Digital Marketing as a Game Changer:
What trends are changing the face of the marketing industry? This problem is no less relevant in 2021, especially now that the pace of digitization in many sectors has been accelerated by COVID-19. Marketers are increasingly switching to online marketing. Many marketers plan to focus more on communication platforms, online lead generation, and marketing automation in the future and believe that virtual opportunities will exist to complement traditional exchanges and opportunities for a long time to come.
For example, in the T-Systems Virtual Innovation Center, customers can participate as 3D avatars in interactive workshops for realistic interaction experiences despite social distancing. No marketer today can afford to ignore digital technologies. It influences sales, customer communication, and events and promotes the diffusion of technologies such as AR, AI, and Digital Marketing signage. At the same time, consumer demographics, media usage, and shopping behavior are changing new possibilities for shaping digital marketing in the near (and distant) future.
A versatile growth sector
You would think that digitization has turned everyone into a marketer and everyone who has ordered an Amazon product knows how e-commerce works. But it is not that simple, because the marketing landscape is becoming more diverse and specialized. According to ChiefMarTec’s 2020 data, there are more than 8,000 martech solutions, up 13.6% last year and an impressive 5233% over the past decade (2011: 150). Data in the Data category, with tools for data collection and analysis, is growing faster (+25.5% as of 2019), followed by the digital applications Projects & Workflow and Social & Relations. The latter also saw the largest growth in the Conversation Marketing and Chat subcategories (+70%).
Due to the growing number of available solutions, it seems that digital marketing is getting cheaper. That may be true, but experts are also aware that the latter in particular is relatively labor-intensive, while automation solutions, as well as AR/VR applications or 3D worlds, are commercialized and brought to market. This presents a challenge in terms of affordable marketing budgets. Companies plan to invest more in digital channels by 2021, especially in search engines, social media, audio/video platforms, and publishing sites.
Doesn’t the AI take care of that?
In 2020, the global growth in the use of AI software was 154% year-on-year. It is difficult to predict the future at this stage, but the use of AI for marketing applications is likely to become more pervasive once the financial and legal issues are resolved. One of its uses is marketing automation, and its benefits range from automated content creation to personalized advertising and 24/7 shopping. Experts also predict that most customer service processes will soon be powered by a chatbot.
It is generally accepted that AI eliminates the need for human personnel, but this is not true. A successful marketing automation concept depends on skilled experts understanding and leveraging every digital touchpoint in the customer journey. Lack of skilled AI technology staff is one of the main reasons companies are reluctant to invest in AI technology.
Families of the future will have smart speakers with AI support, such as Amazon Alexa or Hello Magenta from Telekom. Thanks to smartphones, virtual assistants are our constant companions and continue to conquer new aspects of our lives. Amazon, for example, is working on integrating Alexa into vehicles. Voice-activated services can proactively represent area services, such as dining options.
There are many possibilities to merge the real and digital worlds. Smartphones can interact with digital signage at local retailers to display personalized live product ads based on Google or Amazon data, combined with gender, body shape, or clothing style recognition technology. AR marketing tools are also gaining popularity.
They show smartphone users real-time information or 3D maps to help them find local stores. We will see more AR ads soon, such as Google View 3D ads. They provide customers with a professional 3D experience.