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Jan. 17, 2018
This piece is presented by Click Rain.
By Kate Kotzea, director of marketing technology
What’s going to happen this year?
What are your resolutions? Your goals?
These topics tend to dominate conversations every January. And it’s no different in business. The thought of a new year brings excitement, and capitalizing on the momentum can help you build a stronger strategy for the new year. This year, technology continues to disrupt all industries, allowing us to make smarter marketing and business decisions. As these things continue to converge, we wanted to share the top marketing technology trends that can keep your business moving forward in 2018.
“Hi [NAME]” is no longer good enough when talking about personalization. This needs to be happening at the micro-level for both ads and websites. Programmatic ad platforms, beacons and more allow for even more personalized content for hyper-local targeting, which ultimately can increase your conversion rates.
Websites aren’t just a one-size-fits-all solution. Page content should display differently based on actions the user has taken or how they’ve come to your site. Visitors are looking for different things based on mobile or desktop, time of day, geography and so much more. Platforms and data can be strategically integrated to change messaging and ads based on not only name, but also where a customer is in the purchase cycle. Make sure your business is leveraging these tools to make personalization an integral part of your digital presence.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
It might be a buzzword, but it’s still worth paying attention to. AI won’t be a silver bullet to fix your business or marketing efforts. However, with clean and accurate data, it will help build out trends and help forecast the best user experiences and data you should know.
Essentially, AI allows marketers to leverage the vast amounts of data across websites, social and the estimated 20 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things, or IoT. Through AI, personalization will take a more important role so that messaging and brand experience can change and evolve at unique customer touch points — without having to manually set up every trigger. Where marketers will really win in the AI landscape is by the quality, relevance and uniqueness of their data.
It’s estimated that 50 percent of all searches will be voice search by 2020. What is your business doing now to prepare? Voice search is more conversational in nature, versus the current, more keyword-specific text search.
In 2018, look at how people are talking about your business. Is there new content you can create that helps answer more conversational questions? Have you looked for your business using voice search to see what comes up? This year, have a clear understanding of how your business ranks in the world of voice search and put strategies in place to leverage its increasing usage.
Another buzzword made the list, but for good reason. At its core, blockchain technology adds new layers of transparency and security to transactions and records. Blockchains are real-time ledgers of records, either public or private, that are encrypted and time-stamped. Users are only able to access and edit blocks that they own, through the use of a private key. All blocks are linked to the one before and after, and any changes update the entire chain.
While it is still gaining traction, there are a few key industries that should pay close attention. If your business deals with large numbers of contracts, blockchain technology helps you securely track and document any change in a transaction or contract. In the world of online payments or payment processing, this can entirely change how payments are processed and data is stored. Walmart has even begun using it in some of its supply chain management efforts. Though blockchain is most strongly associated with cryptocurrency — Bitcoin, specifically — its uses are endless.
With all the opportunities data allows us, ensuring its safety and consumer privacy is growing more important. This spring, the European Parliament will roll out the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, to existing laws and legislation. While this is based in the European Union, it will have ramifications in the U.S. — especially for companies who do business in the EU — affecting how data is stored and used for marketing purposes.
Although it currently is uncertain how it will play out, this is a topic to watch closely in 2018. New regulations will need to be met, so ensuring customer data is accurate and safe should be priorities. Review your website privacy policies to make sure they’re up-to-date and reflective of all the platforms and technology you use.
2018 is full of potential, ongoing technology disruption and so much more. Cheers to the new year.
Technology will keep disrupting all industries in 2018. Is your marketing plan ready to adapt? Here are the top five martech trends to consider in developing your strategy.