“I would have written you a shorter letter but I didn’t have the time.”
This quote attributed to many different sources sums up what we are facing in this now very complex world. But keeping it simple and short takes time and effort. Distilling the complex into something that makes sense in one sentence or even a six second video is an art form that is to be treasured.
But as marketers that is what you are confronted with. Increasing complexity. It is just one of the trends that will impact your business in the years ahead.
We also need the right tools, platforms and technology to help us scale the huge amounts of data and noise that now confront us online. Here are 7 digital marketing trends that you need to keep your eye on.
1. Increasing complexity
Tech is largely to blame for making marketing complex. But it’s also the answer. Making sense of tons of data, always on marketing and the many forms of splintered media is something tech platforms do well.
Right alongside that sits different categories of complex. Facebook advertising is a discipline on its own that requires focus. Then add the dark science of “Search Engine Optimisation” and understanding the many moving parts that require mastery.
The types of media we need to master includes live streaming, Facebook videos and GIFS and Infographics. Then you need to master marketing automation and artificial intelligence tools and platforms.
2. Marketing technology
Marketing technology (sometimes called Martech) is continuing to grow. According to Venture Beat there has been over $134 billion invested in this category in startups in just 5 years. In 2018 IDC is predicting that CMO’s will spend $32 billion on buying and implementing Martech solutions.
But the category has 3 core categories. B2B marketing, B2C marketing and advertising technology. It should not be seen as one size fits all.
According to Ajay Agarwal in an article on TechCrunch there is an interesting divide between spending on marketing versus sales between B2B and B2C. B2B companies spend much more on their front end sales than on marketing at a ratio of 10:1. B2C spends a lot more on marketing than sales with an inverse ratio of 10:1.
Maybe we will expect to see Salesforce dominate B2B marketing tech as it is the dominant sales tool for B2B globally.
He sees the key trend and opportunity as one in which a B2C marketing company can create a B2C system of record from the start of the customer journey to sale.
3. The rise and rise of algorithms
The beauty at the the birth of social media networks was their simplicity. They flowed past you unfiltered.
Twitter was a distilled stream of unfettered consciousness. Facebook was a flowing page of diverse ideas and people. And some sat outside your tent of ideas and interests.
But things have changed.
The need to make money from the platforms meant that algorithms needed to be programmed to ensure that the social networks could start to monetise their distribution. The organic reach that initially excited marketers, writers and entrepreneurs has been dialled back.
Also the volume of data has also exploded in the last 10 years driven by the two obsessive technologies of social media and smartphones. To make sense of that as finite humans means we need help from the machines. And they run on algorithms.
Why do we need algorithms?
The amount of data that confronts us each day needs filters to help us make sense of it. Here is the global digital snapshot of the size of the ecosystem that confronts us.
These platforms, devices and networks are producing this avalanche of data.
- 5.97 billion hours of YouTube are watched every day
- 4.3 billion Facebook messages are posted each day
- 67 million images posted on Instagram every 24 hours
- 269 billion emails are sent 24/7 each day
How algorithms are applied
Algorithms also help marketers and entrepreneurs break through the clutter. And they are used to reach your target markets on Amazon, Tripadvisor, search engines and even in email marketing .
- Amazon – products or books you might like based on past activity and other secret codes.
- Search – Content and information you want to find.
- Social – People you want to hear from or see.
- Emails – Gmail now uses an algorithm that sorts it into tabs and also sends it automatically to spam based on its filters.
- GPS – Help us navigate a city or find our way to a hotel.
- Choose a restaurant – Reviews on Yelp or on Tripadvisor.
So we need to keep studying how they work and learn to work with them as they continue to change and shape shift.
4. Platforms and apps
The web is moving away from an Internet of websites to an Internet of apps and platforms. You may not have noticed it but it is happening right before our eyes. In 2014 more people accessed the Internet though mobile apps than desktop computers for the very first time.
In 2017 over 86% of our time is spent on apps on our mobile phones.
This big trend is something that can’t be ignored and marketers are going to need to work out how they reach consumers via apps and platforms. The obvious answer to this in part will be the rise and rise of Facebook advertising from the platform and also applying marketing tactics to apps like Messenger and WhatsApp.
5. Artificial intelligence
There are two things that humans aren’t good at. Collating and making sense of the vast amounts of data and also scaling our humanity. That is what machines excel at and artificial intelligence allows humans to amplify themselves.
Watson, Einstein and Rank Brain are just three of the big players battling out for world domination in artificial intelligence . Watson is owned by IBM, Einstein by Salesforce and Rank Brain by Google. But underneath these giants who mostly use it for internal use sits a growing range of apps and platforms that are using AI for niche marketing optimization.
Chatbots were maybe the first obvious use of AI for marketing with their abilities to handle initial inquiries without the need for human intervention. But what are some of the other ways AI is being used and imagined for improving marketing performance and scaling?
Information for this article was originally posted by Business 2 Community