user’s experience is ultimately vital to a brand’s success. Therefore, one must pay heed to UX design, incorporating the use of senses such as touch, sight, and sound. Additionally, UX has gained more importance due to its ties with search engine optimisation. As the leading browsers strive to bring the most optimal results for their users, they take into account every feature of the search result—on-site content, user experience, mobile-friendliness and more. Thus, marketers need to put greater focus on enhancing UX.
MinimalismThe marketing and advertising game has seen a major change over the last decade, with the inclusion of digital platforms. With the shift in customer values and an increasingly cluttered media landscape, traditional methods of promotion have been rendered less effective. New forms of advertising have risen to meet this challenge, with minimalism finding rousing success. The minimalism concept is based on the idea of ‘less is more’, but this doesn’t mean that there is decreasing effort or thought in creating messages. Instead, more attention needs to be paid to every minute detail, in order to create the desired impact. Minimalistic advertising relies heavily on visual elements, with little to no written copy accompanying it. This type of advertising stands out from the clutter of information-laden promotional content, acting as a balm to the customer’s mind.
User Generated Content (UGC)Consumers are wary of brand messages, and prefer to listen to their peers when making a decision. As a result, approximately 60 per cent of consumers think UGC is more authentic and trustworthy, making this an important avenue for brands to explore while carrying out promotions. Some of the most common UGC activities that can be leveraged by brands include reviews, ratings, testimonials, influencer posts, and videos and social media posts and mentions.
AR/VR Based MarketingExperience matters today, more than ever, when engaging with a customer. Consumers are increasingly looking for more than the traditional content from brands and this has made marketers explore new avenues, integrate technology and develop innovations in the marketing landscape. One of the breakthrough innovations in advertising has come from using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology to convey the brand’s promotional activity. Through the use of AR, users can, through the comfort of their phone’s camera, view how a particular location will look like, or how it will be set up, without any physical labour. Similarly, with VR, consumers can be physically transported to a simulated environment, for an almost life-like feel of a product. More and more brands from different industries are increasingly turning to these techniques to approach the consumers effectively.
In addition to the above, chatbots—which have already made their mark on the digital interface—along with 360 degree videos, and human-centred ORM will dominate the marketing sphere in the years to come. Along with this, customized voice search dashboards, shoppable posts and ads and visual search functions will propel the marketing practices to new levels of success. After all, the customer is king, and these are just some of the expectations that brands have to live up to, in order to retain them, in today’s highly competitive market.