As we dive deeper into a smart world, digital marketing will continue to transform alongside consumers lives. Not only are products and services getting smarter, so is the digital marketing industry. And, using the same technologies that digital marketers use, so are consumers. That means digital marketers need to embrace the challenges ahead and enhance accordingly. The digital marketing environment is not standing still, and digital marketers are often working on the next innovations in the digital context where they can reach and provide value to consumers. Digital marketers are and might enhance their use of the following technologies and strategies to learn about, reach and provide value to the consumer, rather than relying on typical and ineffective digital marketing.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for Smart Digital Marketing
Many futuristic smart home devices will involve AI, and digital marketing will take place within an AI environment. ML, an aspect of AI, will be used to heavily to analyze various consumer data and then consumer decisions will be made automatically. Automated decisions will become closer to decisions the consumer would make as smart products get to know the consumer more and more. For example, in a smart home context, where several devices, sensors and products interact to create an enhanced living environment, there is much opportunity to conduct digital marketing based on preferences of the consumer. In an AI smart home environment, the consumer behavior concept of “habitual buying” can change to incorporate major purchase decisions by habit due to decisions made on behalf of the consumer based on their own preferences.
2. Smart Analytics from Smart Digital Marketing
Marketing analytics is not new, and marketers have used data for years to make decisions. However, in an IoE digital marketing environment, connected smart products will provide unprecedented and substantial data from which marketing analytics will become much more useful. Some of the challenges associated with Big Data may be reduced with consumer specific data that can be used to provide specific services and conduct specific digital marketing. For example, powerful customer specific analytics will include very specific preferences and enhanced targeted and personalized digital marketing efforts could be conducted in real time. ML techniques can also be applied to understand trends and provide some aspects of digital marketing intelligence. For example, which digital marketing should be served to a consumer can be made through the application of ML.
3. 5G, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Extended Reality (XR) and Smart Digital Marketing
As we move into 5G, and with much faster speeds, many enhanced digital marketing efforts can be provided. Services relying upon high speeds will be able to be provided and consumers will benefit from this enhancement. It will become possible to provide a number of enhanced digital marketing services and experiences for consumers to interact with.
This will also assist in enhancing the use of various “Reality” related technologies to provide improved digital marketing. A fully enhanced Customer Experience (CX) can be provided through such technologies ranging from immersing a consumer into alternative forms of advertising and allowing
consumers to know our products and services in such environment. In many instances, such immersive experiences can provide the tools for consumer decision making. For example, there is much scope to enhance XR advertising. Additionally, we may see a great enhancement in digital marketing for a simulated world.
4. Internet of Things (IoT) / Internet of Everything (IoE) and Smart Digital Marketing
As many devices are connected to other devices within an IoT context, digital marketing efforts can draw further on various data and interaction between devices. As we move into the era of IoE where many “dumb” items around us will become smart, data will be gathered not only as to consumers interaction with all such items or products, but also about the use and possible usefulness of these. As items are connected further to the Internet, opportunities for digital marketing will only enhance multi-fold. For example, data about how consumers use smart products around them can be informative to providing an enhanced CX.
5. Search and Smart Digital Marketing
Search will change in a futuristic smart environment. Voice search is already implemented in certain digital marketing environments, however, search will be expected to be automated through AI and ML algorithms. Devices will know what consumers are looking for without the need for a consumer to search. Recommendations will be provided based on what the devices think consumer want or need. This can change things for digital marketing greatly.
6. Privacy and Security Strategies for Smart Digital Marketing
Privacy and security can be a serious challenge in a smart digital marketing context. With the convergence of technologies and an IoE environment, consumer personal and confidential data may be at risk. Building on what I mentioned in my Tedx talk, why not give consumers privacy choices across their digital environment? If there are certain aspects of the digital marketing that they wish not to be tracked, but other areas in which consumers are fine with that in return for personalized services, then this could enhance value to a consumer. Security of consumer data must also be considered as there is a substantial risk of breach as more and more data is collected in an IoE environment. Various privacy and security measures can be taken to protect from this including Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), following frameworks, security and privacy standards and laws and regulations. For digital marketing in particular industries, this can involve compliance with additional rules.
Overall, many promising technologies and strategies will be used for smart digital marketing. Many of these will enhance value to the consumer and the total CX. Digital marketing as we know it is expected to evolve even faster than it is now. AI/ML, new forms of analytics, 5G, reality technologies, the IoT/IoE context and new forms of search are and will continue to completely change the way digital marketing is and will be done in the future. Digital marketers should also ensure they incorporate privacy and security strategies into their plan.
Dr. Raj Sachdev is an academic, speaker, researcher, digital marketer, lawyer and privacy and security professional. A graduate of Oxford University, former visiting researcher at UC Berkeley and Stanford Instructor, he serves as Dean and Assistant Professor at Columbia College. He has spoken globally at such places as Oxford, Cambridge, and Stanford Universities and at major industry events. He has taught over 50 different courses at various institutions and is a certified PCM in digital marketing.