We are at the edge of an evolutionary period, where marketers are evolving and thriving like never before. Brands are trying to reach out to relevant customers to build effective and relevant relationships. They are banking on social media, advertising, search, mailers, videos, podcasts and mobile technologies to create winning strategies and achieve real-time connections. Marketers are experimenting on various new methods to reach out to their target audience. Here are 10 emerging technology trend predictions that will pave the path to innovative transitions in Digital Marketing and eventually shape its future.

10) Automation tools.

Automation tools in marketing will give marketers an incredible intelligence layer in order to sift through Big data and draw insights. Also, the rise of predictive analysis platforms will help Digital Marketers to do what every sales person will want to achieve – but at a larger marketing scale. Marketing will not just revolve around creating campaigns and tracking behavioural activity of prospects. Future marketing platforms will deliver full-circle recommendations across all key customer touch points. However, there may be a few challenges that marketers will face while using the automation tools of the future. The first being integration, where marketers will have to deal with abundance of technology while being hesitant to choose the right technology that adapts to their ever-changing marketplace. The second will be prioritisation issues which lies in finding out the best starting points to propel a business forward.

The next-generation of marketing automation tools will be offering powerful open APIs (‘Application Program Interfaces’) that directly lead to establish and drive more conversions. Also, application interfaces will change considerably.

9) Advanced Content creation tools

Various online and offline advanced content creation tools will emerge with brainstorming, topic generating, headline generating (similar to Portent Content title generator) tweaking, content creation, proofreading and plagiarism checking features. These tools will have access to an inbuilt content discovery portal/platform with an interface like Buzz Sumo that will find real-time trending content from influencers worldwide. This will help save research time for bloggers or marketers or content researchers.

This is how these tools will work. They will first take a few pieces of various content that is trending real-time, written on similar topics, based on intent. Then, using the existing content, the tools will guide the bloggers/marketers in the entire process of crafting a blog or a white paper or a case study right from scratch. After the creation process, the tools will allow the content to be shared across numerous social networking sites. This article/blog will be provided with sharing tools where users can also send their article as a mail to their friends/colleagues/customers.

8) Visual Storytelling

Infographics will become the forefront of media and marketing and will be incorporated into content strategies.

As Infographics will be easier to synthesise and recall, they will create an engaging user experience and captivate audience through their visual appeal, with its power.

Various tools to generate infographics from text will emerge in the coming years. Also, curated motion graphic video software featuring animation, sound effects and narration will be on the rise Thus, with salient ideas and live data visualisations, infographics will be very popular among content marketers. There is also a high likely chance that with new formats or tools, users will be able to engage or interact with infographics to learn more about a particular topic that is being covered/displayed in an infographic. The modern infographic will have HTML5 elements (similar to the HTML5 infographic featuring Dribbble) and videos and motion graphics will be integrated on the same. This will signify the evolution of interactive infographics, marking a significant change in design and visual storytelling.

7) Micro-targeting and Finer Hyper Segmentation

Hyper Segmentation is one of the powerful marketing techniques in order to reach the audience and it opens up a new world of possibilities. Search engines and social networking sites will provide a storehouse of information and wealth of data to Digital Marketers who will look to more closely target customers of their niche. The niche will consist of a very specific group of customers in a particular segment, within a defined demographic and who are prone to a specific behavioural activity. Emerging softwares will automatically identity influencers and predict people’s future behaviours and attitudes with intelligent signalsIt will also predict the potential customers for a company’s product/service or people who are more likely to buy the product and give a positive review/rating/response.

The features of these softwares will range from developing a custom segmentation model to fit the marketing challenges for a product and also identify marketing targets across multiple dimensions.

All this information will help in aiding for micro-targeting and hyper-segmentation which can dramatically create an impact, when it comes to improving sales.

6) 24/7 Webcasting channels by popular Brands

To boost exposure, popular brands will start live-streaming their channels online to the world every minute of the day and will keep their followers entertained, by capturing their attention with an uninterrupted viewing experience. Through webcasting, brands will use technology to showcase and promote their products/services and announce their product launches. This will help to build in awareness. Also, they will be able to reach and contact any user remotely, provided the user has access to the Internet. The user also will be able to interact with the organisers and presenters who are conducting the live-streams. Some of the webcasts may also be accessible through a paid- subscription basis and brands will advertise their streams to their targeted audience on social networks, emailers and search engines.

Brands will also have access to a wide range of real-time analytic tools similar to YouTube Live that provide statistics to track user participation and performance.

5) Artificial-intelligence search

Search engine optimisation will become obsolete as search engines will continue to change and modify their algorithms. Also, text-based content that is displayed on websites and webpages will become the least important media that will be produced. Search engines will strengthen its artificial intelligence abilities with improvement on context or relevance. Furthermore, traditional SEO will become less effective and social networks will establish new identities, improve usability and engagement, integrating themselves into popular search engines.

The concept of Attention banks will slowly come into picture on search engines. i.e. when a user clicks an ad, he/she earns rewards or services in return. A fine example of this will be a mobile phone company which provides free airtime in exchange for viewing their ads.

Search engines will be able to further visualise user intent accurately and provide holistic information. This is all possible with the mechanism that remembers what the users are searching and also providing recommendations, based on predictions.

4) Next generation Proximity and Micro-location Marketing

Proximity and Micro-Location marketing will involve marketing to specific customers who are nearby – a geographic radius of roughly 100 meters. Geo fences will be set-up and marketers will be able to deliver a wide range of value-added services over a Wi-Fi Network. This will help in generating higher ROI for advertisers.

Also, LTE Advanced, a new form of LTE will offer device-to-device proximity (LTE Direct). Mobile apps will be able to broadcast their own services and also monitor mobile application services on other devices.

The next generation GPS technology will be in high-precision and will help in locating a customer’s presence within a specific proximity of a merchant space. Then, a tailored customised message will be sent to the person to his/her phone.

This sort of technology will help all types of industries from hospitality to retail to museums and sports avenues.

3) Intelligent virtual assistants

Virtual/Digital assistants like Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana who are interacting on a daily basis with users, will be evolved and may eventually become advisors.

Virtual/Digital assistants will also anticipate future actions. For example, for a birthday party or an anniversary that is coming up, the virtual assistants will recommend and suggest the best shopping destinations/restaurants that are nearby, to shop, visit or dine.

Advertising will become predictive as more data will be fed to these systems. These virtual assistants will play a huge role in marketing, monitoring every user interaction. They will suggest investment opportunities, integrate with CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) to deliver the right solutions easily and will also help in making a proposal. They will serve as a point of convergence of user-profiling data and will very soon (by amassing an in-depth knowledge of user’s keywords or search terms), become pivotal to marketers who will want to target people through behaviours/interests.

2) Virtual spaces

Technological advances in virtual reality will open up to new opportunities for marketers. Virtual shopping areas or Virtual stores, may be accessible from wearable devices like Google Glass or VR platform headsets, Mobile phones and Computers. Marketers will be able to simulate a virtual-shopping store that will showcase their products in three-dimension and at the same time get customers make their purchase decisions to buy the product. A good example of this will be the virtual shopping website. This will give customers an experience of actually being in the retail store on a computer screen. Imagine a bookstore or a grocery store where we can browse or go through all the products with a feeling that we are actually there, right from our homes or offices. This illusive technology will promise to change the way companies innovate constantly and will serve as a breakthrough in marketing, ultimately creating a big impact in sales. It will also provide the unique advantage to companies who will evaluate concepts and test new ideas in virtual stores under different competitive prices and promotions.

1) The Internet of things (IoT)

The Internet of things (IoT) uses sensor technology which connects objects to their virtual representations. The Internet of things is constantly expanding and Intel predicts that there will be about 200 billion devices on the Internet of things by the year 2020. According to the all new BI intelligence reportthe Internet of things will be the world’s massive device market and will result in $1.7 trillion in value to the global economy in 2019.

Challenges will emerge along with the requirement of data analyst roles in companies that will be looking to build enhanced analysing systems.

Nevertheless, the Internet of things will proliferate year after year and objects like cards, key chains/locks, coffee makers, ceiling fans will all be connected to the internet.

Thus the future of digital marketing will not lie in creating ads that are viewable on smartphones, tablets, TVs etc. It will be contextual to the types of new products and smart devices like refrigerators, bicycles, wearable technology devices (Google Glass) that fuel ad marketing.

About the Author: 

Srinidhi Ranganathan is a Result-Oriented Digital Marketing Coach and Growth Hacker who shares his expertise in Content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Search (PPC), Email marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video Marketing, Analytics and Mobile Marketing. Srinidhi is an addict of all things content & social on the web, from his inspiring blog to Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn. He is also incredibly passionate about writing engaging and effective content that can bring any product/service to the next level. Being an avid reader, he constantly researches on the new and emerging techniques within the digital media space.

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