Internet marketing is going to experience major changes in 2019. These changes will have an effect on your own marketing activities – whether you are primarily an online or offline marketer.
Here are 5 areas that will see huge advances in 2019:
- Voice Search
- Chat Bots
- Voice DIctation
- Micro Influencers
- Personal Interface
Voice Search and Internet Marketing
ComScore estimates that by 2020 50% of all online searches will be done by voice not typing on a device. Increasingly people will be using smart home devices – Google Home, Alexa.
Neil Patel has published an article about this trend and other interesting facts including that there are now over 1.8 Billion websites.
This will require a new approach to SEO
What are chatbots? Those little message boxes that pop up, generally on the bottom right corner of the screen with a message “Hi, how can we help you”.
They work because of advances in Artificial Intelligence AI which allows them to respond faster than a human, work 24 / 7 without complaining and with very low operating costs. No salaries, payroll taxes, medical costs, vacations or bonuses.
Set up effectively, they can access your customer’s profile and personalize responses and suggestions. A great tool for internet marketing, but one that needs careful design and management
Voice Control and Activation
How much time would you save if you dictated your emails, articles, blog posts, all your content creation? It’s possible and it is going to become easier to use. An increasing range of computer applications will be controlled by your voice.
With the penetration of voice-activated smart home devices and growth in the use of voice search mentioned above, we could see disruptive effects in many industries from keyboard suppliers to printer manufacturers.
Micro Influencers and Internet Marketing
With the demise of traditional advertising and the “old” media it used as platforms, we have seen the importance of “influencers” rise. We have been used to seeing celebrity endorsements used in mass consumer advertising of, fashion, sports equipment and other major product and service categories. Names like the Kardashians stand out.
Now that is no longer the exclusive domain of big brands or big names.
Young children and cats are becoming YouTube millionaires because of their appeal to smaller groups of consumers. On a smaller scale, people you and I have never heard of are being paid to promote products or services to comparatively small numbers of social media followers.
The secret is relevance. Followers of a skateboard champion are probably not going to buy products designed for the recently retired.
For more on all this read Mars Dorian’s article on Mark Schaefer’s blog.
Personal Touch – Human Interface
Almost counter intutive to the 4 trends mentioned above which are possible because of advances in technology. This trend recognizes the need for human connections.
AI, chatbots and warm voices on smart devices all help to deliver a more personal experience to a consumer or new contact. Chatbots can quickly address the enquirer by name, scan data to “know” where the customer lives, what he or she has bought before. If there have been complaints or returns. In a service industry, the payment history can be checked and much more information can be used to enhance the customer’s experience.
That’s all because of technology. Sometimes that is not enough. At some point, many customers want to talk to a “real” human. You may share my frustration with automated call answering when none of your problems fit in the standard “Press 1 for sales, 2 for……” list of options.
The businesses that will excel will be the ones which marry the best technology with just the right amount of human contact for each interface with customers, clients and prospects.
Some businesses have become highly successful by putting more responsibility in the hands of the people in the organization who deal directly with the customer.
In some cases, this results in cutting back on some uses of technology.
A great example is Timpson in the UK who introduced their “upside down” management policy with only two rules for employees.
Technology can alienate customers when low-level decisions are taken at corporate head offices based on historical data used to make decisions based on changing circumstances.
Timpson had taken all the network connected point of sale check out machines from its retail stores and replaced them with simple cash registers. Decisions on refunds, discounts, special offers are taken at store level.
There is more on the success of Timpson on Wikipedia.
Changes in marketing and especially, internet marketing are rushing towards us. Advances in technology and changes in consumer demographics, lifestyles, attitudes, buying habits will all be affected by and influence marketing strategies and tactics.
Our objective as marketers is to adapt to the changes, use technology to enhance our customer’s experiences, not be a slave to it and to never forget the importance of the human connection.
That can be difficult for you as a small business owner or solopreneur, that’s why we have started a new service to provide qualified IT workers at rates you can afford.
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Peter Wright can be found at PeterWrightsBlog
Internet marketing image courtesy typographimages / pixabay