Update yourself on these 2020 martech trends to keep your brand in full view.
Staying relevant in 2020 is a matter of doubling down. While the customer journey stays relatively unchanged, the new decade's buyer will want so much more. More engagement, more options, more coordinated content!
This is especially true for 2020 because martech has been given the time it required to mature through iterations and gathered data.
The Good: Machine Learning
This took its time through a lot of naysayers. Nevertheless, investments made in developing AI are now bearing fruit as the accelerated way purchasing data is processed, implemented, and predicted has changed how marketers develop strategies.
The challenge here is how to funnel this data into a cohesive whole. Machine learning can certainly gather and iterate on existing data, but the real big thinking is still left on us marketers. Thus, expect to also channel some money on data management systems to put that bigger puzzle together.
The New: Video Channels and Voice Search
'Out with the old, in with the new' is just as harsh a reality in the marketing technology world as it is in real life. Evolved versions of martech tend to push their older counterparts off the map entirely. The speed at which these are developed only ensures that marketers need to keep up to stay relevant.
Video has arguably toppled text and images as content king, and it warps emerging technologies to its service. With users leaning on more time consuming video content over other types for the first time ever in 2020, funding is being diverted to improving video stream quality, video data gathering, content optimization, and tools for production.
Video has arguably toppled text and images as content king, and it warps emerging technologies to its service.
Even social platforms have whipped up a storm of stickers, filters, and augmented reality gimmicks to keep consumers glued. Virtual reality and augmented reality aren't limited to video games, but are emerging as bankable content options for marketing.
Pokémon Go layers augmented reality and geotagging to produce a truly addicting experience for gamers, but it also innately promotes the venues that are willing to invest within the game's monetization system.
Social media campaigns have been using gamified elements in the past. AR/VR is just one other tool to use to keep that content fresh.
Voice search optimization plants itself on the map with the continued improvement of intelligent digital assistants. Half of users will be relying on voice to do their searching for them, but less than half of companies are ready for it.
Expect voice search to dominate sooner rather than later, and adjust your strategies with campaigns that leverage on it.
The Obvious: Mobile Remains the Heart of Any Omnichannel Campaign
It's been written on the wall for years: these magical shards of glass we've grown to rely on will be where all the marketing action happens. The increased importance of mobile doesn't mean the rest can be discarded. Quite the contrary. Creating a seamless customer experience just means even more investments in omnichannel platforms have to be made.
It can't be denied that consumers use their phones to purchase more than ever, but that same convenience can turn on your brand unless you provide a fantastic experience across the board. The best merchant apps have fallen to shoddy delivery services because users can simply rate the app to oblivion. The window to make things right is ever so narrow.
It can't be denied that consumers use their phones to purchase more than ever, but that same convenience can turn on your brand unless you provide a fantastic experience across the board.
This reality just makes efforts toward data unification all the more important. That single view is a perspective that leads to real solutions, and not stopgap measures.
For example, chatbots have become commonplace for Facebook, a social channel with an established user base and global coverage. While chatbot scripts have definitely gotten refined over the past few years, they would greatly benefit from data-driven tuning that can address pain points without losing the brand's voice.
The same can be said about pretty much any channel. The focus on mobile is certainly a martech snapshot, but the other parts are still there and important in their own way. What marketers need to do is pull the individual data strands together and refine a strategy from that singular perspective.
Final Thoughts: The Bad And The Ugly?
The looming question stays the same: where do we go from here? As marketers who always need to keep one eye on the future, what trends can be anticipated in 2021? 2025, even?
This question is all the more pressing now because 2020 puts the fruition of many technologies in the limelight. The advancement has hit such a stride that potential is being realized.
One such developing technology is automation. Machine learning is progressing at such a pace that we might be able to hand off the task of developing strategies to an AI. A few years ago, this concept fell cleanly in the realm of science fiction. Now, it seems like a very real possibility.
In any case, the best way to move forward is to be prepared and not be blind to emerging tech. One thing we can be sure of is that every preposterous idea that was brought to the table in the last decade has developed into not just a workable technology. These have turned into movers and shakers that influence the purchasing journey profoundly.
Technology continues to shape how consumers behave, and it seems this is a trend that has no end in sight. Invest the resources to stay abreast of the tech wave. It looks like the ride has only just begun.