Sud Kumar, marketing director at digital marketing agency Origin, reveals his marketing predictions for the next half of 2019 and beyond…
New technology trends are continually emerging and contributing to the collective noise around marketing and advertising. This makes reaching and engaging customers difficult for your software and technology business. There are many new marketing and advertising trends, but I’ve focused on five that I think are most significant to enhance your customer engagement.
Think of voice search and you probably think “Okay, Google”. This is due to the prevalence of smart speakers in homes that enable users to search, order items and even control other devices around the house. Research has found that one tenth of UK households already own a smart speaker and 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis instead of picking up a device to look for an item.
And, smartphone voice search further increases consumer convenience by overcoming typing issues on a small screen. In fact, global adoption of the technology means that Google’s voice search now processes commands in 60 different languages and has a 95% accuracy rate when the spoken language is English. I see this trend eventually rendering the keyboard obsolete – something that is worth paying attention to when investing in your business’ online search functionalities.
Live video streaming is a huge trend right now, especially on social media. But what is “live” video?
A live stream is easily digestible content that provides higher levels of engagement. Recent research found that 80% of adults reported they would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer them to social posts. Even brand loyalists prefer to watch live video content, with 96% of people saying they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. This is particularly useful in the software and tech industry, as it can help to explain systems and give audiences a deeper level of information.
In addition, watching live video encourages audiences to conduct independent research, as 60% of viewers say they will do an online search while watching a live stream. This demonstrates that live videos help push audiences further down the sales funnel and act as an influential touch point.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and personalisation
Many brands superficially personalise communications, for example addressing customers by name but this is no longer enough.
Companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Spotify have mastered personalisation using AI and algorithms that suggest previous activity-based content. I predict personalisation will go even deeper to understand individuals but striking a balance with GDPR compliancy is important for software and technology businesses boosting customer engagement.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is another trend gaining pace at present and is overtaking Virtual Reality (VR). For example, the retail technology industry has already started adopting ‘try on’ features. And, research suggests almost 70% of consumers expect retailers to launch an AR app within the next six months. Despite this, nearly two-thirds of companies don’t use AR at all, so it’s worth getting ahead with this one as it has obvious applications to the software industry.
Marketing automation is becoming increasingly popular because put simply, it saves time and money. But what is it?
Automation simplifies omnichannel communications and a recent study showed that businesses using three or more channels in their marketing campaigns earned a 90% higher customer retention rate. Companies also achieved 250% higher engagement and purchase rates, suggesting this trend is valuable for software and technology businesses.
I don’t see this trend slowing down but as an account-based marketer, I know that customers still engage the most when there are genuine human touchpoints. Leveraging these trends will be key for software and technology businesses to enhance customer engagement. And, as with any trend, the earlier you jump on the bandwagon, the better it is for your business objectives and standing amongst competitors.
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