Technology has a huge influence on every facet of business these days. Some advancements have specifically changed the way marketing influences customers. While you may be aware of some of these changes, you may not know the extent to which they affect your day-to-day operations; the marketing plan you had just a couple years ago could be obsolete because of the shift.

To ensure that you and your team are on top of the most recent advancements and trends in the industry, we’ve compiled a list of tools, strategies, and techniques that you should be aware of.

1. Chatbots

We’re always looking for new ways to engage with our target market. Because of advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots are becoming an effective means to this end.

As a form of customer service and reputation management, a chatbot can interact with customers directly, even understanding complicated requests. They can respond and address a customer’s concerns or issues, solving the problem itself or guiding a customer through the proper channels. It can even find the exact product a customer is searching for on your site.

They often follow simple rules set by basic code – many “if-then” statements are used with attached preset responses. They are able integrate with existing apps, as well as websites. This gives them the ability to solve problems, interface with customers, and improve the reputation of your brand.

2. Influencer Marketing

Social media marketing has grown exponentially over the past decade. We’ve seen Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn grab the attention of our target market. So we have followed the customers there.

With a host of new platforms, new strategies emerged. One of these strategies is influencer marketing, in which a company pays someone with a large following to create a post endorsing their product, service, or cause. This person can be a celebrity – actor, athlete, musician, model, etc. – or they can garner their following purely on social media.

While the exact return on investment here is still in question, it can certainly boost your brand recognition and give you direct access to your target audience. As customers are craving more authentic content, this may be the way for you to get their attention.

3. Increased Customization

The more relevant a potential customer finds an ad, the more likely they are to engage with it.

Through cookies and other means, a visitor’s internet history can be used to help you identify them as a potential customer. Using information like their search history and navigation on your site (or that of your competitors), target ads can be created. These live on other sites and platforms, reminding them to come back and make a purchase.

This actively moves customers further down the funnel from awareness through engagement. It can also convert them from potential customer to actual customer.

4. Data Collection and Analytics

What if you could conduct a focus group instantly, with a wide range of participants from anywhere in the world?

Programs exist now that can do deep dives into campaign performance. You can do more than just see how many eyes saw an ad and for how long. We know when they exit your site, where they clicked, and details about their customer profile – where else do they make purchases, how often, are they one of your repeat customers?

The programs don’t only collect this information (and more), but they also analyze it. They can tell you how effective an ad is – it’s reach, conversion rate, and the type of people that it was successful with. The more information you gather, the more targeted your future campaigns can be.

5. Interactivity

Since keeping your audience’s attention is getting progressively harder, you need to create something that they won’t want to look away from. With the rise in popularity of ad blockers, we can tell that people simply want a different experience. They’ll tune out or ignore advertisements almost instantly. That is, unless something else is keeping them there. (This is why more and more video ads are only 5 seconds long.)

Today’s customers want content that they can engage with. This can come in the form of a virtual reality video, or a “choose your own adventure” style game, and activation/event, or anything else that customers can participate in. Experiential marketing and guerilla marketing that get people talking can also be effective.

Create something that people want to participate in, talk about, and post about, and you’ve created a winning campaign.

If you want more information about marketing advancements, or if you’re looking for someone with this knowledge to join your team, reach out to the expert consultants at Michael Page today. You can also submit a job spec here.

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