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What's next in Digital Marketing? (2020-21)

Automation in Marketing

Marketing automation refers to the software platforms and technologies that help in automating marketing actions such as emails, social media, and other website actions that are repetitive in nature.

Chatbots - It is a tool on the other side of a computer that can respond to customers' questions or comments. It is basically used for engagement, resolve customer issues, address general questions and even closing business. If set up correctly it will be very difficult to tell if a customer is talking to a bot or a human.

It seems to be more effective than email marketing because if you send 1000 messages through it at least 800 would be opened by the customer which is not possible in case of email marketing

Starbucks is extensively using Chatbots to help customers in placing their orders. It is available in the Starbucks app and helps customers to voice command or text and tells the customer about the status of their order.

Voice-optimized search

People find speaking much more convenient than typing and marketers do a be a better job in helping searchers what they are looking for because they are able to understand the nuances of the voice search. In order to optimize voice, search it requires a different tactic than the usual SEO and having an insight on the same would help one to provide better customer experience.

People are using voice search on their smartphones be it Echo of Amazon, Siri for iPhone, Google voice search for Android and Microsoft’s Cortana in case of PCs. As per Hitwise most of the search is being done using a mobile device and people prefer using voice search than the tradition SEO. Google also announced that almost 20% of

its searches were through voice and by 2020 it is to rise by 50%, as per ComScore. What's more? Google is now ranking pages that use voice-based content.


Podcasts go way beyond the internet into the 1980s and were initially called 'audio blogging'. People used to record their experiences or any other topic but as there was no means to share these, they just stayed with the owner.

Today, podcasts have become a force to be reckoned with. Since 2005, 700,000+ podcasts have been created with over 31 million episodes of content. A recent study showed that while 49% of podcast listening happens at home, 22% happens while driving, 11% at work, and 8% while people are exercising. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to spend some more time & resources into creating podcasts.

Live Video

Live Video has emerged to be an effective tool for digital marketing. As per one of the reports the CAGR of Live videos 18 per cent. It is a great way to connect with customers. Quality and content of the video also play an important role. Solomon Timothy's video “unstoppable” has been used effectively for digital marketing, it provides a free t-shirt to the people who click a link on visiting on the website. This Video of “unstoppable” is inspiring and is also used effectively for digital marketing. Another interesting example of video marketing is of Dignity Healthy which has expressed human kindness where a man helps to save ducks. Another aspect of Live Video is a new concept of 'Simulcast', also known as 'simultaneous broadcast' can be a live video aired across multiple channels, mediums or services at the same time. It is a relatively new trend catching up with marketers. Video marketing that works on the emotional aspect is always able to attract customers to visit their website.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality creates a fascinating experience for people.

It is estimated that 43 million people are using these devices and the same will increase by 2 times in the next 2 years. Benefits of Virtual Reality is that it gives immense brand experience.

An example in this regard is that of Oreo which promoted its filled cupcake flavoured cookies. The film attracted 3 million viewers and created a positive word of mouth among the consumers. Another example of a great shopping experience is created by McDonald’s. It has used the Google Cardboard VR headset as a toy in its Happy Meal Box. It has created a ski-themed VR game, “Slope Stars” for use with the goggles.

A VR mobile app was created by New York times where it tells a story in the 360-degree video experience. “The Displaced”, showed refugee children and sent 1.2 million google cardboard units. The storytelling was unique and created empathy during the launch.

Amazon Advertising

With over 300 million active daily users, Amazon has grown to be one of the largest marketplaces in the world. Many studies have suggested that Amazon beats Google with a higher search intent among the people. People are directly logging in to Amazon to search for what they want rather than go through Google.

If you are an e-commerce business, advertising on Amazon is really a no-brainer. Their marketing platform, Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) is a digital advertising platform which allows vendors to stand out from their competitors, drive demand for their products and promote products to customers at the last stage of the buying journey with search ads within the Amazon’s ecosystem.

Influencer Marketing

In the case of influencer marketing, the focus is on the influencer rather than the target customer. It firsts tries to find people who can influence potential people and creates marketing activity around the same. It is different from celebrity endorsement in the sense that influencers are selective. They partner with those brands that reflect their capabilities and personality so that they do not mislead their followers. Benefits of influencer marketing are that it builds trusts, brand awareness, effectively reaches target customers and builds a strong relationship with the influencer.

  • Mega Influencers have 500k+ followers and drive 2% to 5% engagement per post. They are actors, artists, social media stars etc.

  • Macro Influencers have 100k to 500k followers, they are professional bloggers, and you-tubers etc. and have category-specific influence like lifestyle, fashion or business.

  • Micro-influencers have 1k to 100k followers and can generate 25% to 50% engagement per post. They are considered to have the highest brand relevance and resonance with the spectrum of influencers. They can influence because of their personal experience. And due to this, they are going to be the next big thing.

  • Niche Influencers focus on a specific area of interest. They are the closest you can get to advertising for a specific area, topic or interest. They generally have very strong connection with their audiences.

Internet of Things

Internet of things will help the marketers to be ahead of their consumers. It would help by gathering data, analysing the information and making predictions of consumer behaviour and preferences. IoT creates some consumer map rich with information, habits and preferences and can be used to aid in marketing practices. An example in this regard is Wearables. Google, Samsung etc. have invested a lot in it. These devices collect data and information about the user and the same is pre-processed to extract essential details. This information includes fitness or health requirements. Based on these information marketers would be able to fulfil the needs of the consumer

Machine Learning

It basically makes use of data, statistical algorithm and machine learning techniques to identify the future trend based on past data. The main aim is to provide a better service in future by assessing the past data. It helps to understand how customers are likely to respond to marketing activity. It tries to find a micro pattern in data and provide personalised campaigns to the same. American Express was recently able to forecast the churn rate by using predictive analysis where they analysed historical customer transaction based on 115 variables i.e. if they were able to predict the exact per cent of account that would.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality provides marketer to transform a static object into a 3D experience. It enhances the world a user sees using digital technology. It is effective in creating a wow factor for the brand as it is relatively new in the market. As per Blippar, one of the leading augmented reality app, marketing campaign using an AR has a dwell time of 75 seconds as compared to 2.5 seconds in case of a TV.

What do you think would be the next milestone in Digital Marketing?

Comment below your ideas.

This blog post is contributed by Nikita Das

Nikita has graduated from IIM Lucknow in 2019 and had completed her B.Com (Hons) from SRCC in 2015. Some of her interests are writing, running and cooking.

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