Digital marketing is always changing:  new developments produce new opportunities and your strategy needs to keep one step ahead all the time to anticipate them.  The battle is ever on then to bring in new ideas that keep existing customers satisfied and to capture new ones.

Let’s have a look at what have been the trends this year and where they might be going in 2019.

Mobile adaptation

Companies are increasingly having to produce versions of their web portfolio for mobile devices as the traffic from these devices steadily grows.  Studies show that consumers spend an increasing part of their days on their mobile devices – as much as five hours a day – and that it accounts for as much as 70% of the total traffic through all devices.  It’s clear therefore that companies stand to lose an enormous number of clients if their websites are not optimised for mobile usage whilst those clients are becoming more and more technologically capable.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being incorporated into ever more mainstream applications. This revolution excites some and the worries others with the prospect of higher unemployment, which turns out not so large after all.  It’s also removing the worst of repetitive processes from human grind by automating them. It is set to help out many outsourcing sectors as it increases revenue by improving productivity and creating possibilities for higher cost-effectiveness.

Chatbots are also adding value by facilitating pre-purchase decisions.

Internet of things (IoT)

Watch the huge tech trend that is the rise in use and incorporation of the Internet of Things (IoT).  This is devices using data from the internet directly to make our lives easier and accomplish tasks faster.  This goes from fridges which could order food online when stocks are running low or warn when food is running out of shelf-life to trainers incorporating exercise regimes suggestions.  Industry is already using IoT solutions in various sectors (e.g. automotive) to improve the customer experience. This usage of IoT is only set to increase.

Machine learning

Machine learning – i.e. how machines can improve their own and predict future performance from business procedures – has been used up to now to optimize processes, by, for example, running algorithms then used to predict abnormalities or changes. Among its new aims will be boosting productivity and getting the most out of new leads in customer services. Applications, ‘bots’, are already handling queries in the past run by humans.  This frees them up to carry out more involved work instead, improving the customer journey e.g. through faster handling times.

Seamless conversation

It doesn’t seem possible that only a few years ago machines were far from able to understand speech, let alone respond to it, yet Microsoft tests show that their error rates are now as low as 5.1% – better than humans.  Chatbots and robotic speech have also been getting better, leaving text-only searching behind, with visual and voice search now available.
Visual search uses images to dig out text-based information (we’re used to the reverse). Jump the gun by getting your content ready for customers finding you from image searches and find out even more about their preferences in process.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality can improve customer experience and get customers more engaged as they animate your products.  It uses mobiles cameras to enable customers to immerse themselves in your products remotely, also exploring how they wish to and enjoy doing so.  When customers get a deeper experience, they get more attached to what they’re experiencing. You also have the opportunity to give customers as much information as they’re looking for and in the easiest way possible.

Vertical Video

As mobile internet takes over from desktop, it’s not too surprising that mobile video ads are topical.  They are used for engaging customers both in social media and within apps during idle time.

This has led to the development of vertical video. Instagram’s IGTV is part of this trend, where users can make their own long-form vertical videos. Advertising isn’t yet available but brands can still share their longer content organically. If this format develops, advertisers will need to create long and wide versions of their adverts.

Keeping one step ahead

These new means of digital marketing give you the means to make it easier to start the customer journey and improve it all the way along it.  It is also giving marketers new worlds to invite their customers to explore.

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