Technology is now the biggest factor in driving change and evolution in all types of professions, and marketing is no different. Tech advancements are set to embed even further into the heart of marketing strategy, tactics and day-to-day operations.
Drawing on topical discussion conducted by Hyper Island involving over 150 industry experts, here are the four marketing phenomena that industry professionals need to prepare for.
1.Health Tech Goes Mainstream
Google Glass may not have had the instant impact initially predicted, but improvements in design and lower costs mean wearable tech is becoming mainstream. Expect to see huge adoption of wearable health devices. Driven by the fitness community and those who need to monitor their body's health for medical reasons, the tech will capture detailed and personalised health data such as heart rates, sleep patterns, glucose levels and fitness standards.
Tips for marketers: The customer data provided by wearable 'health tech' will be a goldmine, opening a world of opportunity to target consumers with the products and service that you can be confident they will want.
2. From Blended to Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is no longer the preserve of the gamers and the telly-addicts. Advanced virtual reality is being used to design buildings, collaborate with colleagues and even for training the military. An explosion of innovative and engaging uses of this technology will generate plenty of ideas for savvy marketers. I expect to see more initiatives such as that by the Marriott Hotel chain, where the technology is used to give customers a sense of what it would be like to visit some of their exotic destinations.
Tips for marketers: Experiential marketing is fast becoming a major trend and allowing marketers to create fully interactive experiences that not only wow customers, but can build a stronger bond with the brand. The recent partnership between the New York Times and Google is a symbol of things to come. The tech giants supplied Times readers with a million cardboard virtual reality viewers - enabling them to watch a powerful film on the impact of war on children that the newspaper had commissioned.
Marketers should consider how this technology could compliment their campaigns. Virtual reality is about to get very real.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Efficiency Movement
The concept of computers writing adverts or content may seem farfetched, but it isn't as far off as you may imagine. The New York Times recently commissioned a test that challenged readers to spot which prose had been written by humans and which by machines. Even professional writers were shocked to find how badly they fared at distinguishing between 'man and machine'.
While we won't by any means see marketers replaced en masse by robots in the near future, AI will continue to automate new areas of work that were previously solely the domain of humans.
Tips for marketers: Other industries are starting to exploit artificial intelligence and marketers have to adapt accordingly. Marketing professionals can't leave tech to the IT boffins and must ensure they understand the latest AI advancements and how it will help give them an edge over rivals. Whether it's building campaigns that respond to people's emotions or making more accurate predictions on what customers will like, we should begin to let computers share the burden of creative thinking.
4. Disappearing Tech
Such is the integration of tech into our lives that we will soon forget we are even using it, if that’s not already the case. Paying through voice recognition systems or using our heart rates instead of passwords, will become the norm. This absorption of tech into our daily life will start to create demand for a more seamless and subtle marketing experience from consumers.
Tips for marketers: As with virtual reality, marketers will need to craft a strong brand by incorporating sophisticated tech into their brand experiences. For years Apple has pioneered the use of new tech - such as mobile payments and in-aisle service - in its stores, providing its customers with a genuinely unique experience.
We are moving into an era where the actual physical mechanics of how we interact with our device is changing. These changes, such as unlocking phones with our thumbprints or even ears, will completely reshape how people engage with technology. Marketers can't afford to think of tech as a single element of a campaign, it should be at the beating heart of it.
By Charlotte Sundåker, interim CEO and CMO at Hyper Island
Hyper Island's report 'Changes of Tomorrow: Trends Transforming Society' is free to all entrepreneurs and forward thinkers. Download your free copy here.
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