Artificial intelligence has already revolutionized digital marketing, and the manner in which businesses engage with customers. The scenario is very dynamic and predicting what could happen in the near future is very difficult. However, going by the trends of the past year, we can infer that in 2019, we may see the following:
Chatbots Will Become The Norm
Chatbots are already seen on several websites, with applications from answering common customer queries to driving sales. Customers are pretty comfortable talking to them, used as they are to digital assistants like Alexa and Siri. Chatbots are now becoming more and more complex, and their interactions are almost human-like. More and more companies are jumping onto the chatbot bandwagon, and we will see them capable of handling even more functions in the coming years.
Increased Voice Search
Thanks to the increased proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and AI-powered digital assistants, we are seeing an increase in the number of voice searches as compared to typed searches. With more people depending on mobile devices for browsing and shopping, it’s only natural that there is increased use of hands-free use, especially when they are on the go. 60% of customers worldwide used voice search in the past year, and of that, 50% used voice search every day to look up local businesses. Experts predict that 50% of all searches will be voice-based by the end of 2010. The reason for the exponential increase in voice search is that now the technology to understand human voice has made great strides; in fact it’s now 95% accurate. This coupled with the facts that taking selfies is very commonplace now, and vlogging becoming popular, nobody feels weird talking to themselves! This also means that businesses will need to adjust their SEO and content to align it with voice search.
More Data And Advanced Data Processing
Big Data is already making waves in the IT industry, but we predict it’s going to grow even more in 2019 and beyond. Today we are collecting a mind boggling amount of data, and with more devices plugged in thanks to the Internet of Things, you can only expect it to grow exponentially form here on.
The methods of data collection have improved over the past few years, yet companies are not really doing a whole lot with the collected data; this is expected to change in 2019, and the following years. Human beings cannot process such massive amounts of data in limited time; machine learning and algorithms however, can. Improvements in AI technology will make it possible to use the collected data in many more ways to provide greater value to businesses.
Arguably, ultra-personalization of marketing messages will be one of the purposes the data is used for; though already personalization has crept into marketing, businesses still depend on customers to voluntarily disclose most of the info. There will now be a shift towards automatic data collection in the background – of course, subject to legal issues. Social networks will be one of the most important sources of such data collection, and become more important to marketers, especially as face recognition, advanced customer targeting and similar technologies become more sophisticated.
Increase in AR and VR Applications
Though augmented reality and virtual reality have been around for a while now, they both still invoke fascination as novel ideas. So far, we have seen them to a great extent in gaming and entertainment, rather than more practical purposes. However, businesses have now started realizing the potential for AR and VR, and how they can use their potential in marketing.
A few companies have already used AR and VR applications successfully:
- Ikea has an app that lets you see how a piece of furniture will look in your room, before you actually buy
- A leading seller of A/Cs in the UK developed an app that lets you see which A/C model will best suit the layout of the room you’re purchasing the air conditioner for.
- A prominent shoe manufacturer has an app that allows you to virtually ‘try out’ shoes in the comfort of your home, and then order online
This is by no means a comprehensive list! Who knows what the future holds – the possibilities are exciting, and endless. This is a dynamic, fast-paced industry where things change by the time you blink your eyes. You need to have your finger on the pulse and stay updated on the hottest trends.
Businesses who embrace the latest trends and technologies, and adopt them early on, are the ones likely to reap the most benefits.
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