It isn't hard to predict that future innovations will continue to shape the digital marketing landscape. We are now in a digital era where technologies have disrupted various traditional marketing methods and are continuing to do so. Let's look deeper at how three technologies will impact digital marketing in the future.
Before we dive in, here are some statistics:
- About 72 percent of marketers worldwide believe that the traditional marketing model is no longer adequate considering the abrupt and constant changes in digital marketing (Mondo).
- Mobile and video will be at the heart of customer engagement 3-5 years from now (Mondo).
- In 2017, digital marketing spending will surpass IT-related spending (Gartner).
- Predictive analytics and customer-centric objects are key in creating a more individualized marketing experience (NJIT).
- By 2020, there will be more than 75 billion devices in use worldwide (Business Insider).
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
Of course, you've already heard about the Internet of Things (IoT). According to the TheInternetofThings.eu, the concept behind this vision is simple: a network of physical objects (things) can be used in collecting and exchanging data without human-to-human and human-to-computer interaction. By 2017, each household is predicted to have more than five Internet-connected devices.
Impact on digital marketing: IoT is a really exciting technology; it could be the epitome of convenience. It could also mean greater data control by consumers, whether digital natives or digital refugees. We're still not sure what, why, how, and when marketers may collect data from these devices – but consumers will not readily give their information without an incentive.
2. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is not a new concept. You might've experienced it without knowing that it actually was augmented reality. Augmentation refers to a real-time view with augmented elements made possible by computer-generated sensory inputs (i.e. audio, graphics, video, etc.). Apps are good examples of this technology when consumers are presented with brand-related information at a whole new level. Have you heard of this clothing brand that allows consumers to take a picture of themselves outside the store, dress themselves up with different clothing options, and go inside the store to buy the clothes?
Impact on digital marketing: Augmented reality affects both traditional and digital marketing, and it can really improve how marketers interact with their target consumers. The keyword here is interact and not necessarily push branding messages. This technology is about giving consumers the experience they want at the time and place they themselves determine. We can imagine far-reaching changes thanks to augmented reality, especially now that Microsoft is planning to take over the digital world once more with its HoloLens.
While we are seeing lots of wearables these days (e.g., the Apple watch), the wearable technology industry is far from saturated. These technologies may be considered critical elements of IoT and augmented reality for personal, commercial, and industrial use. The basics like smartwatches may not be life-changing, but there are many other wearable technologies that are currently in beta and will be launched a couple of years from now.
Impact on digital marketing: Wearable technologies – considering that very few people can access them now – will gain real traction in about 3-5 years. When they do, however, digital marketers will be able to capitalize on our attitudes, behaviors, patterns, and trends. These technologies are interwoven in the daily lives of consumers, hence tracking will be much easier.
Virtually all of the technologies listed here are already disrupting both the traditional and digital marketing landscape. We have yet to witness the full extent of how emerging technologies will affect marketing, but one thing is clear: Marketers need to adapt and scale their current strategies based on what technologies their target consumers are using. If this is done right, marketers will have a better chance at capturing customer details, creating creative campaigns, and boosting online presence. We are in the digital era; the choice is to adapt or lag behind the tech-savvy competition.
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