• Katie Townsend, Brand Accomplished

5 Technology Trends Influencing Your Marketing Strategies

While many of the principles of marketing remain the same each year, the tools businesses use to achieve marketing success vary greatly from year to year. Newspaper advertising used to be commonplace; now digital advertising and artificial intelligence play critical roles in the marketing tactics of businesses.


Some of these technological advances are more commonly used among larger corporations, but small businesses can still learn quite a bit from the developing marketing strategies of bigger firms. Here are five trends we believe make sense for small businesses to take advantage of this coming year:


  • A rise in authentic content marketing

  • An increased demand for chatbots

  • More widespread use of voice search

  • Continued value of data analytics

  • Time-saving benefits courtesy of artificial intelligence

Let's take a deeper dive into these trends and how they can benefit your business.


1. Authentic content marketing is on the rise.

Content marketing isn't anything new, but it remains and continues to be a good marketing tool for small businesses tight on money. By adding a blog to your website, you can create interest in your products while establishing your brand as a thought leader in the industry. Writing about topics that interest your customers is a great way to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. By showing you care about more than just selling to your customers, you'll build trust.


With content marketing gaining popularity, it's important to be authentic in your content. Whether it's a social media post or your blog, make sure that there's a good balance between pitching products to your customers and taking the time to help them improve their business with actionable advice.


2. Demand for chatbots is increasing.

According to a survey from Capterra, 65 percent of U.S. millennials want to use chatbots when engaging with brands. Yet most small businesses surveyed weren't using the technology. As customers continue to move online, you want to create the best online customer experience possible. A chatbot running on your website ensures that customers can have their basic questions answered at all hours of the day or night.


3. Voice search is gaining traction.

With mobile devices and voice services, like Amazon's Alexa, continuing to rise in popularity, voice search is becoming more widely used. If your business is online, there's a chance people will find your website or content marketing materials via voice search in 2020 and beyond.


A simple technique they can apply in 2020 is work on providing FAQs – [answers to questions] that customers frequently have about your product – to your website. Remember to be detailed and conversational with your answers.


4. Data analytics remain crucial for success.

Any company with an online presence knows the importance of using customer data to inform business decisions.


Access to data for companies goes well beyond basic demographics. Now brands can access consumers' online and offline media behaviors and preferences, locations throughout the day, purchase history, promotion sensitivity, etc. This allows you to customize messages, images and offers across channels, even at the household level.


You need to do more than gather data. The data needs to be meaningful, and businesses need to use that data to improve marketing campaigns. Just gathering information isn't helpful.


Intent data is information specifically about a person or company's activities. It can be gathered from a company website by looking at which pages a customer visited, how long they stayed on those pages, and which links they clicked or procured from a third party. Intent data can be used to prioritize the best customer prospects and create more personalized campaigns to drive better conversion.


5. AI will be a marketer's best friend.

Artificial intelligence is expected to play a big role in marketing for years to come. While AI has been discussed for years, we're getting to a point where small businesses can better benefit from its use. One key benefit of AI is the ability to quickly process data and turn it into actionable information.


The bottom line

These five tech trends are expected to influence marketing in 2020 and beyond, but that doesn't mean you need to immediately start using different and more advanced technology to market your business effectively.


As fancy new marketing tools come into existence each year, word-of-mouth marketing still matters.


The increase in technology doesn't change the core concepts of marketing, but the new technology does magnify every triumph and failure. Before, serving a bad burger to one customer might lead to the unhappy customer telling their friend not to eat there. Now, an angry Yelp review can deter hundreds of prospective customers.


Understanding new technological tools can greatly benefit your business. On the flipside, if you don't understand how the technology can help you, there's no use adding new tools into the mix.


You very well might not need to act on any of the trends discussed in this article. On the other hand, the addition of a chatbot or more authentic content marketing into your organization may take your business to a new level of customer engagement and financial success. It depends on the needs of your business and the desires of your customers.


Needing help deciding which technologies to implement with your business? Contact the Brand Accomplished team to help!

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