• July 15, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

The Top Marketing Trends: Data Dominates Marketing Innovations

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Social listening and sentiment analysis—the act of trawling the web and social media platforms to find all mentions of a brand or related keywords—is another one of the biggest uses of AI in marketing right now. Advances in technologies like natural language processing, text and speech analytics, and image and character recognition have proven extremely useful for marketers looking to analyze their brand presence and the conversations around their brands in social media. In this way, they can spot potential issues and address them before they go viral.

AI-based social listening and sentiment analysis can also be used to spot purchase intent, which marketers can then employ to target specific consumers with contextually relevant advertising or strategically placed offers.

Predictive analytics is a new and revolutionary capability of AI technology that has only become possible in the past year or two. Whereas AI previously could only analyze data retroactively to identify trends, today’s technology is capable of creating models and predicting future outcomes based on those models. It can, for example, help identify when a particular customer might need to make a repeat purchase.

AI is also being used by marketers for programmatic ad targeting, with predictive algorithms helping them determine where to best place their ads, the best time of day to run them, the probability of audiences converting because of them, and more.


When it comes to where to place their ads, marketers—like most of the world—have gone digital. The ubiquity of mobile devices means consumers have more choices today than ever before for how, when, and where they receive messages; to keep pace, marketing has had to come up with new messaging that caters more to customers’ and potential customers’ digital lifestyles.

Experts expect the advent of 5G mobile technologies to have multidimensional and far-reaching effects on marketing. The expansion of connected peripheral devices will generate far more actionable and meaningful consumer data. Data speeds will accelerate, altering consumers’ expectations for loading speeds and latency. Reduced latency will lead to renewed interest in augmented and virtual reality.

In the current mobile environment, push notifications and SMS have also become vital marketing channels, but the marketing spectrum has expanded even further.

For one, voice and visual search are now marketing elements whose use in digital marketing will only become more apparent, many experts contend.

With voice and visual search, engagement becomes even more convenient and meaningful for both marketers and consumers across each stage of the purchase journey. Marketers who optimize their companies’ websites for voice and visual search will win consumers looking for instant information on their mobile devices, experts agree.

In keeping with the digital revolution, video is also red-hot right now. According to some experts, 80 percent of all online content next year will contain video, and marketers are getting on board in huge numbers. Aberdeen Research reported recently that 41 percent of marketers currently see video as a key part of their strategies.

The same research found that 86 percent of businesses use video on their websites, and 77 percent use video on social media. In the past year alone, the number of businesses using video on landing pages jumped from 49 percent to 60 percent; the number of businesses using video in email jumped from 36 percent to 46 percent.

There’s good reason for this. Aberdeen reports that video marketers get 66 percent more qualified leads per year and achieve a 54 percent increase in brand awareness. And according to Forbes, 90 percent of customers say video helps them make buying decisions, and 64 percent have reported that watching videos made them more likely to buy.

Among the types of videos used, the most common are video blogs (vlogs), interviews, tutorials, presentations, product demos, reviews, and ads. Dickie suggests one more form: case studies. “Marketing needs to come up with new messaging, specifically involving more case studies that show what companies have done already for similar customers,” he says.

Regardless of how they use video or the types of videos they choose to produce, marketers will need to think seriously about video optimization. All videos need to be engaging to rank on YouTube, but they also need to be carefully optimized for selected keywords to rank successfully.

But in the end, the bottom line is that “experience, not products, will be the battleground of the future,” Kingstone says. “Since emotion is the currency of experience, businesses will strive to drive spending by harnessing the power of human decision-making behavior to brand loyalty. The revitalization of storytelling gives businesses an opportunity to regain their footing by creating more interactive and personalized engagements with customers across mobile, social, and video channels.” 

Leonard Klie is the editor of CRM. He can be reached at lklie@infotoday.com.

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