In a fast-changing world, businesses must adapt and pivot strategies to remain competitive. Digital transformation is the key to staying ahead of the curve, and marketing is no exception. In fact, marketing will play an even more significant role in ensuring your company thrives in the coming years. In recent years, we have witnessed the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and voice-activated digital assistants. Marketers need to understand how these emerging trends will impact their day-to-day responsibilities.
Sustainability and Charitable Actions
As demand for ethically sourced products grows, so will consumers’ willingness to pay more for goods and services. With this in mind, marketers should integrate sustainable practices into their strategies—from sourcing raw materials to product packaging.
Regarding charitable actions, it’s important to note that millennials, who now account for 40% of the U.S. workforce, are increasingly interested in making their jobs more socially responsible. 80% of workers between 22 and 37 would be more loyal to brands supporting charities. Marketers may partner with non-profit organizations, donate products, or run fundraising campaigns instead of gifts to tap into this potential.
Given the rise of digitally native businesses and the continued popularity of social media marketing, it’s no surprise that user-generated content (UGC) will play a more significant role in the coming years. Brands are expected to increase their UGC usage by 25% in the next five years. For marketers, this means they can expect to source more content—and creative ideas—from customers. To ensure the success of this strategy, businesses should equip their communities with the tools and resources necessary to create successful posts—from social-media-friendly photography equipment to video editing software.
AR and VR
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two technologies that are likely to impact marketing strategies in the coming years significantly. Although VR has been around for decades, it’s only recently that the technology has become affordable enough for widespread adoption.
Already, we’re seeing brands like Mercedes Benz and Marriott introducing VR as a marketing tool. Moreover, there seems to be a significant demand for VR, with one survey finding that 82% of respondents are interested in purchasing products that are displayed via VR. Meanwhile, AR is a relatively new technology that has already shown promise among marketers. In marketing, AR allows brands to digitally overlay images or text onto real-life objects, such as shopping bags or billboards.
The Internet of Things
As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow in popularity, marketers will need to keep an eye on how they can use it to their advantage. Already, we’re seeing IoT play a significant role in our health and wellbeing, with intelligent scales and trackers becoming increasingly popular.
By 2020, it’s estimated that more than 30 billion devices will be connected to the internet. It’s not just marketers who stand to benefit from the rise of IoT. IoT makes it easy and convenient for users to interact with your brand across several channels. Customers can also leverage connected devices to make their lives easier by remotely controlling their home appliances or unlocking their cars.
Video and Live Streaming
Marketers will need to explore new mediums as consumers continue to move away from reading, writing, and watching content on computers. One such way is through live streaming, which has experienced a significant rise in popularity over the past few years. Well-known brands, such as Pepsi, Red Bull, and L’Oréal, have already begun integrating live-streaming into their strategies—and the results have been positive.
According to a study by Sprout Social, live videos are six times as likely to earn social shares than pre-recorded videos. For marketers, live streaming presents an opportunity to engage with customers in real-time, either online or via devices such as loop.tv, where you can stream via business signage and respond to their comments and questions in a more personalized manner than simply publishing articles or blogs.