Digital marketing, or any type of marketing for that matter, evolves over time. Being behind the curve on technology or methodology can greatly impair a business. It is important to adapt, improve, and evolve in order to keep up with the competition. By being aware of the latest trends and technologies in marketing, you can gain a competitive edge and grow your business easier.  

Voice Commands and Search

Voice commands are already here, but they have not reached their true potential. According to Comscore, 50% of all queries will be voice based by the year 2020. This means voice commands have a long way to go, so it is reasonable to expect improvements in 2019. 

Currently, there are two main forms of voice control. The first kind are those that are brought about by smart speakers, such as Amazon’s Alexa. These devices give searchers almost instant voice answers to their vocal questions. Then, there are voice search functions installed inside computers and smartphones, like Siri or Google Assistant which display written results to verbal questions. 

As voice search becomes more popular, brands will need to accommodate the technology. This means focusing their outreach efforts on using voice engine optimization. By thinking of common questions a customer would ask and how best to answer them, marketers are able to deliver more targeted content.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented or virtual reality ads might sound like science fiction, but they will be common place in the near future. Instead of billboards being static images, you will be able to interact with the ad via your phone. Say you see a poster for a new movie. By pulling up your phone and interacting with the poster you can watch the movie trailer-  that is an example of an AR ad. In fact, a few companies are already working on AR and VR marketing. Michael Kors is one such brand. They created an ad for Facebook marketing a new pair of sunglasses that they added an AR feature to. The ad lets customers “try on” the glasses. 

While the technology isn’t perfect, it allows a customer to try a product before they buy it. This engages customers and maybe a customer who wouldn’t have bought your product will after trying it out from the comfort of their own home. 

AI and Machine Learning

Global tech companies like Google and Microsoft are pouring resources into AI and machine learning. The technology is advancing at an impressive rate and it is only a matter of time before it reaches the marketing realm. 

AI allows marketers to predict and anticipate customer behavior patterns based on collected data. Data collection is nothing new and it is in full swing right now, but what AI can do with that data is only becoming more incredible. 

AI is already being used in several industries. The food retail space is using AI to determine the best delivery times for their products. This is achieved by gathering data, such as weather, traffic, and temperature, then feeding the data into an AI so it can compute the best delivery times. This helps keep food as fresh as possible for as long as possible by cutting down on wasted time. This entire process can be used for marketing. Advertising that your company is using the latest technology to deliver the best customer experience is a good thing and being ahead in technology is seen as a good trait by customers. 

APIs and Everything

APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are used in nearly every industry. An API is what allows one application to talk and work with a different application. Much of the digital world we live in is built around the implementation of APIs. APIs allow one program to talk to another one and let’s them work together by requesting data.

As the Halo Group describes, websites can interact with Facebook by using the Facebook API. This API allows customers to use other applications to “like” content and in exchange the other app get access to your Facebook information. The entire process takes place without going to the Facebook website and provides a pleasant convenience for both the user and the businesses involved. 

Trends are changing. With incoming new technology, there will be new marketing practices. Hopefully this guide has given you a few ideas of what the future may hold.