Every new year brings exciting new trends and technology that influences consumer trends and behaviour. Being aware of trends and how they may affect your business and industry can put you in a very good position to reap the benefits. For example, the majority of internet searches are now on mobile which means websites that are not optimised for mobile are out of favour against competitors’ sites. This means businesses can take advantage of competitors by being aware of the need for a mobile-optimised site. The technology world is constantly changing, here are 5 technologies that could potentially disrupt the digital marketing industry:
Voice assistants e.g. Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Smartphones have been using voice assistant features for a long time now. Amazon Alexa and Google Home seek to bring this technology into the home where consumers can easily control their devices by their voice. Voice assistants could find their way in our homes through increased capabilities and more reasonable market prices, to allow us to control appliances such as our music, heating and lighting. The possibilities are endless with voice technology, and depending on the brand you buy, your phones, tablets and computers will be able to be synced for further capabilities.
For the digital marketing industry, voice assistants could disrupt how consumers look for products and services on search engine. People may no longer view their options on search engines and make a selection, instead being given an automatic answer which could be one of the top searches, or even maybe the top choice or an advert. How reliable consumers view the answers given, may mean they change the search engine they use for answers they trust.
The concept of self-driving cars has been around for the last decade with most modern day cars having the capacity to self-park. Self-driving cars will change driving in several ways, from the traffic on the roads, to how businesses deliver goods in transit. For marketers, it will mean people may be on their phones more in the car, this is one of the reasons business people love using Uber because it allows you to work, which you cannot do when driving. This will mean mobile usage increases, again showing the need for mobile optimisation of websites. It also means people may not be looking around whilst the car is driving, meaning the effectiveness of external signage may decrease. Radio, and other forms of entertainment in-car may unlock new ways to engage with the consumer as they now have their attention freed up from driving.
Virtual reality headsets e.g. Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Rift
Virtual reality headsets offer a whole new dimension of marketing and advertising opportunities. Oculus Rift is an augmented VR headset that engulfs you in a virtual reality world, whereas, Microsoft’s HoloLens is a mixed reality headset meaning can still the real-world around you, but with added integrated holograms. These headsets have huge potential in the consumer market, with the companies saying that app developers may determine the possibilities of where the technology can go. The HoloLens can be used to place holograms in the real-world that you can walk around, and it can also allow you to walk around with a hologram following you, so for example, you can Skype people on the move. Facebook have bought Oculus Rift, which has led to the price being dropped significantly in recent times to allow the product to be picked up by your average consumer. This may make the product more valuable to game-developers and advertisers as the amount of users increases. Advertising and marketing could take many forms in augmented reality, with ad banners and pop-ups all possible in the software, bringing a new channel of advertising.
Chatbots are already being integrated on websites as quick and easy solutions to engaging with consumers in a more personal way. Chatbots are automated bots that learn and respond to help a customer. They usually have human names or pictures to achieve a personal feel that customers like. Chatbots can save businesses a lot of time and resources as they remove the need to have a real-person answering simple questions that are on the website. Bots are becoming increasingly clever and can handle more complex situations. Chatbots might be used to open conversation with the latest promotions and offers, to run adverts or to keep customers on a website for a long time to help organic search ranking.
Cognitive computers e.g. IBM Watson
IBM’s Watson is at the forefront of cognitive computing that is being used to dramatically help the world make sense of big data. Watson can unlock insights and find answers in data that is impossible for humans. Watson reasons about problems like a human does by observing, interpreting, evaluating and deciding on the best options available. Watson can do this at massive speed and scale, uncovering trends in unstructured data like opinions and articles. What makes Watson different is that it has the capability to understand context, and it can continue to learn through experience and interaction. Watson is making major discoveries in industries like medicine, where it is helping doctors make better research-based decisions.
If deep machine learning can become accessible in industries such as digital marketing, businesses will be able to interpret big data to uncover hidden truths on consumer behaviour. This would have the potential to propel businesses to the front of markets, as they would be able to offer products and services that consumers are demanding.