The past few years have brought about huge change when it comes to digital marketing, with ever-evolving technology requiring marketers to stay ahead of the curve in order to ensure lasting relevance for their brands.
Companies with their finger on the pulse will already know that artificial intelligence is a huge asset when it comes to digital marketing campaigns, enabling customer journeys that are tailored to fit individual customer’s needs and desires, conduct marketing analysis, curate content and recommend purchases.
With more and more AI-powered MarTech solutions hitting the market, you’re probably wondering what does the upcoming year have in store when it comes to AI and how you can apply it to your marketing strategies?
Read on to find out what you should be looking out for (Spoiler: it’s bad news for the traditional marketing app).
Personalized Customer Experiences End-To-End
The ability of artificial intelligence powered-software to collate, analyze and act on vast quantities of data from a myriad of different sources is what makes it such a great tool for marketers.
So far, AI has done a great job at enabling us to tailor marketing channel content to customers’ desires: as opposed to the mass marketing emails of yesteryear, nowadays every email, pop-up or product recommendation can be crafted and timed to read like a message from a friend rather than a company with a product to sell.
And that’s already a huge step forward – but what can be done to take that process even further?
Think about what happens when a customer leaves a carefully personalized email and lands on your landing page: they’re back to one-size-fits-all generic marketing copy.
In 2019, we can expect technology that will deliver a truly consistent customer journey, from subject line to email body to CTA to landing page, by dynamically modifying website content per user and delivering tailored content… and why not even design.
Consumers will feel that their brands truly “get” them, ensuring a greater degree of trust and improving customer retention.
Narrative Intelligence Will Mean a Stronger and More Consistent Brand Voice
Digital marketing is going increasingly omnichannel, and that is set to increase exponentially in 2019.
No longer will customers have to dip back into Google after an interaction with a brand in a brick and mortar shop in order to continue the conversation over social media or via your website.
That transition is set to become increasingly seamless, with technology enabling personalized experiences and great customer service throughout all the platforms and channels used by your audience.
You’re probably wondering how you can maintain a consistent voice throughout all those platforms and millions of messages.
The answer lies, yet again, in AI: advances in narrative intelligence, i.e. the ability to come up with, analyze and respond effectively to stories using natural language, is set to become a marketer’s new best friend.
While potential applications in entertainment are obvious, another major application for narrative intelligence is its ability to craft engaging messages for digital marketing campaigns.
This means that your brand’s unique voice will be reflected in each and every email, text message, Facebook post ad, and webpage.
Your Brand Voice Will Literally Become a… Voice
Virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri already use a combination of voice and AI to power sales and customer service.
The average customer probably doesn’t realize how much they already rely on AI in day-to-day life, whether it’s by asking Siri to look up cheap flights to Mexico, getting Alexa to fire up Spotify or ordering a coffee through the Starbucks chatbot.
These virtual assistants are set to become more and more present in our daily lives and everyday tasks, with 2019 promising to be their year. Smart speaker ownership in the UK alone doubled in just a few months.
AI-powered voice recognition probably won’t replace traditional advertising platforms, but it could deeply affect the way customers make purchases.
Yet again, this is an incentive for companies to think hard about the way they communicate their brands and to get creative.
How can marketers come up with campaigns that adapt seamlessly to multiple platforms, in a world where visual assets such as logos may well decrease in importance? How can we circle back to something that could resemble the radio advertising of times gone by, but with a direct link between the consumer and retailer?
One thing is for certain, brands would be well-advised to start taking voice marketing into consideration.
Apps Are Out, Chatbots Are In
Not so long ago, mobile apps were the go-to platforms for forward-looking brands. But as we well know, people love to text, and audiences, especially millennials and younger consumers are increasingly switching their attention to messaging apps.
Chatbots – those little windows that pop up asking you if you need help with anything – are already a fixture for many brands, who appreciate their ability to offer round the clock assistance, point customers in the right direction, adapt responses to customers’ needs and never, ever lose their patience.
People like them: many integrate with their favorite messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger, Kik or WhatsApp, and recent research by Twilio pointed out that 66% of consumers prefer to interact with brands through messaging apps.
Throughout the past year, chatbots have evolved to be more and more human-like thanks to advances in NLP (natural language processing) and they’re only set to get bigger in 2019.
Gartner even predicts that by 2020, 50% of companies will spend more on bots and chatbots than traditional mobile app development.
With the app market becoming more and more saturated, it makes sense that enterprises are moving towards AI-powered chatbots for their brand strategy.
So, what can we take away from all this? Shed a tear for the good old mobile app and start thinking beyond the traditional rectangular browsing screen.
Digital marketing in 2019 will be all about highly-personalized Omni-platform experiences with the ability take customers on an integrated journey from their smartphones to a brick-and-mortar shop and back again via voice assistance, chatbots and their favorite messaging apps.
Exciting times ahead!