The way we do business is one of the many, many things that we’ll have to redefine and reshape after the Coronavirus pandemic comes to an end. The disruption brought by the spread of COVID-19 deeply changed our normal dynamics, forcing a lot of companies to work from home implementing new tools. In fact, it’s highly likely that some of the practices we adopt today will stay with us after the pandemic comes to pass.
In that context, new technologies will certainly play a major part in the new business landscape. It’s true that’s already happening but the crisis caused by the pandemic will have us looking for tech even more. That will be especially true for certain sectors, with marketing being one of the most notable cases. Why? Because, in a recessive scenario, knowing how to ignite interest in products beyond the essential will be key.
Thankfully, marketers will have the possibility to turn to 4 key technologies that they are already using today but that will become far more important in the near future. Let’s take a look at those technologies and how they’ll come together to redefine marketing.
The Big 4
You won’t find anything new here since these are 4 cutting edge technologies that have been en vogue for quite some time. However, they haven’t reached their full potential when applied to marketing, so the future looks ripe for their development. These technologies are:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): you might have been thinking about AI just after reading the title. That’s because AI will surely bring a major revolution in all the fields it touches, and marketing will be no exception. Thanks to machine learning algorithms and deep learning algorithms, the industry won’t be the same.
- Big Data: “data-driven decisions” is a phrase you’ve surely heard at this point and for a reason. Businesses from all industries already discovered the power that lies behind the information about audiences, their habits, and their interests. By gathering and analyzing that data, it’s possible to get insights that you’d never get by any other means.
- Internet of Things (IoT): another trend that’s already exploding, the increasing presence of smart devices that collect and act on data while being interconnected with each other makes a reality of the lifelong dream of science fiction enthusiasts. A vast digital network of interconnected devices will massively change our lives, providing marketers with incredible possibilities for campaigns.
- VR, AR, and Mixed Reality: virtual and augmented reality are very familiar concepts for most of us, as VR and AR devices are now available to everyone. Experiences are getting more sophisticated through them and will continue on that path. Additionally, mixed reality will bring new senses to AR, with the ability to manipulate objects at the top.
A Powerful Combination for a Myriad of Uses
Though those 4 technologies can serve marketing purposes on their own just fine, the true revolution will come when the 4 of them are combined. By using all of them at the same time, marketers will be able to better understand their customers and marketers, create more precise products, and extend their reach beyond their imagination.
Some of the marketing uses they’ll have include:
- More Customization Throughout the Customer Lifecycle: marketing has always been about understanding customer needs to provide exactly what they are looking for when they need it. Through the use of real-time data provided by the IoT, big data analytics, and the help of artificial intelligence, now businesses will be able to create personalized products almost for every customer.
That means that companies will offer a more personalized brand experience right from the get-go. Each customer will have a tailor-made offer from the catalog and customization possibilities to bring that personalization to the maximum level. What’s more, the real-time data will allow businesses to target clients precisely at the moment where the purchase intent is at its peak, increasing the conversion rate.
- Detailed Customer Insights: as any marketer that has been in the industry for some time would tell you, modern marketing teams have it easier than ever. That’s thanks to the huge amount of customer data available for collection and analysis. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With the combination of the IoT and AI, businesses will be able to gather information to the smallest details.
Customer profiling will be more advanced than ever before and will provide much more information. Thanks to data collected from all kinds of smart devices (from smartphones to cars and buildings), the information available about all audiences will be huge. By applying machine learning, companies will be able to determine emerging trends, identify growth opportunities, and get almost real-time feedback to course-correct their marketing.
- Extended Campaigns for Further Engagement: thanks to mixed reality, companies will be able to offer their customers the possibility to try any product they want without leaving their own homes. We are already seeing uses of this, such as the one in the IKEA app that uses augmented reality to show the user how a certain piece of furniture would look like in their own home.
However, the future holds a more astonishing promise. Through extended reality, you’ll be able to touch a car’s seat or feel a dress fabric just by using a specific device. Though these are just theoretical uses, extended reality is posed to take marketers there – while driving engagement through the roof with it.
- Further Automation Through AI: one of the things that most marketers have already seen in their jobs is task automation. From posting content on social media to answering customer service questions, modern algorithms have become very adept at doing repetitive tasks. However, the future looks more sophisticated for them – and easier for marketers.
Thanks to the development of natural language processing (NPL) algorithms, software will be able to talk and interact like a human and service even more instances in the consumer lifecycle. Additionally, those very same platforms will be able to write copy and generate all sorts of content for campaigns, perfectly tailored to their audiences. What’s more – robots will become more and more common and will serve as a new marketing stunt to spark interest in new products and services.
Getting Ready for the Change
Though these technologies are already available (and many companies are already using them in their marketing efforts), it’ll be a while before they fully develop these capabilities. In other words, don’t expect them to be fully mature and doing all these things by next year or so. Chances are that their abilities will grow steadily and will slowly seep into the way we do marketing.
Besides, the pandemic might slow down their development even further, which means we’ll have to wait a little longer. However, in a paradoxical twist, they’ll be the ones that will surely revitalize the markets after the health crisis comes to an end, which will help in their adoption. So, even if they won’t be completely developed, all of these technologies will surely be in your marketing kit soon enough.