It’s over a month (and half) into 2020. And, we can say with unabashed confidence that personalisation will be the future of marketing communication (and engagement). In fact, we’ll go a step further. It was by no mere “chance” that you landed on this article. We intended for it to happen! Get the drift? Here are a few recent trends in marketing that we are confident will shape (and change) advertising.A Paradigm Shift to Personalisation
Evolution to Data-Centric Creatives
A Paradigm Shift to Personalisation
In 2019, we saw a surge in the use of data to collect, analyze and optimize customer journeys. With the advent of technological advancements, these strategies will mature in 2020. And, businesses will be able to deliver a one-to-one format of communication. The importance of personalized communication is far too important to ignore. The lethal combination of data, technology and content can help create a multi-touch customer ecosystem. And, this trio would truly be businesses’ biggest asset.
Customer engagement is also affected by how ads are being consumed. The changing technological landscape will largely contribute to this; increasing the urgency of relevant content & messaging that resonates better with consumers. Right from 5G speeds to AI and IoT, creative communication as we know it will transform and evolve in the coming year(s).
Evolution to Data-Centric Creatives
The digital marketing space has transformed with data-driven and programmatic creatives that leverages customers insights. This leads to create personalized ad experiences with the help of machine learning. And, this has directly helped businesses maximize performance and boost RoI. By combining data and technology, businesses have been able to optimize high-performance ad campaigns. There have been several success stories of using data to personalize creative communication.
Point in Case: Google Cloud’s Vision API
The vision for 2020 goes beyond just targeting capabilities. It will look to fine tune data-based creative decisions to better the audience engagement. Take for instance, Google’s Clouds Vision API, a pre-trained AI & ML recognition system. The algorithm uses AI and ML to detect faces and objects. And, can perform functions like classification, labeling and categorization of images. When such a sophisticated image recognition system is combined with marketing, it opens a world of possibilities. It could potentially translate to giving insights on creative elements, placement, etc. The possibilities of further streamlining creative resources and combining them with tech and data is the ideal focus for 2020. Creating personalized, effective and relevant ads is what the future holds for us.
The rapid shift to mobile and smartphone use over the last few years means that consumers are interacting with brands across multiple platforms. Studies shows that, today nearly 60% of shoppers look up product information and prices online while in store. And, this number is going to grow next year. Added to this, 5G will help chisel and fast-charge the marketing landscape. The ease of processing data more swiftly will change the way consumers and marketers deal with the flow of information. This could mean, real-time ad targeting at a granular level, refining the evolution of connected devices, and other forms of personalized content to better the “mobile” experience. Statistics from Intel shows that, 90% of all 5G traffic will be because of video in the next 10 years. This sends a direct signal to marketers to develop quality content and better content experiences to engage the audience.
Point in Case: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
US based brands like Lacoste and Sephora and Indian brands like Lenskart are taking the retail experience seriously. They want to give customers a “rich retail experience” to up the brand experience quotient. Their strategy revolves around investing more in creating in-store experiences around augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) . This poses a huge scope for richer media formats and other immersive experiences. In fact, recent trends in marketing revolves around around alternative forms of creative communication. We see can see content experiences like VR, AR, HQ display videos, etc. From the user journey perspective, it raises another question to marketers and other data analytics enthusiasts. How can the dots and gap between offline and online (O2O) communication be connected?
eRetail and eCommerce has led to the evolution of shopping as a service model, ensuring that engagement translates to brand loyalty. The past decade has proved that when shoppers start their buying journey they often take a complicated route using online and offline touchpoints, before they reach the end of the sales funnel. So, buyer journeys are not only complex, they are also extremely hard to keep track of, especially the offline elements. Blackspots in buyer journey can seriously hinder the lead nurturing process and have a direct effect on conversion. That’s why a lot more brands are investing heavily on tracking both offline and online touchpoints. This recent trends in marketing focuses on understanding multi-touch attribution, it ensures campaigns are interconnected. It will align linear touchpoints and lead generation will lead to direct conversion.
2020 will have more marketing solutions that have brands using offline and online as complementary to each other in the buyer journey, rather than competing against each other. This means, giving customers the convenience of a retail store while online, and inversely, giving them the depth of information available online while in a retail store.
Point in Case: Google Lens
Google Lens is amongst the top contenders for solving the disparity between online and offline attribution. For years marketers have broken sweat in simplifying the exercise of tracking offline efforts, such brochures, hoarding and other physical ad formats, online, or vice versa. Performance marketing based on data has become the simple norm today, and this is only going to strengthen in the coming year; simply because a lot more questions are being raised on the issues of attribution. More importantly customers are looking for immersive marketing experiences, which starts off exactly where the previous experience stopped.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Most of the discussions of the application of AI and ML in advertising and marketing has been about the much evolved programmatic ads and ad bid optimization. A survey by Domo, shows that almost 90% of all data ever created was created over the last two years. That’s roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created everyday. And, this is only going to keep growing. So, safe to say that analysing that volume of data is humanly impossible, making automation of data quintessential. In the coming years there will be a need for greater sophistication in understanding data and presenting marketers with real-time actionable insights. Higher targeting accuracy, coupled with precision messaging will lead to greater performance advertising.
It is an undisputed fact that Google and Facebook dominate the programmatic ads universe, and the chances of that changing in the near future seems slim. So, while Google and Facebook use AI to fine-tune user experience, can advertisers do the same to get better results from these platforms? Most definitely! And that is where all the recent trends in marketing are pointing towards. There is a growing demand to maximize the RoI for marketing efforts using A. And, this is in-line with precision targeting, a task that requires precision data.
Point in Case: Netflix Personalized Mailers
Netflix’s weekly mailer to their existing customer about personalised watchlist recommendations is a classic example of AI driven content marketing. This shows the shift to AI-driven messaging, which will become a norm in the coming year(s). Right from offers, to specific CTAs to recommendations, hyper-specific messaging based on context will power online communication, in fact, it will go on to power all of the creative communication online. eMailers are one amongst the many examples of personalised messaging. We already push-notifications, social media in-mail, search ads all carrying different levels of personalised messaging.
Leveraging Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects the dots between multiple devices and systems. It relies on autonomous communication of physical devices such as wearables, smart home devices, etc. With the growing popularity of these “smart” devices, research suggests that there would be at least 5 connected objects for every smartphone user. This opens a world of marketing possibilities, especially for eCommerce, for instance smart refrigerators identifying items that need restocking and directly placing orders for the same.
The ability of these devices to collect data, gives marketers and brands a better understanding of how their customers engage with their products and a holistic idea of customers experiences. Let’s face it, big data is here to stay. The real-time data extracted from such devices also lets marketers deliver more relevant images that leads to better engagement, based on buyer behaviour, desires and intent. By drawing parallels, marketers can create impactful campaigns in the future.
Point in Case: Wearable Fitness
Over the past 5 years we saw fitness wearables boom, right from smart watches to smart shoes and weight management scales. And, this has translated to shaping innovative & recent trends in marketing , because brands have hourly engagement with their audience. For instance when trackers identify that users are doing a lot of high-intensity workouts, it can share nutrition recommendations, protein supplements, etc. Interestingly research supports this in the sense that targeting users immediately after a workout can lead to positive outcomes because endorphins are high. Presenting a brilliant (and well-timed) opportunity for lead nurturing.
By 2022, the voice recognition industry is expected to see a growth of $40 billion. With over 50% of homes in developed nations have at least one smart speaker. Google says that 41% of their smart speaker users say that voice devices creates a more human relationship with technology. This only sets the base for more conversational marketing that doesn’t sound like a sales pitch but more like consumer care messages.
Point in Case: Voice-based chatbots
We’ve already seen the success of chatbots for providing 24*7 support. A study from Harvard Business Review suggests that they increase the chances of qualifying leads to 400%. This, compared to the traditional approach, would otherwise take days of marketing automation and lead nurturing. Putting two and two together, it only makes sense that voice-based chatbots are a recent trends in marketing that’s here to stay. This would further the sentiment that shows marketing will be more attuned towards engaging with customers when they want, how they want and in their own terms.
Unyscape’s Take on Recent Trends in Marketing for 2020
In 2020, creative marketers will have to adapt to technology and data analytics, because honestly, there is no going back. Performance based marketing communication will be what every marketer will need to adapt to in order to get ahead of the pack and to ultimately win over the target audience.