Technology is forever changing, and new developments could alter the face of marketing as we know it, but your values must remain the same…
With an ever-changing digital landscape, the opportunities available for marketing are expanding all the time.
One of the big changes in marketing technology in recent times is the introduction of virtual reality – it makes the user feel like they are in the movie. Pop on a headset and you can be transported into a different world – look around and you are surrounded, whether it’s by the rainforest or a cityscape.
While it is very new, the penetration within the UK population is already quite high, with 6% of the UK population owning a VR headset. This is only set to rise, so making use of opportunities that VR has made accessible looks like a sensible move.
Now, whether it is appropriate for your audience is a decision you must make – millennials are more likely to own a headset than older customers – so if the younger demographic is your target audience, VR becomes a more viable method.
Your product or service is another quantifier. Being able to give potential customers a taste of what is on offer is a huge benefit – maybe it’s a holiday resort or a new car. If you sell to businesses, it could be something far bigger and harder to transport to your industry’s trade show. A VR Headset can give you the opportunity to bring your product or service to a far wider audience without ever leaving your stand at the NEC.
In the future, developing VR communities may be another method to engage customers. At the moment, it’s in the early stages – Facebook Spaces, for instance, can be accessed using Oculus VR, but it is something that companies may start to develop – offering customers and fans a place to ‘meet up’ in real time, and share brand experiences.
Any visitor to a trade show or consumer show will see the huge interest that any stand with a VR experience attracts – even phones and games stores that offer a VR experience are never short of people waiting to have a go. What better way than to have potential customers literally queuing up to look at what you have to offer…
Another technological advancement that could transform marketing is AI or artificial intelligence. It’s not quite what you may have seen in the Steven Spielberg movie of the same name, but it is certainly on its way to being in the mainstream marketing sphere.
The benefit is that for anyone in marketing who is stretched for time, AI can take care of some customer interactions that they simply don’t have the time or manpower for. It’s already being used for ‘Messenger bots’ which help to offer some form of customer support via messenger apps. It’s a very basic form of AI and doesn’t necessarily deliver a hugely satisfactory customer experience – but it is okay for offering some form of interaction when your other option is to offer none.
AI is likely to be used to improve the user’s online experience, helping them to find the right products online for instance.
For marketers themselves, a very useful tool is the IBM Watson Twitter analysis tool, which can analyse your brand’s ‘voice’ on Twitter and help you to work out if you’re getting it right.
While it is easy to get caught up in the exciting opportunities that technological developments such as VR and AI can present to the marketer, we should never forget the bigger picture.
There are so many ways to interact with customers in the digital sphere. Once upon a time there was only one way to purchase – you possibly saw a TV ad or poster, walked into a shop and bought the product. Now there are many ways in which a customer may end up choosing to buy your product or service and you need to ensure that wherever they start, they feel they can trust your company and the product/service.
The same values that you would apply in a real-world shop – being transparent about the product and its price and providing decent aftercare – must still apply if the customer experience is to be a positive one.
If you would like to have a chat about your marketing requirements, please call Alison Page on tel: 07963 002065 or email: email@example.com. You can of course browse our website to see what our existing clients have to say about our work.