From analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to Web3 and XR (extended reality), new, not-so-new and still-emerging technologies are increasingly finding their way into marketing toolboxes. This is driving what is arguably the most radical shift in the way companies promote and sell their products and services since the advent of commercial television 80 years ago.
Sugeshni Subroyen, Mint Group’s Head of Brand, attributes these changes to the rapid rise of social media, e-commerce, and mobile devices, which has led to an explosion of data that is far beyond what traditional marketing tools and methods were designed to handle.
“As a result, new tools and techniques have emerged to enable marketers to collect, process, and analyze this data in new and innovative ways. So, for example, the recent advances in AI and machine learning make it possible for marketers to extract more accurate and relevant insights from large and complex data sets, which can then be used to optimize marketing efforts. This allows for the development of more effective strategies by enabling the creation of more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.
“At the same time, these technologies provide marketers with innovative ways to engage and interact with their target audience, thus offering a compelling alternative to existing marketing tools and practices,” she says.
While there are many technologies that are having an impact on marketing, Subroyen believes the Top 10 that are set to change the face of marketing in the short to medium term are:
- Voice search optimization: As smart speakers and voice assistants like Siri and Alexa have grown in popularity, marketers are placing a high priority on optimizing content for voice searches.
- Blockchain: Blockchain technology is being explored to create more transparent and secure transactions in digital advertising and to track the origin of goods in supply chains.
- Quantum computing: While still in its early stages, quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize marketing by, for example, being used to optimize complex marketing models and algorithms.
- Edge computing: Edge computing, which involves processing data closer to the source, can lead to faster processing times and more efficient data management, which could be useful for real-time marketing campaigns.
- Generative AI: uses deep learning algorithms to automate content creation, personalize content for individual users, optimize marketing campaigns, and generate new product designs.
- Web3: the next generation of the internet that uses blockchain technology allowing for a more decentralized and open system that enables peer-to-peer interactions without the need for intermediaries like banks or social media platforms. This means marketers will need to find new ways to reach and engage with audiences.
- The Metaverse: a virtual space that allows users to interact with a computer-generated environment using avatars or digital representations of themselves. This has the potential to revolutionize marketing by creating new opportunities and virtual spaces for engagement with consumers. Nike, for example, has created a virtual running experience where users can race against each other, track their progress and earn rewards; Gucci offers a virtual sneaker try-on experience; and Burberry has created a virtual world in which users can interact with Burberry products and participate in virtual events.
- Big Data: extremely large data sets that can be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends and insights, delivering a deeper understanding of customer behavior and preferences, and thus enabling marketers to create more targeted and effective campaigns.
- Analytics: the process of collecting and analyzing data to gain insights and inform decision-making, it can be used to measure the success of campaigns to identify opportunities for improvement, optimize marketing strategies and improve the customer experience. Well-known users include Amazon and Netflix. Coca-Cola has also used analytics to identify and target specific audiences on social media.
- Extended Reality (XR): uses virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to blend the physical and digital worlds and create immersive and engaging experiences for users. Make-up brands like Sephora and Estee Lauder have created virtual try-on experiences for customers, allowing them to see how products look on their faces before buying; beer brand Corona offers an AR-powered beach experience for consumers; and Porsche used XR technology to allow consumers to explore the features of a new vehicle model at an interactive virtual product launch event.
According to Subroyen, although big brands such as Audi, Nike, and Coca-Cola have already embraced these new technologies and integrated them into their marketing campaigns, organizations of all sizes and across all economic sectors are also starting to find innovative ways to leverage aspects of these technologies to underpin their marketing strategies.
Nevertheless, Subroyen believes there is still a long way to go. Technologies such as AI, Big Data, and Analytics, which have been around for many years, have not been exploited as much as they could be in the marketing arena, largely because of a lack of expertise and understanding of these technologies among marketers.
“Some marketers may not fully understand how to use these tools effectively or may not have access to the necessary resources to use them. Also, there may be concerns around data privacy and security, which can discourage marketers from using these tools to their fullest potential,” she says.
Another issue is the perceived high cost of implementing these technologies coupled with uncertainty around their potential return on investment.
However, Subroyen is confident that as more marketers become familiar with these technologies and their potential benefits become more widely known, their adoption is likely to grow exponentially.
And as technology continues to evolve and improve, these tools are expected to become even more prominent in the marketing landscape, offering a compelling alternative to traditional marketing methods.
“By embracing these new tools, marketers can stay ahead of the curve, stand out in a crowded marketplace, and deliver memorable experiences that drive brand loyalty and increase customer engagement,” she concludes.