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Marketing Trends That You Need to Know

Posted By Annette C. Buras, Marketing SIG Louisiana State Bar Association, Monday, October 1, 2018

Nidhi Dave recently wrote an article for Single Grain in which she details the current status of digital marketing trends. Ms. Dave noted that the digital marketing landscape is witnessing a dramatic shift. Digital marketing trends are changing and in order for businesses to succeed, staying on top of the trends is key. What used to work may not work now.

Below are key digital marketing trends that Ms. Dave suggests can’t be ignored.

1) Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in the marketing process today. AI can analyze consumer behavior and search patterns, utilizing data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how users and customers find their products and services.

Artificial intelligence also offers information and tips to users by getting into conversations. According to Gartner, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without the need for a human.

Businesses adopting AI in 2018 will be able to save costs and accelerate growth, getting an edge over their competitors.

Learn More: How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionizing the Digital Marketing Sphere

2) Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is essentially using AI to automate the buying of ads and being able to target audiences more specifically, which increases the chances of success of the marketing campaign and reduces the customer acquisition costs.

As per eMarketer, 84% of the digital display ads in the US will be programmatic by 2019.

3) Chatbots

Chatbots are an important digital marketing trend in 2018. This AI-based technology uses an instant messaging format to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors, and many businesses are already using this feature.

They have the ability to meet the growing demands of customers of this highly connected digital era by enabling smooth and instant communication with customers and prospects. By 2022, chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum, especially in the banking and healthcare industries.

Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive and give answers promptly and accurately and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service, meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks that let organizations focus on more important work.

Chatbots can answer questions, provide complete information about your products and services, and ask for an email address to send details without any human involvement. They can also retain information so that a customers doesn’t have to start over with every new interaction.

Uber uses chatbot technology to communicate with customers, making it easy for them to hire cars even on Facebook Messenger. Passengers can use the menu to choose the type of ride, make a request, track the location of the car, send friends a time estimate of their arrival, and even make payment.

Learn More: How E-commerce Companies Can Drive Sales with Facebook Messenger Chatbots

4) Personalization

Personalization or personalized content has become a major aspect of marketing and will be vital as 2018 progresses to ensure customer delight. It delivers a unique experience to customers based on their choices and preferences and is considered a better option than “one-size-fits-all” marketing.

With the availability of data like purchase history, consumer behavior and links clicked, businesses can customize their content and boost their ROI. Keep in mind that 74% of marketers believe that targeted personalization enhances customer engagement.

In fact, as Kevin George, Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, says, “The future of e-mail is real-time, behavior-based personalization. A study by Marketo shows that personalized, triggered e-mails based on behavior are 3x better than batch-and-blast e-mails.”

Businesses these days are leveraging the power of personalization by customizing emails based on behavior, interests, and demographics. According to Statista, the open rate for e-mails with a personalized message was 18.8% as compared to 13.1% without any personalization.

One of the examples of personalization is of Coca-Cola, which came out with “Share a Coke” campaign in the U.S. in 2014 with an aim to reach millennials.

“Share A Coke” created a personalized brand experience for customers with individual names of the most popular first names printed on Coke bottles. The campaign resulted in a 2% increase in soft drink sales — after a decade of steady decline — spiking Coke consumption from 1.7 to 1.9 billion servings per day.

Learn More: How AI Helps Add Personalization to Your Email Campaigns

5) Video

  • Check out these stats on video marketing from Forbes:
  • According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year.
  • Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
  • 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  • These numbers show the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy in 2018.

And don’t just think YouTube. To witness higher engagement with your video marketing, you can make a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook.

Providing informative content through visually-rich video allows you to convey your message effectively to a large number of people. As per Forrester, one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.

Live video is gaining popularity, with a large number of businesses using it for interviews, product demos and “behind the scenes” glimpses of events, life in the office, how products are made, etc. Live videos are a great way for companies to unveil the faces behind their brand, which viewers embrace and love to see, as this instills trust in your audience and humanizes your brand.

According to Livestream, 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video over social posts.

With social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram launching their own live streaming video features, it has become simpler for businesses to include live videos in their digital marketing strategy.

Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing

6) Influencer Marketing

As Raghav Haran puts it, “Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market…. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead pay influencers to get out the word for you.”

Using influencers is a very effective marketing tool that works to attract customers. Influencers can be anyone from celebrities and Instagram or YouTube stars to well-known bloggers and journalists who help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.

These people interact and engage with their large network of followers and consumers on social media, talking about a particular brand that they love and use to an audience with whom trust has already been established. Because this is not an ad or coming from the company, influencers are able to build up a brand’s positive image in the minds of people, thereby helping attract more customers.

Because two out of three people say that “they trust consumer opinions posted online,” influencer marketing delivers 11X ROI over all other forms of digital media!

An example of influencer marketing the Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington, which joined up with influencers on Instagram to promote its watches with a caption that included a discount code for 15% off.

Learn More: How to Grow Your Business with Influencer Marketing

7) Social Messaging Apps

Think social messaging apps are just for sending emojis to your friends?

Consider these numbers:

  • 1.3 billion monthly users are active on Facebook Messenger
  • 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger every month
  • WhatsApp has 1.3 billion monthly active users
  • 55 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp every day
  • YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly users

These statistics show the growing popularity of social messaging apps, giving the opportunity for businesses to direct their efforts towards these apps for expanding their market. Since people are spending more of their time in various messaging apps, it makes sense to market your company’s services where your potential customers are hanging out.

Social messaging apps can be very useful in sending messages to customers directly, as they allow personalization and add value to the users’ experience. With social apps becoming more popular, 46% of people now prefer to communicate with a business via messaging apps rather than email, and 49.4% prefer messaging over phone calls with a business.

8) Visual Search

Visual search is a new type of search engine and can take the user experience to a totally new level. With visual search, users can upload an image to conduct a search and get more specific results.

Not surprisingly, Pinterest has jumped on the visual search bandwagon – they’ve raised $150 million in venture funding at a $12.3 billion valuation to focus their efforts on visual search. They came out with Lens, a new visual search tool that allows users to snap a photo of an item to find out where to buy it online, search for similar products, or view pinboards of related items.

And Pinterest is not the only one with visual search.

Google Lens is a visual search engine by Google, which recognizes objects, landmarks and other things visually through a camera app (currently only available on Pixel phones).

Microsoft also has its own version, called Bing Visual Search that allow users to easily search for a particular element within an image. After doing an image search, you then click on one of the results and a “search” icon appears, letting you select a particular area of interest in the picture. This visual search tool will not only find matching images, but also display product pages for that item.

And CamFind is a visual search mobile app, which enables users to search for anything from their mobile phones simply by snapping a picture and this app will tell you what it is. Instead of typing queries into a search engine, you can directly search through images to find similar images, price comparisons, local shopping results, etc. You can also take a picture of a movie poster and CamFind will show you movie information, trailers, showtimes, and local theaters.

Marketers can get the edge on competitors by jumping on the visual search trend in 2018 to draw customers and serve them the perfect product.

9) Micro-Moments

Consumers in the U.S. spend an average of 4.7 hours each day on their smartphones, checking social media at least 17 times a day. This is changing the way brands must work to capture buyers’ attention.

Micro-Moments is a “new consumer behavior,” as termed by Google, that delivers your marketing message clearly and concisely in a way that is of interest to the consumers – all within a span of seconds (otherwise, they lose their attention and are onto the next article!).

Micro-Moments also provides the right information to the customers when they need it. People generally make instant decisions on what to eat, which restaurant to choose, what to purchase, or where to go.

It will be vital for businesses to anticipate and address micro-moments in 2018 and offer targeted advertising to the buyers based on user-generated activities.

10) Voice Search

In today’s digital era, it is possible to answer almost all questions through search engines. While people can get comprehensive information easily, they don’t always have the patience to read through several paragraphs to fetch information. Voice search plays an important role in providing all the relevant information through audio content. Artificial Intelligence is getting smarter and the number of errors made by voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google has reduced, too.

Many brands have included voice search in their digital marketing strategies to deliver value-based content effectively to their customers. Domino’s Pizza uses voice search technology as a way to increase its sales, thus allowing customers to order pizzas through Alexa.

The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2018.

  • 50% of all searches will be voice searches by the year 2020
  • 20% of mobile queries on Google are voice searches
  • 25% of all Bing searches are voice searches
  • 10% of Baidu’s search queries are made using voice

11) Social Media Stories

With the growing popularity of social media “stories,” it is important for marketers to consider this format in their digital marketing strategy. Savvy marketers can make use of live video, one of the most profitable social roll-outs to date, to promote engagement and brand awareness. Once again, it is crucial to tailor your marketing strategy to the people, not force the people to engage with your business on your terms.

First Snapchat came out with the concept of “My Story,” then Instagram and Facebook stories were introduced, and now YouTube has unveiled their own story format, “Reels.”  In November 2017, Instagram Stories hit 300 million daily active users.

Since stories disappear after a set period of time, this is a great opportunity for marketers to make good use of FOMO (fear of missing out). With short attention spans, users like to view content and visuals whose time expires, so brands are putting their efforts in the Stories feature and generate more exciting but transient content.

You can feature your employees in the Stories, show the story behind the making of a product, ask for reviews about your products and services, and give a glimpse of behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your company. Use this list of creative Instagram Stories marketing campaigns as inspiration for your own.

Learn More: Instagram Stories: How Brands Can Benefit from this New Feature

Conclusion

According to Ms. Dave, “This year looks promising for digital marketers. It provides tremendous new opportunities for brands to engage and interact with its target market in a whole new way. Customer experience has become the most important factor for digital transformation, and 2018 will be more about personalized engagement.”

Tags:  AI  apps  chatbots  influencer marketing  marketing  marketing trends  micro-moments  personalization  programmatic advertising  social messaging  video  voice search 

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Is the Future of Marketing Already Here?

Posted By Carmen Hill, Director of Marketing, Connective DX, Thursday, November 17, 2016

ACLEA’s 52nd annual conference in Seattle featured a series of TED-style talks focused on the future and what different aspects of the legal profession and continuing legal education might be like in 2025. This post is based on one of those talks, The Future of Marketing, presented by Carmen Hill.

Is the Future of Marketing Already Here?

By Carmen Hill

 

It’s hard to believe, but by the time 2025 rolls around, it will have been 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of lawyers to advertise their services in the case of Bates vs. State Bar of Arizona. During that time we’ve seen changes that would have seemed like science fiction: the internet, smartphones, social media, marketing automation… the list goes on and on.

 

Meanwhile, legal marketing evolved (devolved?) into the over-the-top genre of late-night TV and billboard ads that inspired the hit Netflix series Better Call Saul. And it’s safe to say change is only going to accelerate between now and 2025.

Meet the Class of 2025

In 2025, there will be almost 10 more years of new, young lawyers in the field, and many older lawyers will have retired by then. Generation Z is the cohort of six to 18-year-olds that makes up 25% of the U.S. population. In just a few years they’ll account for 40% of all consumers.

 

It almost goes without saying that this will be a generation of digital natives. Lawyers who graduate in 2025 have never experienced life without the internet or Google. They’ve been able to tap an iPhone screen since they were in second grade, and swipe right for “yes” or left for “no” since they were old enough to go on their first date.

 

Meanwhile, millennials, or Generation Y,  are already the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. By 2025 they’ll make up nearly half of it. You may already be sick of hearing about millennials, but ignore them at your peril. More than 70% of millennials are involved in researching or making decisions about what products and services their companies buy (The Next Generation of B2B). And they are far more likely to use digital channels like search engines and social media to make those decisions.

The Future Is Already Here

It’s not just the future of marketing that will be digital; it’s the present. Today, you’re not only competing with other law firms for attention you’re competing with everything else on the internet. The days when you could buy an ad and expect millions of people to see it are long gone. Because at the same time marketers look to technology for new ways to reach consumers, those same consumers are finding new ways to filter them out.

 

First we had the mute button. Then we had TiVo and DVRs. Now, a lot of people—especially younger people—are getting rid of their TV altogether and watching online. Oh, and if you want to reach people online? That’s getting harder too.

 
  • There’s a less than one percent chance that someone will click on your banner ad (Think with Google).

  • And 41% of millennials will never see your ad to start with, because they’re using ad blocking software (Page Fair).

The Generation Gap

Jill Switzer, who writes for Above the Law, says both oldster and youngster lawyers are battling for the same slice of the shrinking pie. One of the “youngsters” is Bryan Wilson, from Fort Worth, Texas: The Texas Law Hawk. He graduated from Texas Tech law school a few years ago, and was voted “Most likely to do a TV commercial.” But he put a millennial twist on that notion: rather than pay big bucks for TV advertising, he made funny videos with his friends and posted them on YouTube.


This Fourth of July-themed ad is one of several that Bryan Wilson has produced. This one alone has had nearly 200,000 views on YouTube.

 

Wilson spent just $500 on his first ad and not a whole lot more than that on the others. But his phone is ringing off the hook. In this recent interview with D Magazine he said his biggest problem right now is that he has too many clients.

 

Others are disrupting not only legal marketing, but also legal services. Joshua Browder, a 19-year-old Stanford University student, launched a chat bot app called DoNotPay (Business Insider). It helps people who can’t afford a lawyer to fight simple legal battles like parking tickets for free. His “robot lawyer” has already beat more than 150-thousand tickets. Joshua Browder isn’t paying for advertising… he’s getting it all for free in the form of media coverage.

So, what’s next?

The Guardian writes that over the next 10 years most marketing will become like Amazon Recommends on steroids. If it creeps you out to have a pair of shoes you saw on Zappos follow you around the internet, just wait till your refrigerator tells you it’s time to stock up on ketchup—or even places the order for you on Amazon. Technology, combined with both big data and small data, will make it possible for marketers to be even more targeted, personalized and automated than we already are.

 

What if lawyer ads appeared on your car dashboard when you have an accident or get pulled over? This is not all that far-fetched. Several years ago Mercedes unveiled its concept of an augmented reality dashboard at the Consumer Electronics Show. And some predict that within only a few years, 90% of cars will be connected to the internet (CNN).

 

Wi-Fi-enabled cars could offer some intriguing opportunities for audience targeting: For example, parents and kids on the way to school or people commuting to work. What if you’re not even driving your car? How does a driverless car talk its way out of a ticket? This is what’s coming, sooner than you think.

Digital Trends You Should Not Ignore

It’s impossible to say for sure what marketing will look like in 2025, but many of the same trends are affecting every business. As we’re already seeing, communication will become increasingly fragmented, broken into smaller bits on mobile devices and social media. Generation Z will be filtering what they choose to see and hear with split-second speed and precision. And it will all be happening all the time.

 

While you’re waiting to see what comes next, there are a few future-friendly things that simply cannot wait.

  1. Make sure your website loads fast. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to show someone why they should stick around.

  2. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly with a responsive design that is easy for visitors to use on any device. If you don’t, site visitors will punish you by leaving, and Google will punish you with a bad search ranking.

  3. Invest in high-quality, valuable content that meets the needs of your prospective clients. Because if you don’t, your competitors else will.

Technology Is Just an Enabler

Regardless of where technology goes, the future of marketing still comes down to people. Nearly 40% of people still choose a lawyer the way they did a century ago: through someone they know (Moses & Rooth). No billboard, TV ad or even viral YouTube video holds a candle to the recommendations of trusted friends, family and colleagues. In short, understand the clients you’re trying to reach. Be helpful. Be interesting. And focus on providing the kind of experiences that clients love, even before they become a client.

 

Tags:  CLE  Marketing  Seattle  Technology 

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