As technology and digital marketing tools continue to improve, businesses will have to adapt to trends in marketing and consumer behavior.
Businesses that are attentive to the trends and changes will be able to better implement new tools and strategies for greater success and improved customer interaction.
Here are 13 trends in technology to keep an eye on and continue to read up and learn of their evolution, which is sure to continue.
The ease and convenience of online shopping is something consumers value, especially with perks like free same-day shipping from Amazon Prime.
Social media marketing and Google make it easy for e-commerce companies to reach their target audience and ensure their ads are being seen by who they want to cater to.
- Big Data and analytics
Businesses have learned from gathering misleading data. We will continue to see even more accurate measurements and customer data. With Facebook and google continually upgrading and improving analytics, companies will be able to gather even more information about consumers to inform marketing decisions. (Examples of companies using big data: Samsung uses it to power the content recommendation engine on its newest smart TVs. Progressive Insurance relies on it to capture driving behavior, determine customer risk profiles and decide on competitive pricing. LexisNexis Risk Solutions uses it to identify individuals, including family relationships, thus helping financial institutions and other clients reduce fraud)
- Virtual reality
Last year virtual reality became available to consumers through products like the Oculus and Google Daydream Viewer Headset. I we will continue to see advancements in virtual reality and businesses will benefit in areas such as training, education, and productivity.
- Creating a personal brand
New and emerging digital platforms allow businesses and individuals to distinguish themselves from competitors by building a personal brand.
This personal brand is how a business will gain individuality when marketing themselves to an audience. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube allow audiences to get connected to businesses while learning about the brand values and vision, which personalizes a business.
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
We will see the rise of machines that can learn and complete tasks that would normally require human intelligence.
We’ve already seen of machines that can problem-solve on their own, like self-driving cars. In the next year, we’ll be exposed to more machines that can adapt and learn skills only we as humans have possessed.
- Personalized products
Companies are going out of their way to touch each consumer and make products tailored to the individual . Consumers want a sense of independence and will buy from companies who value their individuality.
We see examples of this trend in everything from Nike’s Customizable Sneakers to brooks brothers allowing men to create their own suits.
- Software as a service (SAAS)
Rather than directly selling a product, we’ve seen a rise in companies looking to connect consumers with a service. Air bnb, Uber, and Trunk Club allow users to lead an asset-light life.
The connections these companies provide help build a sense of community while consumers feel they’re getting a service they need.
- Video content
We’ll see even more brands begin to utilize video content as VR and augmented reality become more mainstream.
With the ability to share video content easily on social media through platforms like Snapchat or Facebook Live, brands are looking for new, innovative ways to capture an audience’s attention through video.
- The cloud
The cloud will continue to gain momentum and increase the amount of remote employees, as the digital space allows employees to complete work assignments from just about anywhere, more employees are seeking a flexible schedule and the comfort of working from home.
Remote employees allow an employer to have access to talent all over the world. Cloud based communication tools such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype allow employers to have face-to-face meetings with employees who are not physically present.
- Fitness wearable’s
Consumers are gravitating toward fitness wearable’s as new technology allows us to track what we eat, how far we walk, and what kinds of exercises we do throughout the day. Fitbit and the Nike Running App provide a competitive and gamified way for consumers to stay active and healthy. These wearable’s are not just fashion items, they will continue to evolve and become more powerful and precise.
- Social media marketing
Social media has become a crucial to every brand’s marketing strategy. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook will continue to improve ads and analytics, making it easier for brands to reach their target consumers.
Social media will continue to be an important way for brands to maintain relationships and build a community of loyal customers and get to know them better.
- Green products
Consumers care about corporations that are socially responsible and sustainable. The younger generation is increasingly likely to buy into companies who follow a give-back model or feature environmentally friendly products and packaging.
Companies are aware that millennials are giving priority to those who are socially-conscious and are adapting their products and values accordingly.
We’ll continue to see intelligent chatbots like Siri and Alexa who can perform simple tasks and pull information.
As the software improves, we’ll see artificial intelligence and human characteristics used to improve the quality of information provided. We may also see chatbots that are able to learn a user’s preferences and utilize those preferences when providing information.
Machines will keep getting smarter and new technology will increase productivity among businesses. Remote workers and virtual tours will allow businesses to connect with consumers and employees all over the world.