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Technology changing consumer behaviour is biggest marketing trend

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 18 Mar, 2019
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Chart of the Week: Changing customer behaviours driven by technological developments are seen as offering the biggest opportunities and challenges to marketers

The change in customer behaviour driven by technological developments is the biggest trend that marketers believe will offer the biggest opportunities and challenges in digital marketing.

A new survey from ClickZ found that over half (50.7%) of US marketers believe that new tech leading to changes in behaviour is the marketing trend that people need to pay attention to over the next 12 to 18 months.

biggest marketing trends over next 12 to 18 months

Technology like voice assistants, as well as continuous changes to social media, offer a range of opportunities to target new audiences or offer easier ways to shop. However, each technological advance brings with it a unique set of challenges that marketers also need to deal with.

Keeping on top of the latest trends can ensure that you identify opportunities early on, allowing you to adapt your marketing strategy and keep ahead of the competition. This also means that you can assess challenges at an early stage to test and learn the best approaches.

The implications of data privacy

The next biggest trend that marketers expect to have a big impact over the next year or so is “data protection, privacy and regulations”. Some 41.9% of marketers see this a being a challenge, which is unsurprising in the wake of GDPR.

A few data scandals have also made consumers more wary about their data, as well as which companies they deal with, due to declining trust. Facebook’s leak at the start of 2018 that saw information of up to 87 million people being collected, along with Google Plus not disclosing a data leak have both made consumers more careful.

With cyber attacks regularly affecting large and small companies, marketers not only need to think about how data is secured, they also need to have a plan in place in the instance of a data leak. How you deal with a hack after the fact can have a big impact on consumer trust and brand reputation, offering a unique challenge, especially for the unprepared.

The rise of voice search

Linking into the first trend, the third biggest, as chosen by 36.1% of respondents, is the rise of voice search. More and more households now use smart speakers or personal assistants on their mobile devices, opening up another option for search.

Mobile voice search and smart speakers mean that consumers have a different way to interact with brands. They also mean that brands have a big opportunity to optimize results and content for voice search in order to make the most of the number of people now using this technology.

According to Hubspot, voice searches grew by 3,400% between 2008 and 2017, showing that now is the time to ensure you’re ready for voice search if you haven’t taken steps to optimize your site already.

Machine learning

The fourth biggest trend chosen by marketers is another technology, with 33.2% of respondents saying that machine learning is going to be worth paying attention to over the next 12 to 18 months.

One of the biggest benefits of machine learning is that it gives marketers greater insight into the data collected, allowing them to better create a targeted strategy. It enables marketers to qualify sales, understand data, make more accurate ROI predictions and create more accurate customer profiles and personas.

Machine learning also provides a more competitive edge, allowing you to develop campaigns that are fully targeted and based on data rather than guesswork. On top of this, it will help to improve search and product visibility, making the user journey better and helping you improve your customer journey map.

Make it personal

Personalization completes the top 5 trends marketers think people need to watch out for in the world of digital marketing over the next year or so. Just under a third (31.1%) cited personalization as being a tactic that will offer both opportunities and challenges.

Currently, 59% of marketers are failing to personalize content at scale, meaning they aren’t creating the best user experience. While marketers have access to more data that can help with website personalization, they also don’t have the time to create personalized content.

However, creating a customer-centric focus ensures that a consistent experience is created that can be tailored across channels to lead consumers from your website to social media to email and beyond.

Benefits of personalization included suggested content, related items, tailored offers and more, all of which creates a great experience and can lead customers down a designed funnel toward the checkout.

Top 5 marketing trends over next 12 to 18 months

Final thoughts

While there are a number of other trends that marketers see as being worth paying attention to over the next 12 to 18 months, the top five show that the implications of new technology really need to be considered.

With voice assistants changing how people search and the fact that customers are now more connected and able to interact with brands at different touch points, marketers need to start building these top five trends into their overall strategies in order to make the most of the benefits they can provide.

Of course, you also need to ensure you’re data compliant, as privacy and the way in which brands deal with it are set to become bigger challenges as time goes on.

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By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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