On the horizon: 5 key digital marketing trends

Let’s face it, we’re all curious about what’s on the horizon. Technology is constantly evolving, content and social media have become a crucial element of business and brand across every industry, and real-time interaction is increasingly in demand. 

At a recent event held by General Assembly in Sydney, Adobe’s Head of Industry Strategy APAC, Murray Howe, stated that “In 2012, one thousand CEOs were surveyed, from which 80% were not happy with marketers. They believed marketers are disconnected from business as usual and are too busy with social media.”

That’s not to say that social media isn’t a core element of modern digital marketing; however it can sometimes cause broader strategic planning and implementation to be neglected.

In this blog, we take a look at five key digital marketing trends, and explore how marketers can cater to an increasingly time-poor and technologically savvy audience.

1. Customers are demanding more

With data becoming increasingly accessible, we’re seeing a rise in customer autonomy. Customers have the proficiency and desire to research the reviews and ratings of a product before choosing whether to make a purchase or reject an item in favour of something else. Additionally, instead of a product, customers also want a personal experience before, during and after the event, access to real-time trading, and a sense of security for their saved information.  

This desire for autonomy is only set to increase with customers calling for further transparency, especially when it comes to accessing their personal data. Therefore if you wish to gain a steady customer base, trust and brand loyalty should be at the forefront of your thoughts.

2. A shift from “how do we sell to customers” to “how well do we know and serve the customer”

Marketers should be working smart and fast to fully understand their target audience before anything else. In order to tailor their marketing techniques in the right way, marketing managers should be putting aside a sizeable chunk of time towards getting to know who their brand serves.

This could include interpreting motivations, collating customer data, understanding their own assumptions about the market and challenging them, as well as simple solutions such as focus research groups. All of these approaches allow marketers to tailor their marketing techniques. The deeper the research, the higher the authenticity.

3. Consistency is key

All the best brands consistently deliver and remain up to the standard of their own brand guidelines, tone of voice and core values. Having an initial clear message of who and what your company stands for creates a stronger brand image within consumers’ minds. This also means consistency across all media platforms and channels in order to give off a sense of uniformity and dependability.

Top tip: Stick to one brand design style and try to experiment with different content templates within that one style. You’d be surprised how far three fonts and two colours can go!

4. Technology is on the up and up

Before getting super technical, it’s important for marketers to equip their company with the basic principles. This means not getting caught up with the buzzwords of future tech when starting your business. Instead, focus on brand image, target audience and developing core business values.

Once there is a clear foundation, it’s time to act. In the words of veteran creative strategist,  Anthony Dever, “the future is now, be the pioneer to create change”. Yes, there will be AI and blockchain in almost every industry in the future, which could mean there will be less legwork for employees. However, according to Ryan Hoffman, people will crave human communication through channels such as chatbots.

Chatbots, specifically those integrated into messaging apps like Facebook’s Messenger, will be a communication tool used by the majority of customer service representatives to speak with their customers – as it’s convenient and quick. Therefore if you’re looking into chatbot technology, consider integration into your website and social media profiles. 

5. VEO will be the new SEO

According to Aaron Fuller from Briculeur, SEO will shift slightly towards voice optimised keywords, rather than optimising keywords from written search terms. This rise in voice search will transform search engines into answer engines. For example, instead of keywords revolving around the search phrase “cheap pizza near me” it will be closer to “where can I go to get a cheap pizza”. This specificity will require content copy to be more detailed, as search engines will need to understand and respond to commonly used phrases with more elements. This isn’t to say SEO will be redundant; instead it will be used concurrently, as online platforms requiring manual typing will always be used parallel to voice automated engines.

These are just five of the trends on our radar – to find out more, read Croud’s 2019 predictions, or get in touch.

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