There was a time when concepts such as artificial intelligence and chatbots were deemed ambitious, verging on unattainable. Today, they are among the top priorities of any up-and-coming business. New trends in marketing are emerging constantly, shaping and reshaping the digital marketing landscape. Staying on top of these trends should be at the top of the list for old and new businesses alike in order to engage and retain customers and generate more leads, traffic, and revenue.
With the upheavals of 2020 making a profound impact on digital marketing, brands are now faced with entirely new patterns of consumer behavior. In this article, we have identified six areas in which businesses need to invest more time and resources in order to stay ahead of the curve.
A survey conducted by Accenture reveals that 41% of shoppers would stop buying from retailers who haven’t taken steps towards inclusivity and 29% would be inclined to switch to a different, more diverse brand. A growing number of consumers, particularly the younger and more marginalized demographics, look for a broader representation that spans different sexualities, religions, races, body types, and so on in the brands that they purchase from.
Campaigns that make an effort to break stereotypes and embrace the people in the real world have a much greater chance of success in forming deeper connections with their buyers. Another 2019 consumer survey by The Female Quotient and Google shows that 64% of all respondents are more likely to consider, or even make a purchase, after seeing an ad that they found to be inclusive.
This trend, albeit not new in traditional marketing, has only recently been gaining traction in the realm of digital marketing. The concept of customer segmentation involves organizing a customer or business base along behavioral, geographic, demographic, or psychographic lines. This can enable the business to focus on each group individually and strategize accordingly for each of them.
Segmentation strategies can go a long way in helping a business predict where its products and services are most desired, allowing for better and more personalized customer experiences and niche marketing. These can really contribute to improved customer retention as well as revenue generation.
Emphasizing on sustainability
As a new era of sustainability emerges the world over, sustainability initiatives are becoming more ubiquitous and desirable. A recent global survey discloses that 81% of global respondents feel strongly in favor of companies taking steps towards preserving the environment. The harsh reality of the threat posed by environmental hazards in this post-modern industrial age has driven consumers to take more active steps towards environmentalism.
The last couple of years have shown a clear shift of brands towards a more sustainable future as they made changes to the materials they use, their methods of production, and so on. Customers are actively seeking out brands that are purpose-driven and conscious about the environment. One such brand is The Ocean Cleanup which presented its first product in October 2020 made entirely out of plastic collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Conversational marketing and chatbots
Conversational marketing employs dialogue-driven activities to generate leads. Studies show that 79% of consumers are willing to make use of messaging apps for customer service and a whopping 82% demand an immediate response when they have a question. This trend in marketing is, therefore, a critical component of a successful modern marketing playbook.
This approach, being bidirectional and focusing on interacting directly with the consumers, foster greater engagement and enhances the buyer experience to make it smoother and more efficient. An effective way to incorporate conversational marketing into your business strategy is through chatbots. As opposed to one-on-one human interaction, which isn’t scalable in most cases, chatbots can help create timely and contextually relevant micro-conversations.
Tedious sales pages and emails of yesteryear are fading to the background as video marketing takes its place. There has been a recent uptick in the number of people turning to live streams, particularly those on alternative social media platforms like TikTok, for shopping. Livestreams provide consumers the much needed up-close look at the principles and character of a brand and what they have to offer before deciding to make a purchase from them.
Moreover, virtual events are much more accessible than in-person ones, which allows for higher attendance and more active participation. Owing to their interactive nature, live streams draw in considerably more viewership with a smaller investment and can go a long way in building credibility and trust.
According to an infographic from GO-Gulf, 93% of marketers said that interactive content is more effective in educating their buyers and 88% said that interactive content is effective in differentiating their brand from their competitors. Interactivity generates higher engagement rates and enhances conversions to 40-50%, offering a more immersive experience.
This is another trend that has been around for quite some time but is only just being recognized as best practice. Polls, surveys, open-ended questions, contests, and giveaways are some examples of this type of content that can do wonders for brands. On one hand, it is a great way to establish a personal connection with buyers, and on the other, it can also be used to collect data on user preferences.
There is fierce competition across all industries and niches and digital marketing is no different. Change is an integral part of the job and it is important to keep looking ahead and adapt and embrace new strategies that can give you an edge over your competitors. The trends mentioned in this article, if taken to heart, can guide you as you outline your marketing strategy for this year.