The world of marketing is going digital. According to the business publication CMO, digital marketing will account for 87% of companies’ marketing budgets by 2022. Americans spend a lot of time engaging with digital platforms, including an average of two hours a day on social media alone, according to Entrepreneur. That trend doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon. Smartphones, smart watches, smart billboards, computers, and tablets all offer opportunities for companies to market their products and services digitally.
Marketing professionals must equip themselves with the skills and tools to take advantage of these trends, marketing to consumers on popular and up-and-coming platforms. Experts in marketing who come from forward-thinking undergraduate degree programs, such as Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Marketing, are able to capture the momentum of several digital marketing trends already making a big difference in business: artificial intelligence, personalization, and voice search technology. Continue reading to learn more about these key pieces of the marketing puzzle and how they help advertisers promote brands and attract business in new and creative ways.
Computers can learn. They might not be intelligent androids like Star Wars’ C-3PO, but computer experts can design software that allows systems to learn from data, changing their outputs based on information acquired over time. Marketing professionals can leverage these technological advances to more effectively target and track customers for their products or services.
One marketing tool that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) is the chatbot. Chatbots allow customers visiting a site or using an app to learn more about a company or its products and services in real time. This AI is continually improving itself as it interacts with more people while answering general questions. Such technologies can save businesses money by reducing the need for customer support staff while increasing customer satisfaction, as chatbots are able to deliver swift and clear responses.
As another example of AI technology in marketing, smart advertisements learn what customers tend to buy or view while on certain sites and adjust their displays accordingly. For example, a publishing company might use AI technology to track customers who view and purchase a specific book on its site. The AI can then recommend similar products to those customers based on past purchasing data. This AI marketing strategy has the potential to increase secondary sales and customer retention rates.
Marketing in mass media is about advertising a product or service to as many people as possible or to many people in a specific target demographic. But digital marketing allows firms to focus their advertisements more precisely, tailoring them to an individual viewer. Advertisements can draw on data such as the viewer’s location, recent website visits, or even credit card history. This allows marketers to personalize ads.
Personalization builds on data acquisition and management. Marketing and advertising firms compile large data sets acquired through internal sales and analytics or by purchasing information from third-party companies that track and record such data. Digital marketers can take advantage of this information to craft marketing tools with different messages and then use automated systems to distribute those messages to target markets. This places specific, appealing ads in front of the people who are most likely to show interest in or purchase something from the company.
The idea of having a conversation with a computer seemed like science fiction just a couple of decades ago, but it’s quickly becoming commonplace thanks to the popularity of digital assistants. Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri, the most ubiquitous of these voice assistants, are all able to answer questions about the news, weather, and traffic, as well as interact with other smart devices. As with other tools trending in digital marketing, these devices tailor their answers to the specific user and his or her search history. Companies can design their search engine optimization (SEO) results to make their businesses show up during specific searches or in certain geographic areas, such as when someone uses voice search software in the car to look for a local restaurant.
Prepare for the Future of Marketing at Maryville University
AI, personalization, and voice search are just three advancements changing the face of modern marketing. Marketing professionals focused on innovation can leverage these tools to make their advertising campaigns more effective, resulting in improved customer engagement, client satisfaction, and significant returns on investment. Explore how Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Marketing can equip you with the skills to enter the marketing field at the forefront of this technological revolution.