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12 Digital Marketing Trends and Innovations For 2020

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020

Alex Membrillo

Source: https://www.cardinaldigitalmarketing.com/blog/12-digital-marketing-trends-and-innovations-for-2020/

Technology has turned the world into a global village in terms of effortlessly connecting people from all different countries and cultures.

Sharing information is more accessible than it ever has before, making it much easier to generate product awareness or promote your service. And since the internet is such a powerful tool that can be used to generate ROI, investing in digital marketing cannot be ignored. According to eMarketer, “worldwide digital ad spend is predicted to reach over $375 billion by 2021.”

 

 

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 B

Therefore, to keep up with your competition then you must keep up with the trends. Take a moment to think critically about the impact of change in technology to your business. And then take advantage of the successful existing business techniques that are out there as well as try to predict where technology is going to go in the future. Your business will grow if you retain and actively reach new customers in a proactive way rather than getting left behind.

However, Cardinal Digital Marketing Agency understands if you don’t have the time to research all these trends and that’s why we’re here to help! Request a free proposal today.

That being said, we’d like to share 12 digital marketing trends for 2020 you should watch out for:

  1. Chatbots Take Off

Many companies will continue using a chatbot, they’re effective software programs that interact with website visitors and customers. Chatbots communicate naturally with people viewing the site and can answer their questions in real-time.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 C

Chatbots either use verbal interactions or chat windows to help web users find what they’re looking for.

Hiring an individual to monitor and communicate with visitors on your website can be expensive, but chatbots save costs by answering questions on your behalf. And subsequently, customers tend to appreciate the personalized service and getting their questions answered.

Additional Benefits of Using Chatbots in Digital Marketing

a). It Saves Time: Unlike humans, a chatbot can provide answers quickly to all kinds of questions. And quick responses mean that customers can make decisions faster.

b). Customer Satisfaction: Unlike humans, the chatbot doesn’t need time to rest. Any time the customer wants information, it’s right at their fingertips. And as the chatbot responds more accurately, your sales conversion rates will increase as well.

c). Good Humor: A chatbot is never moody. You will never hear customers complain about being turned away. They are unbiased, clear, and informative- all the qualities that make your customers feel at ease. 

  1. Use of Private Messaging Apps

As 2020 approaches, many companies will start shifting their focus on how to better utilize private messaging apps. Smartphone apps like WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat are already gaining popularity. And instead of using emails, companies are adopting the use of private apps as well as private messaging groups.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 D

Major brands are already undergoing experiments in monetizing messaging apps and soon enough, customers will be able to pay for products directly through messaging apps. Sending and receiving money will be much easier.

Some applications like WeChat Pay have already made significant progress in making it easier to pay online; WeChat, Venmo, and PayPal users are already getting into the habit of using these types of apps to transfer money to their peers.

  1. Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence

The name “Artificial Intelligence” is exactly how it sounds; it refers to robots or machines having the ability to work like humans. AI uses a combination of different features such as chatbots and voice assistants to quickly find answers.

For instance, Alexa and Siri are voice assistants that provide excellent customer care. Just like a human, they can take orders from the users and work behind the scenes on their behalf.

12 Digital marketing trends and innovations for 2020 E

The AI robot does this by using sensors and human inputs to gather facts about a situation and can also collect/store the search data to improve the user’s future experiences.

Cardinal Digital Marketing even has an AI-powered healthcare marketing software called Patient Stream that allows doctors and healthcare providers to streamline their processes to gain new patients.

  1. Hyper-Targeted Advertising

Companies use digital ads to market their products, but have you ever come across an online ad that was straight up annoying or had nothing to do with you? Not only do online consumers tend to ignore these ads, but they may also end up hating the product and doing everything in their power to stay away from the brand.

Forbes magazine states that because of this overwhelming digital connection, unrelated ads or brands that keep on bombarding people with their irrelevant ads will be disregarded by 49% of people.

But on the other hand, people love great content.

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If your brand keeps consistently sends tailored messages, then 36% will respond by buying the product.

Many companies are aware of this trend and are already planning accordingly. And we’re predicting right now that by the year 2020, most companies will be targeting precise audiences and users will only be viewing (and responding to) hyper-relevant ads.

  1. Personalization

Currently, only a few companies are using some form of personalization. And big conglomerates like Amazon are already doing it well.

This household name built their huge internet business by analyzing customers’ behaviors and promoting products based on assumptions and the user’s past purchase history. It showcases products that a person may be interested in by putting forth similar or complementary products in a Recommendations tab, and Amazon found that this upsell tactic works in getting more business.

Personalization is truly the future of digital marketing. And these days, it’s what consumers expect…one study even shows that 79% of consumers feel frustrated if the content their viewing isn’t tailored to them.

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According to Gartner, by 2020 at least 90% of online advertisers will start using marketing personalization in some shape or form. And by 2021 there will be a significant increase in fully personalized websites.

Personalization is truly the key to a successful digital marketing campaign in 2020. According to Dale Carnegie,“a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

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This quote says it all in terms of the importance of personalization. This is one of the reasons why companies and marketers address you by your first name whenever you see it in your emails.

It is ultimately the best tool for increasing conversions, and this is the reason why some marketers have been leveraging it for decades to improve their marketing efforts.

One study shows that personalized email campaigns receive 29% higher email open rates and 41% higher click-through rates than traditional emails with no form of personalization.

That means if you haven’t tried out personalization in your digital marketing strategy, then you’re leaving a lot of benefits on the table. Here are some reasons why:

The primary benefit of personalized marketing is having the control to reach a specific group of customers. And by collecting user data from list segments, surveys, or studies, you’re better positioned to create more relevant and effective email campaigns towards targeted audiences based on their buying habits, interests, and behaviors.

For example, if your target audience likes movies and general entertainment, you can embed pop culture references when sending your emails, creating blog posts, or even in your email opt-in forms to deliver a more personalized experience with your content. Hopefully, your audience will appreciate the references and better relate to your brand which will ultimately boost conversions.

  1. New Customers’ Behavior

Along with keeping your existing customers happy, your business should also actively be bringing in new ones as well. Here are some of the ways this will apply to the digital marketing space in 2020 and beyond:

i). Companies will have to work with influencers: Just recently, studies show that about 86% of women have to consult social media before deciding on a product. And this is important- consumers want brands to be honest, friendly, and helpful.

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If a brand gets positive feedback from other users, then it’s likely to bring in new users.

ii). Companies will have to focus on video content: A survey done by Wyzowl indicates that about 95% of people have watched a video explaining their products or services.

Through publishing self-made videos, companies more directly engage with their customers by actively providing useful information.

The companies also increase their transparency as customers tend to trust and respect their expertise.

  1. Transparency

Research indicates that companies producing transparent and easy-to-digest information are likely to retain 94% of their customers.

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However, how you handle a customer’s private data is vital. In 2018, the GDPR policy was more actively enforced to ensure that companies handle customer data transparently.

This means that there will be more emphasis on this in the future; companies will be required to be completely transparent on what kind of information is being shared to promote their products.

Here’s a Tip on How to Improve Transparency

  • Establish your company’s core values.
  • Make sure that selling is not your only goal.
  • Be an open book to your customers- tell them as much as you can about who they are doing business with.
  • If customers raise some concerns or questions, respond immediately.
  • Be able to take constructive criticism from your customers and respond in a friendly, non-judgmental tone.
  • Create space and encourage people to give different suggestions to help improve your products- facilitate a community around your brand.
  1. Growth in Digital Marketing

TheDrum indicates that by 2020 and through the next few years, the global digital software industry will grow by $74.96 billion.

Consequently, more money will be channelled towards digital marketing. CMO predicts that by the year 2022, around 87% of marketing budgets will be spent on digital marketing.

In fact, this growth in digital marketing will result in a form of marketing referred to as “Agile marketing”, which is a form of marketing that measures how efficiently a brand or company is at achieving its marketing goals and objectives.

An agile marketing team develops winning strategies and theoretical results to inform their stakeholders with the purpose of implementing it quickly. There’s no perfect way to implement agile methodology in your organization (although we’ve found that a hybrid seems to work best).

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Essentially, growth in digital marketing translates into the speed in which new products and services are developed and distributed to meet customers’ needs.

Agile marketing is growing in popularity on social media since brands and marketers have spent the last few years figuring out how to connect and communicate on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and others.

These social media channels provide enormous insights and data into what types of content works and how best to create it.

Want to leave agile marketing tactics to the experts? Cardinal Digital Marketing Agency can help! Contact us today.

  1. Single Marketing Software Provider

Currently, there are a ton of marketing technology vendors. Just to give you an idea…an average enterprise is using up to 91 marketing cloud services.

This number is overwhelming, which is why many people are switching to one software that syncs every tool. HubSpot has embraced this trend already and others are starting to follow.

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Soon, many enterprises will be using a single marketing software provider.

In case you’re wondering if paying and implementing a marketing software tool is beneficial, here are the benefits:

  • It reduces tedious work: It helps in getting rid of repetitive duties and helps you establish a daily routine.
  • Streamlined marketing efforts: You can keep track of where you’re at in the buyer’s journey with your customers and can communicate with them more effectively.
  • It improves accountability.
  • It makes customer management more manageable.
  • You can document progress much faster and easier.
  1. Next-GEN SEO

Right now, a lot of different changes are taking place in the search engines industry and updates are happening constantly. These changes in the search algorithms have profoundly affected the user’s search results.

Every new algorithm comes with different benefits or problems, depending on how you look at it. Ultimately, the goal of search engines is to help users get specific results that answers their questions.

Therefore, you will see in 2020 and beyond that the quality of search results will improve dramatically.

  1. Voice-Powered Search

As the growth in technology continues to increase rapidly, we will start to see more people using smartphones with voice assistants.

Features like Google, Alexa, and Siri are useful in digital marketing. Voice assistants can search for things, read text loudly, and even voice dictate text messages for you so that you can be hands-free.

Voice search is also essential when using it for your business. It’s helping in the growth of a mobile-friendly movement and adding value to local SEO. Voice search also boosts the use for Artificial Intelligence and prioritizes semantics of searches.

Tips for Power Search Optimization

a). Understand the Language: When people use search engines, many use long sentences with specific keywords. Therefore, to optimize the opportunity to be found in voice search results, use longer keywords and complete sentences (think of what someone would ask a friend about a specific product or service).

b). Be Conversational: When implementing voice search in your website, use an engaging conversational tone when creating the text but remember to use complete sentences and be grammatically correct.

c). Answer Questions: Most people use the internet to get information, whether they are researching a product or service that they need or are trying to Google an answer to try to cheat in a late-night trivia contest. Therefore, think about this when creating content for voice-powered searches. Include any questions that people may ask concerning your products and provide detailed answers.

  1. More Focus on Customer Retention

In the coming years, companies will also start to divert their attention from acquiring new customers to retaining their existing ones.

These companies understand that it takes less money to keep existing customers happy and will channel more effort in the middle and last stages of the buyer’s journey. Because collecting better data and focusing on market segmentation helps save costs.

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Retaining customers helps increase revenue because when you keep your existing customers then they tend to tell their friends and give you referrals. Loyal customers are also likely to be more direct and honest with you regarding any issues or problems, giving you a chance to improve your brand.

Conclusion

If you are operating a business, it’s important to know about the current marketing trends and be able to stay on top of where digital marketing is headed in the future.

And just like Amazon, you can start personalizing your products, using social media to answer questions, and implement video marketing to gain trust and show that you are transparent. Remember, if you are handling any client data then transparency is critical. And there are plenty of marketing software systems that can streamline all your online activities and customer relationships.

AI: Should we be worried?

AI-Should we be worried

Technology has become an integral part of our lives and continues to develop still. Advancements in almost every field (more notably the medical and engineering industries) are largely affected and improved by ongoing technological developments. We are constantly confronted by artificial intelligence these days, whether you know it or not.

For context, Techopedia defines Artificial Intelligence as “an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans”.

A little history

Although AI only emerged in our personal lives a few year ago but the concept has been around for decades. The term “Artificial intelligence” was first used by John McCarthy in 1956 during a conference at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. MIT cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky, who attended the conference, became interested in AI’s future. Minsky was later quoted in the book “AI: The Tumultuous Search for Artificial Intelligence” by Daniel Crevier as saying, “Within a generation […] the problem of creating ‘artificial intelligence’ will substantially be solved,”

During the period of 1974–80, after several reports criticised developments in AI, government funding and interest in the field seized and the “AI winter” began. Research was revived again and funded by the British Government in the 1980’s but the industry suffered another setback from 1987 to 1993. Ultimately, research started again in 1997, when International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) created “Deep Blue” – the first computer to beat a chess champion when it defeated Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

Examples of AI in our lives

You may or may not be familiar with Sophia, the social humanoid robot created by Hanson Robotics. Sophia was activated on the 14th of February 2016 but was only introduced to the public in March of that year in Texas, United States. Sophia has received extensive media coverage all over the world and became the first robot to receive citizenship to a country (Saudi Arabia) in 2017.

Sophia was modelled after actress Audrey Hepburn and can display more than 50 facial expressions. It uses voice recognition (speech-to-text) technology and is designed to get smarter over time by analysing conversations and extracting data which allows it to improve responses in the future. Sophia also has cameras in its eyes which, combined with computer algorithms, allows her to see, follow faces, maintain eye contact, and recognize individuals.

You can watch Sophia’s activation and interviews here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSj4SFBqtJ4

Why Sophia doesn’t yet exist in consumer households, global virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are prime examples of AI that are available to consumers. Additionally, the upcoming trend of self-driving or driverless vehicles showcases the endless possibilities of artificial intelligence.

Of course, not everyone has access to this high-end technology, but AI is more subtle than you think. Common examples of AI in our everyday lives include:

  • Chatbots
  • Google’s predictive searches
  • Product recommendations
  • Mobile banking, and
  • Online maps and directions

Should we be worried?

In 2016 in an interview with CNBC, Sophia was asked if she would like to destroy all humans to which it answered “Okay, I will destroy all humans.” This question was of course anticipated by Sophia’s creators who programmed it to say that as a joke; but it’s scary, nonetheless.

When taken down a notch, loss of employment is another major concern. In an article by  Calum McClelland (https://www.iotforall.com/author/calummcclelland/), A two-year study from McKinsey Global Institute suggests that by the year 2030, intelligent agents and robots could eliminate as much as 30 percent of the world’s human labour. McKinsey also adds that automation will displace between 400 and 800 million jobs by 2030, requiring as many as 375 million people to switch job categories entirely.

Read: How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.? here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/14/how-frightened-should-we-be-of-ai

Films like Terminator and iRobot tell us that we should be afraid but in actual fact, it’s still too early to tell. Ultimately, the question isn’t whether A.I. and machine automation will change the world, but rather when and how it will happen.

Four big trends driving agility in market research

The IMM Graduate School | Four big trends driving agility in market research webEvery business wants to be ‘agile’ in today’s hyper-accelerated world. But what does that mean? Fast, iterative and adaptive agile research is a non-negotiable for companies moving into the next era of innovation work, says Nick Coates.

The Agile Manifesto was developed by frustrated software developers in 2001. Instead of document driven and heavy processes, it encouraged rapid and flexible responses to consumer input. In recent years, this has stretched to the area of consumer insight, and agility has now become an urgent imperative in the research process.

Fast, iterative and adaptive agile research is a non-negotiable for companies moving into the next era of innovation work.

Instead of following traditional research processes that have not been challenged or revised for many years, researchers need to generate consumer insights quickly, learn from those insights, and then decide on the most impactful next step – depending on where the results take them and not on what has been continued year after year as a matter of ‘best practice’.

Ultimately, agile research should help innovators get to market faster and with better products.

Despite the many strides made with agile research, an Ipsos global survey found that only 24% of consumers felt that brands deliver regular innovations and new products. Innovation remains an elusive concept, with 94% of global executives reporting they are dissatisfied with their organisation’s innovation performance. Researchers need to do better to help facilitate effective innovation for our clients.

Ipsos believes that the journey to agile research will be characterised by four major trends:

  1. Quality and speed.
  2. Social intelligence will play a larger role
  3. Artificial intelligence will help facilitate iteration
  4. Modular innovation approaches will be more popular

Let’s examine each of these trends in detail

  1. Quality and speed

Speed is a key concept of agility. To deliver speed, many types of innovation research – including idea, concept and package testing – have become automated and/or standardised. This is ideal if speed is the only requirement, but these solutions often means research outputs lack quality. Some of the issues that arise from automated solutions include unrepresentative samples, device specific solutions, unproven measures of success and limited analysis and ways of interpreting the data.

Solutions need to be fast and high-quality. For example, idea, concept, and package testing results must be compared to competition to be meaningful and benchmarking is key.

So, how do we ensure quality and speed?

  • Real-time systems in place for assessing respondents. Are they real, are they speeding through the interview, are they providing inconsistent answers? Systems should pick up these faults to correct them in real-time.
  • Device agnostic surveys to maximise coverage and respondent reach
  • Validated success measures should form the basis of all agile idea, concept and package testing. (For example, at Ipsos, we use Relevance, Expensiveness and Differentiation for our rapid innovation testing, measures that have been tested and proven).

We are fortunate enough to have research and development (R&D) to provide device agnostic tools as well as validation of the measures we use in our agile research.

Finally, we expect more diagnostics and guidance from the research solutions that are employed. Solutions should include success drivers, forecasting and profiles, to name some examples that will help to manage innovation portfolios.

  1. Social intelligence and product development

There is huge scope for the role of social intelligence in research practices, one example being product development. It’s fast, it’s flexible and it’s cost-efficient. Social intelligence is already being leveraged to identify innovation opportunities.

While marketers typically rely on surveys, focus groups and desktop research to uncover new trends, social intelligence is becoming a new agile alternative. Social intelligence accelerates innovation because you do not need to ask consumers any questions. Using text analytics, you can analyse large amounts of data and have access to real-time information.

  1. Artificial intelligence will help facilitate iteration

Agile research is not only intended to be fast; it should also be iterative. During rapid concept tests, for example, results from the fieldwork should ideally inform real-time changes to the survey to glean better information based on what has already come up.

Rapid prototyping is another possibly, whereby prototypes are evaluated by consecutive groups of consumers, immediately followed by a work session with R&D to merge the results on-site and in real-time. This then directs the next step – being suggestions from the consumers themselves about further optimisation. This has the potential to happen in one day – merging quantitative rating scales with qualitative explanations.

Iterative approaches such as these are essential to facilitate speed, collaboration, continuous learning and of course, agility. Artificial Intelligence can automate certain research processes, which is why the role of AI is so important. An example would be a programme that creates new questions depending on the replies received from respondents. This allows an intelligent drill down for what non-useful information might otherwise be, should the question not be satisfactorily answered in the first instance.

  1. Modular innovation approaches will become more prevalent

Traditional innovation processes have always followed predefined sequences with yes/no outcomes at the end of each stage. We are starting to see these linear processes giving way to modular approaches. Research and learnings from different sources and studies are merged together and, if appropriate, traditional steps are eliminated because they don’t add value. This agile approach is quicker, easier and more learnings-driven than many traditional market research approaches and, ultimately, will help the marketer get to market faster with a better innovation.

Moving agile to the next level

Agile research promises to help marketers move more quickly, more efficiently and more intelligently than ever before. However, agile research as it exists today is just the beginning of what will be a huge change in how we conduct innovation research and it is something that the research industry should be especially excited about. We expect to see agile research evolve to deliver higher quality research, more (automated) iterative processes and more holistic learnings. The result will be faster, deeper insights that will help marketers achieve greater innovation success.