With a new year comes new marketing technologies, tactics, and tools. I took a look at some of these trends - many of which are rapidly becoming realities. Here are the top seven that CMOs agree will shake up digital marketing this year.
Coined by Google, micro-moments occur any time a consumer grabs his or her phone with a goal in mind. They occur in a matter of seconds, whenever a consumer wants to do or buy something, look something up, or go somewhere. Micro-moments are here to stay: Consumers spend an average of 4.7 hours a day on their phones. Marketers should adopt strategies to get their brand in front of consumers in these micro-moments with relevant products and offers, all in the most engaging way possible. The customer decision journey breaks down into micro-moments - it's filled with consumers looking for reviews, price comparisons, and similar products all on their smartphones.
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2. Location-Based Marketing
Along with the shift to mobile comes marketing using a consumer's geographic location. Consumers have their phones with them wherever they go, and as a result, marketers will increasingly adopt beacon technology. Location-based marketing is nothing new, but the rapid rise of beacons has enabled brands to send consumers relevant push notifications when they go near the store or a competitor location. In fact, BI Intelligence predicted that beacons will drive $44 million in retail sales by the end of this year.
3. Virtual Reality
While the phrase virtual reality has been around since the late 1980s, the technology has yet to be widely implemented. Expect that to change in 2016. Brands that offer any kind of experience - personal shopping, sports games, concerts, amusement park rides, luxury hotel rooms - will begin using virtual reality to preview it to consumers. It lets marketers simulate the experience in the most realistic way possible, give consumers an idea of the benefits, and as a result, drive conversions. Digi-Capital predicts that augmented reality and virtual reality will generate $30 billion in revenue by 2020.
4. Visual Marketing
Cisco estimates that by 2019, 80 percent of all Internet traffic will be to watch videos. This clearly indicates the massive shift toward visual content, which is reflected by the increase of videos on home pages, video content, videos in email marketing, and gifs on social media. The average person's attention span this year was 8.25 seconds, and these forms of media tell a brand's story in a concise, entertaining way.
5. Post-Click Marketing
The days of static content and simply A/B testing landing pages are long gone. Post-click marketing encompasses any marketing efforts that occur after a consumer has clicked on a social post or other branded content. Brands need to engage consumers right away when they arrive to the site, whether that's with interactive micro-content, product "explorations," personality quizzes, or videos. Engaged customers are 4x more likely to say they appreciate when a brand reaches out to them and 7x more likely to always respond to the brand's promotional offers.
Seventy-three percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant. That makes sense - they want brands to reach them in a way that doesn't interrupt their day-to-day and that recognizes them as more than just another shopper. Brands have a fleeting micro-moment to engage consumers, and using personalization does so immediately. There are many ways brands can personalize their shoppers' experiences. They can ask questions to learn more about their shoppers and personalize the ensuing experience based on the shopper responses, they can use progressive profiling, or they can create dynamic content.
7. Interactive Content
Static content doesn't engage consumers anymore. Content with an interactive component, whether a video, infographic, quiz, or product hunt, engages consumers more effectively and provides more entertainment than just reading a blog post or whitepaper. Interactive content also allows brands to better capture data, whether that's identity data, interest data, behavioral data, or engagement data. Interactive content increased in popularity during 2014, saw more adoption in 2015, and will become mainstream in 2016.