Since the pandemic, it has become strikingly clear just how much we rely on our online worlds and their many functionalities to live our day-to-day lives.
While many of us used the opportunity to exercise more, connect and reconnect with loved ones, read, journal, and pursue other hobbies, interests, and passions, we also turned to our computers, phones, and other devices to work, to educate our children (and ourselves), to conduct important transactions, to shop… The list goes on and on.
It also led to a surge in digital marketing activities and the importance of this avenue overall for the success of brands today. What does the future of digital marketing hold for us?
Marketing Trends 2023 – and Beyond
Here’s a glimpse into the future that’s coming… now.
Static content or unresponsive brands just won’t cut it with today’s consumers. Enter conversational marketing. This is a technique that centers around engaging your audience in real-time. This delivers the hit of instant gratification that they demand, and the goal is to build meaningful, positive customer relationships while making the experience as streamlined and seamless as possible. Tools include live chat, messaging apps, and chatbots.
Many brands are going a step beyond by deploying hybrid chatbots. Now, most consumers like chatbots because they can get quick answers to simple, routine inquiries. But when they need a bit more help, a bit more depth, and just as fast of a response? Hybrid chatbots integrate the best features of both a chatbot and a live representative to deal with these issues. Expect smarter, more responsive “bots” going forward.
Do you talk to inanimate objects? A generation ago, people may have looked at you askew. Today, they’re doing the same thing. The majority (65%) of those 25 to 49 years of age talk to their voice-enabled devices at least once daily. From asking Siri for the weather forecast to getting a recipe from Alexa, voice search is surging.
Brands need to progress beyond traditional keywords and think about how people actually search for information, products, and services. This includes questions, phrases, and a more conversational approach to optimizing content. They can also integrate voice commerce, allowing people to speak, buy, and enjoy.
We have recently realized the full scope of what we can achieve online, from getting virtual tours of our favorite brands to trying out outfits and makeup to accessing live tutorials and unboxings.
We expect that digital marketing will become even more immersive and experiential, thanks to advancing technology in the world of extended reality (which encompasses both virtual reality and augmented reality). This is particularly true regarding AR, which is less costly and more accessible.
All you need, in most cases, is a mobile device. Expect more brands to offer richer experiences – and plan to be among them.
Data Privacy and Security
Data is the lifeblood of marketing strategies; as professionals, we want and need to know as much as possible about our customers and prospects. At the same time, we want to protect this sensitive data and their privacy. Data ethics will become increasingly prominent as an issue in the digital marketing world (and beyond).
Data ethics refers to the ethical and responsible use of data. It is imperative that your brand has strict policies implemented and that they share these clearly with users/customers, etc. Individuals should know why they are being asked to provide certain data and how it will be used. Transparency is paramount, as is security.
Social Integration and Commerce
It’s interesting when you research the future of digital marketing. You don’t hear as much about social media as you’d expect. Why? Is it going the way of the dodo bird? No, quite the opposite. It is because social media has become so ubiquitous that it will be integrated seamlessly into our everyday lives and online experiences.
Increasingly, consumers blend social activity with shopping. TikTok and Instagram, for example, both offer features that allow people to buy right from the platforms. In this world, influencer marketing, compelling calls to action, and relevant user-generated content will stand out.
Remember Your Stories
As much as digital marketing has and will change going forward, it all comes back to your brand stories. Since there have been people, there have been stories. This was our first and most important method of learning and of connection. It remains so.
We respond to compelling stories on a neurological and emotional basis. Leverage the power of stories. While you can use any number of formats – from video and podcasts to interactive infographics and quizzes – to tell your tale, frame it in a way that resonates with your audience. Forge that connection. The “how” is always secondary to the “why.”
The future of digital marketing is now. Are you ready?
Connect with THAT Agency to ensure your 2023 strategy is ready for your audience.