TMCnet Feature
January 27, 2021

Technology-based trends that are changing marketing for the better

Whether we were prepared for it or not, 2020 the year of accelerated digital transformation. As Microsoft (News - Alert) CEO, Satya Nadella, explained in an interview last year, we experienced the equivalent of 2 years worth of digital transformation in just 2 months. This was all possible thanks to the aid of technology, which made it possible for businesses to continue their activity.

As people moved most of their daily activities in the online, including banking, paying the bills, working, and shopping, brands needed to shift their approach and get closer to where the customers are. And what better method to do so than through digital marketing?

Digital marketing has been going through a lot of changes in the past years and will continue to do so in 2021 as well. While some of these changes are drawn by the pandemic, others were bound to happen anyway. Whatever the reason, there is one element that makes these changes possible – technological advancements.

While the main principles of marketing remain the same throughout the years, what technology helps do is create the tools to better implement those principles. This leads to trends that change periodically, influenced by new developments in tech or by changes in consumer behavior.

Below is a list of the most important tech-related marketing trends you need to keep an eye on this year.

Data analysis to gain consumer insight

Using the proper marketing strategies revolves a lot on understanding consumer behavior and needs. You want to be where your consumers are, and in order to find that place, you need to do a lot of research.

Market research, to be more precise, is the base of any good marketing campaign, and technology now helps make it all more accessible. People use the internet more than anytime before, which leads to an array of data waiting to be collected, processed, and analyzed. But in order to process this massive amount of data, you need to use the proper tools.

Some companies develop in-house tools to help them make sense of the data they collect, while others collaborate with market research companies such as Sapio Research to handle this aspect for them and convert the information into insightful reports.

Using digital channels to reach new customers

Especially in the light of the coronavirus pandemic, consumers have shifted their behavior towards digital spaces. With in-person shopping being avoided as much as possible, online shopping becomes the go-to option for many people. If you don’t have a strong online presence, now is the time to change that.

Put simply, this is becoming one of the best options to reach a broader audience and attract new potential customers that would have otherwise never reach your brick-and-mortar headquarters.

If you are selling goods but don’t have an eCommerce website yet, 2021 is the year to do so. This will help you develop and keep track of a customer base, allowing to also take advantage of other digital channels such as email, blogs, and so on.  

Chatbots to improve customer support

Chatbots are not a novelty anymore, but they are only now starting to become more and more popular. These chatbots can be used on websites to aid customers on their purchase journey and provide fast answers to their questions.

Reports show 69% of consumers prefer to engage with chatbots rather than customer service specialists because the interaction provides a faster response. They don’t have to wait in line for minutes in order to find an answer to a basic question, and they don’t need to spend time looking for the FAQ section on your website. They can simply open the chat, ask their question, and the chatbot will provide a quick answer.

What’s more, chatbots can be used to gather and analyze data from users that interact with them, providing insightful information about consumer experience. You can then use this information to improve your business processes.

Voice search integration

Mobile devices have made voice services such as Alexa and Siri increase in popularity, which makes voice search an important trend to look after in 2021. If you manage to integrate voice search into your marketing campaign, you can gain an important competitive advantage and get a chance to appeal to more customers.

As of now, voice search makes for about 20% of all mobile searches, but the numbers are only expected to grow in a similar fashion to how mobile devices did a few years ago.

To take advantage of voice search, digital marketers need to focus on creating content that provides clear answers to potential consumer questions. One of the best methods to so do is focusing on providing answers to frequently asked questions people have about your business or products. You can do so through blog articles, FAQ sections on the website, or well-written product descriptions. 

Social media continues to be vital

Social media will continue to be one of the most important channels to market your products. Some may go as far as to say if you know how to use it, social media can be the only tool you need to draw customers closer to your brand.

Besides allowing you to post meaningful content that showcases your brand in the best light, social media is a tool that can help engage with consumers and get more familiar with them.

For 2021, think of social media as a two-way communication tool that allows you to interact with consumers on a more personal level. You are not just giving out news about your brand or advice for your customers, but you will also get a chance to interact with your audience and make the experience more meaningful for both them and your business.

Seamless user experience (UX)

UX has always been important, but what’s changing now is that consumers are less willing to accept poor user experience no matter how much they like the products.

2021 will see an increase in engaging user experience and personalization, attempting to appeal to customers on a more personal level. This includes visually pleasing elements, websites and eCommerce stores that are easy to navigate and, of course, improved online security.

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