The world of technology is absolutely crazy right now. Many new technologies border on the edge science fiction, with things like VR, cryptocurrencies, AI helpers in homes, and the wide world of IoT.
Technology is developing at a rapid pace, and if you don’t keep up with the newest development, you’ll find yourself ages behind. As technology changes, so does how people interact with the world, including businesses. As things like AI personal assistants and other tech become more popular, how people do things like go shopping, do research, and ask questions evolves. Your marketing needs to evolve with it.
The AI Assistant Revolution
It all started with a little program named Siri. At first, the AI assistant was just a gimmick, a toy to play with, occasionally useful for searching something when your hands were full. Then, the idea spread to other tech giants like Google and Amazon, creating their own AI assistant to accompany their phones. Finally, the AI assistant was taken out of phones and into dedicated devices to listen and help in your home.
2017’s holiday season showed that AI enabled devices like the Google Home or Amazon Alexa are in high demand, with both of their accompanying apps dominating App stores around the same time. It’s clear that people are adopting AI assistants into their lives, and it’s changing how people search.
It all comes down to the type of question a person asks. If it’s a simple question, they’ll turn to their voice controlled AI assistant. This can range from asking how many ounces in a pound, or for a quick summary to the day’s news. But, there is little opportunity for direct marketing in this scenario as most information is pulled from featured snippets or just pulled from a site with little accreditation.
On the flip side though, if a question is more complex or will require more research, people still turn to traditional searching. They will take the time to look over a website and invest effort to finding an answer. That means you need to be producing content that answers these kinds of detailed questions, not simplistic queries. If a question related to your industry can be answered in a few sentences, it’s likely not worth creating a long blog post about.
The Rise of VR
Since the early days of science fiction, mankind has been obsessed with creating and living in a virtual reality. A place separate from the world, where people can fulfill their fantasies and live different lives. While we are still ages away from being able to actual live fully in a virtual reality, VR headsets are becoming more and more popular.
Whether it’s the $600 VR setups meant for gaming, or a phone in headset holder, VR is growing. VR can create a sense of immersion not found in other entertainment mediums, allowing for exploration into new genres. People are making VR games, films, experiences, and even using it for marketing.
A prime example of VR marketing is IKEA creating an experience that allows users to explore a kitchen made entirely from IKEA products. You can open drawers, pull out utensils, cook up some of their famous meatballs, and even shrink down to the size of a kid to explore a new room. While not the most exciting of games, it immerses the user into a world of IKEA for a long period of time and can be useful in building brand association.
Now, you don’t need to fully build a simulation like IKEA did, but consider VR as a solution for your problems. Maybe you want to help your customers feel more connected to your business, so take them on a VR tour of your office. Do you want to help people get a better sense of scale or functionality of your products? Create a VR version that can show off what it can do.
As VR becomes more streamlined and available, it will become a useful marketing tool you can’t ignore. The sooner you become familiar with it, the better you will do in the future.
Different Ways to Pay
Just a few years ago, there were only a few ways to buy things: cash, check, and credit card. Now, though, there seems to be a limitless way to buy things. People can use Paypal to add extra security and convenience to their payments, while other things can be purchased using cryptocurrency.
There are also new ways to keep credit cards secured from thieves to account for. While some of these are applied by credit card companies and banks, some will require additional effort on your end. Helping your customers feel secure shopping on your site might mean updating your purchasing process and including new security features.
If you don’t have it already, you need to also learn to accept payments outside of credit cards, the biggest being Paypal. If your target market uses cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, you might also want to consider accepting that too. Just make sure you only accept cryptocurrencies that are actually valuable and are generally pretty stable.
Updating Your Own Technology
All technology will eventually become obsolete. It’s the circle of life in the tech world. The tech you use to accomplish your marketing is no different. Eventually, the computer you use to market your business will fall behind and become less effective than other solutions.
Understand when your technology will wear out or become obsolete can allow you to plan ahead. Knowing when your tech will become obsolete means you can plan for it and upgrade at the most profitable time.
Having new tech, both hardware and software, can ensure you keep your marketing materials up to date with the latest standards. It’s like when you get a new phone with a much better camera. You marvel at how amazing your photos look, and when you compare them to old photos you took, you wonder how you were ever ok with the old camera. Don’t let marketing materials like your website, photos, print materials, and more, fall into that state of being behind the times. Stay up to date with your tech and tools to stay efficient and fresh.
Staying On Top of New Tech
It’s important to stay up to date with the newest tech as it’s being developed. As things are announced, marketers need to weigh each new tech’s impact on their industry and marketing as a whole. That way, you have plenty of time to adapt your strategies to the new tech instead of having to play catch up when it does become popular. For the near future, that includes AI assistants, VR, new payment trends and tools to improve your business.