With technology evolving seemingly at the speed of light, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. Just when you feel like you’re up to date with current trends, it turns out that you’re actually one step (or perhaps a few steps) behind everyone else. Fear not, new isn’t always best.
There are many ways to stay ahead of your competition, including taking advantage of technology currently not receiving the attention it deserves. I’ve put together the top three technologies that I believe shouldn’t be underestimated by marketers:
1. Exit-Intent Technology
Marketers tend to devote the majority of their time, energy and resource attracting prospects to their sites, but so often these efforts go unrewarded as increasingly savvy consumers abandon their baskets in search of a better deal. Sometimes they don’t even make it to their basket at all. With many sites facing the same abandonment issues, there are several underutilised technologies that marketers can take advantage of to convert those lost visitors and stay ahead of the competition.
The great thing about this technology is that it allows a marketer to be creative with the type of incentive they offer to re-engage their abandoning visitors. Anything from voucher codes, free gifts, contests, reminders and even educational pieces can be used dependent on the business needs and the brand itself.
2. Mobile Wallets
A mobile wallet, as the name suggests, acts as the digital equivalent of all the things you might store in a physical wallet, in the form of an app pre-installed on mobile devices; popular examples include Apple Wallet and Android Pay. The great thing about a mobile wallet is that a brand doesn’t need to have an existing app to take advantage of the platform. In fact, a mobile wallet can be an excellent way for brands without an existing app to build a mobile presence at a much lower cost than building their own app.
Mobile wallets are most commonly used when it comes to payment transactions; however, there is a huge, largely untapped opportunity for marketers to use mobile wallets as a personalised communication channel with customers.
Increasing numbers of customers, millennials particularly, are using their smartphones not just to complete transactions but to manage many elements of their daily life. Urban Airship’s most recent “State of Mobile Wallet Marketing” survey of 2,000 smartphone users, reported 54 percent of consumers had employed wallets. Usage of mobile wallets is beginning to reach critical mass and brands are starting to see the advantage of integrating value added services such as loyalty cards, coupons and event tickets to take the customer experience beyond just an easy method of payment.
It will be up to marketers to create a borrowed brand experience on customers’ mobile devices, creating the right content for customers to manage in their mobile wallets. There may even be an opportunity for affiliate networks to connect merchants to their customers through the use of mobile wallet technology affiliates, providing a wide range of offers across multiple publishers that update automatically and can be accessed by a customer in one location on their mobile device.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – A glimpse of the future
While Hollywood may have you believe that the growing implementation of artificial intelligence will eventually make humans obsolete, AI is something that should be embraced rather than feared, particularly amongst marketers.
The use of AI within the marketing industry has increased exponentially in recent years as the technology continues to grow in sophistication with the use of chat bots, voice recognition and targeted ads. Over the next few years, we can expect to see marketing automation through machine learning, leading to improved sales results. Marketing software will be able to make decisions without being explicitly told what to do.
Advanced algorithms can filter through vast amounts of data and analyse it within a matter of seconds, giving a detailed insight as to what a customer looks like based on the data and habits of hundreds or thousands of other customers that behave the same way. This leads to ads that are more personalised and ultimately perform better across your campaign. AI can ensure the right message gets delivered to the right customer when they are most likely to be receptive. And, with the most relevant offer being delivered to each individual customer rather than a target all approach, overspending can be eliminated. Email campaigns will see a higher return due to algorithms determining the best time of day to send an email to each customer in your database; even forecasting will become more accurate.
You may be thinking that all of this, while fantastic, doesn’t leave much room for the modern marketer, however, it actually means marketers will no longer need to do the “boring stuff” and will be free focus on the creative and strategic aspects of their campaign. With customers increasingly turning to personal digital assistants (PDA) such as Siri or Alexa, AI plays a large role, placing the product in front of the customer. However if significant returns are to be seen, a human marketer is needed to ensure that the campaign content connects with the customer on a emotional level, especially with more considered purchases.