Marketers have been talking about disruption for years, but in 2019 digital technologies are set to unleash another tremendous wave of disruption on marketing. Accelerating digital technologies now impact all “Ps”, “Cs” and rest of the alphabet’s letters related with marketing.Modern wizards of today, or in other words marketing professionals, are partnering while competing on a mixture of tools driven by new technologies. The future of marketing is now and it is certainly digital.
The developments in digital and technology landscape accelerated so much and so fast that it is harder than ever to predict what and how they will change the way consumers behave. Smart devices, big and fast data, advanced analytics, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain, bots and IoT are the technologies that we have seen impact on marketing in 2018. Now the question is how these new technologies will affect brands and their marketing strategies in the future. Here is what we see as the biggest 10technology trends that will affect the way of marketing in 2019 and beyond.
1. Artificial intelligence (AI)continues to enable new tools for marketing
AI is changing the way marketers do their jobs and thus, the way businesses market their products and services. Machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing has already become the biggest game changers in 2018. But at the forefront of the artificial intelligence trend this year is the shopper bots, designer bots and “smarter” digital assistants.
Shopper chatbots will become a must have service standard as machine learning advances. Chatbots enable more personalized, responsive and engaging customer communication without need of extra human resource.
AI is also gaining creativity. This year we will see more and more companies using AI designed advertisements. AI identifies the best performing ad design to optimize campaigns by testing advertisement alternatives, identifying the best-performing ad designs based on user engagement and copying these learnings on the next campaign.
But we should not expect AI to always help marketers. Sometimes, bots will make marketers’ life more difficult. The new generation chatbots will not only answer consumer questions but also help consumers to disregard “dirty”marketing tactics and find the real best option matching their search.
Last but not the least, price wars will also be affected by shopper bots as dynamic pricing algorithms enables real-time pricing.Whether consumers have ever met with a shopper bot or not, the big data, advanced analytics and AI triple will start changing their shopper behaviors.So, AI will start to change the pricing strategies, one of the most dynamic element of marketing strategy.
2. Voice is the new consumer engagement interface
This year, Siri will celebrate her 8th birthday with her younger siblings given birth by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others. It is true that we were all laughing at Siri and Alexa when they gave funny or weird answers but today talking to our phones has become a new reflex for human kind when we need to do something on our phones.
Today, voice search is the primary search option inChina leveraged by the option of native language search. It is reported that in2017 20% of all searches on Google is made by voice and 70% of all voice searches was in native language. Maybe not in 2019, but 50% of all searched are expected to be made by voice by 2020.
As Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod speeds up the voice race with great offerings for the consumers agreeing to receive marketing communications and voice-only campaigns, there is no doubt that voice is the new consumer engagement interface that will settle in consumer’s daily life. So, the marketers should have already started to develop their brands’ voice strategies.
3. Cool on virtual reality (VR),shift focus on augmented reality (AR)
VR creates a navigable 3D world that you are also inside. Consumers experience is the utmost in a VR World but the disadvantage is that VR is usually experienced through a headset that detects motion. It is clear that a VR device is not something that you want to carry with you all the time or it is somehow still a bit weird to do it on the street. Moreover, it is still too expensive for the moment. Although, Oculus Go may help to overcome these obstacles, it seems like neither brand owners nor consumers don’t feel close to VR, but they are getting appealed by the hype around augmented reality
Unlike VR, AR adds any type of visual layers on the real world and usually you don’t need any gadget or device rather than your smart phone.Although it is not mainstream at the moment, AR may be a candidate for the next big thing in medium term after Apple ARKit and Facebook AR Studio. The success of Pokémon game, Snapchat app and many other applications like Nissan Star Wars story, İkea catalog, Pepsi Max Unbelievable and Sephora Virtual Makeup prove the success of AR applications on attracting appetizing consumer segments like millennials, Generation Z and the new comer generations.
4. New forms of video lead digital channels
Although data shapes the way we manage customer interactions to create a perfect customer experience, brands are in interaction with people and people favor authenticity in their interactions. This is also the reason of slow but steady rise of video content in the last 5 years.
Ephermal, live broadcasting and recently vertical long videos are the common forms of video that we are used to see on the social media and many other platforms. Video is one of the most preferred mediums for marketers to deliver brand message with engagement. In 2019, we expect video to continue its rise much faster with new forms and formats of video, also combined with AR.
In last one or two years, we have experienced high popularity for live streaming services on Facebook, Instagram, and other common social media platforms. As live streaming gets more audience engagement and engages viewers longer than prerecorded video, live streaming videos will boost in 2019.
After instant voice messaging, we predict that video will also be used in instant messaging. As videos are more nurturing, engaging and authentic than sending e-mail, this trend will not only affect our daily life but also seen in business life.
Voice search left its mark in 2018 and it looks like this trend will continue in 2019. The next step in giant search world, will be video as AI and closed captions makes video contents more searchable. As Google recently announced video previews in search results, it is not an oracle thing to say that video search is on the way.
5. Mobile is full speed. Get readyfor nano-moments.
As we have all seen the surgeon realizing the world's first mobile operation using 5G technology, we expect it to be launched in late2019 or early 2020. Speed and more speed… What will it change? The fifth generation mobile technologies will change almost everything on our daily life, business life and every other life. HD films will be in our hands in seconds, buffering will be a history, meetings will be on mobile only… 5G will also speed the industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 will be an old phrase as digital world boost.
Is this all? No, mobile speed has more to change. Micro-moments collect data indicating detailed consumer preference at each stage of product interaction and allow marketers to use this data to drive consumer towards purchase. Marketers discovered that micro-moments are game changers in creating a perfect buying experience. With the full speed 5G mobile technology, these micro-moments will transform into nano-moments. And the brands at the speed of the nano-moments will win the marketing game.
Most of us still ignore the change that blockchain will bring, but this new technology will have a very positive impact on so many different aspects of our daily life. Our anticipation for 2019 is to see blockchain applications across sports, entertainment and hospitality sectors moderately.But after Japan has recently announced that Tokyo 2020 will be a playground for blockchain payment experiment, we now expect it to accelerate beyond our predictions to change the way we buy.
7. IoT drives customer experience beyond expectations
It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices will be in the world. And this is not only about the robotic production and lightless factory concept. Every consumer will own more than 20connected devices with automatic service reporting. What does it mean?
Today, we all know that the information collected about customers over their entire buyer journey is more valuable than the actual sale. And Internet of Thing (IoT) will be the major channel for collecting data in the near future. Imagine that you are able to proactively receive data on customer experience, easily communicate and engage customers and solve their issues. In the world of connected devices, brands can deliver customer experiences beyond expectations.
8. Data is big. Data is fast. And data is for experience perfection.
Yes, data is big and fast. Yes, you can have a great strategy on this big data. But you might be sitting on a mess of useless information if you are not able to analyze this very big and very fast data in real time and turn customer insight into action. Brands can designate the customer journey towards buying moment through real time data and advanced analytics.The only way to develop their customer relationship and increase Customer Lifetime Value is constant experimentation and learning using real time data and action.
Brands building their experience strategy on continuous learning will receive successful business results as customer’s relationship with technology continues to evolve. Marketers should measure the impact while continuously making improvements on customer experience to make adjustment on their action plan in real time. So, focus on real time data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver better customer experiences.
9. New ways of storytelling
The way we tell stories are getting more creative, multi sensory and immersive with the new technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, haptics, artificial intelligence, gaming, 3D interactive videos, holography, and others. Brand story is something to be experienced rather than observed. This is why brands, including their customers in their stories with the use of these technologies, will be the brands that tell their brand stories best. So, start developing your strategy on how to use technology to put your target audience in the driver’s seat and make them active participants in your brand story. In 2019 and beyond, accelerating new digital technologies will change the way how stories are told, experiences are created and customers are engaged.
10. Influencer marketing
Although influencer marketing is neither new nor a pure technology trend, its main source of success is technology and it seems like 2019 will be another year of influencer marketing. This very effective form of communication will continue to use the proven methods and approaches in 2019 but with some minimal changes that brands should be aware of. Here are the most important trends for brands targeting to expand success in influencer marketing strategy in 2019.
Keep an eye on the new tools of Instagram, the kingdom of user generated content and influencer marketing. New forms and uses of voice and video contents will accelerate in 2019 (as we have already mentioned previously in this article). Consider to use the influencer generated content not only on social media but across all marketing channels. This human-to-human, familiar but tailored interaction is perfect for delivering better experience on the other channels consumers are using. The demand for authentic content and number of influencers are rising. Create your own micro-influencers for your brand with smart hashtags, location tags and mentions to discover the highest quality brand engagements.