The start of a new year is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your marketing strategy and ensure it is still on track to help your company achieve its goals. It’s also a great time to look at the upcoming trends in the arena and ensure you are taking advantage of as many as possible to ensure your campaigns remain relevant even as the market changes. Read on to learn about five key areas you can utilize to expand your reach and grow your customer base.
Embrace the power of chatbots
The huge leaps in the technology behind artificial intelligence in recent years have made it possible for chatbots to enter the mainstream. These automated programs that can answer questions from your customers at any time of night or day without the need for human intervention are helping to increase levels of customer engagement and make it easier for companies to provide exceptional customer service.
When correctly set up and supplied with all the necessary information, it’s unlikely a customer will even realize they are having a conversation with a chatbot rather than an actual member of your team. Such programs are even capable of taking orders and closing deals.
A huge benefit of chatbots is that they have a far greater rate of success when compared to, for example, email campaigns. Around 80 percent of recipients will open a chat message while only a tiny proportion will respond to an email. If you can find fun and engaging topics to discuss with potential customers when starting the conversation, there is also a far higher chance of this leading to a sale.
Reach out to new markets
In recent years a number of trends have become apparent in the highly competitive world of online gambling and gaming, many of which are likely to have a powerful influence on the future direction of the industry.
In the gaming world, there has been a move towards far greater diversity with titles aimed at members of the LGBT community becoming more prominent and one or two going on to become surprise mainstream hits.
Another key change has been the growing number of female gamblers, many of whom play in a very specific way. While the industry as a whole has seen a move towards socialization with more players getting involved in games in which they can compete with friends, take part in tournaments and communicate with other players in real time, studies show that female players prefer to access private games through mobile devices. This is at least in part because their lower levels of experience in gaming mean they fear being mocked by other players.
One way for all players to address any experience gaps they may have is through practice. Turning to the internet, for example, is a great way to try out new games and acquire the necessary skill set and confidence to then be able to move on to games with higher stakes. It’s also been proven that 2017 brought the millennial trend of young people choosing skill games versus regular luck games such as online slots.
Move towards mobile
According to the latest studies, consumers consume around 30 percent of their media through their mobile devices. This is a developing trend that shows no signs of slowing down for 2018, and new technological developments will make the use of mobile platforms more enjoyable and dynamic for all consumers.
A key driver behind future marketing campaigns is set to be an increased level of personalization with individuals being targeted by specifically curated content, often linked to their physical location. Companies will also be able to create more immersive, web-like experiences within the body of emails, allowing people to touch a box or click for more information without the inconvenience of then being taken to a new page in their browser.
Greater integration will also be a feature with a smoother cross-channel experience that allows consumers to experience the same features regardless of what device they choose to use to connect.
Optimize for voice
With an increasing number of stand-alone voice-activated devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google Home device, coming onto the market and greater voice search capabilities being built into mobile devices, voice technology is expected to overtake the use of touch screens as a way of accessing information and entertainment options in the coming years.
If marketers want to ensure their campaigns stay relevant and effective in the future, they need to ensure their content is optimized for voice search.
Less can be more – the rise of mini-ads
Back in the 1960s, a little-known Milwaukee-based company called Master Lock decided to move into the world of television advertising in a bid to increase public awareness of its range of extremely tough padlocks. The commercial, devised by ad agency Campbell Mithun, depicted a would-be thief attempting to destroy the lock by shooting it with a .44 magnum pistol. The lock fails to break.
Concerns over the potential danger to members of the public – some of whom were putting this to the test by shooting their own locks at home – led to the advertisement being shelved until the early 1970s when a new version, featuring a rifle rather than a handgun, debuted. Most famously, a one-second version of the commercial ran during the 1974 Super Bowl.
At the time, the use of such a short ad was seen as little more than a “stunt” and form of protest against the sky-high price of advertising spots during the big game. However, the shortening attention spans of consumers and increasing fragmentation of the media landscape mean shorter ads are fast becoming the norm.
YouTube introduced a new six-second format which became an immediate hit, and it has since expanded into a range of other events, such as live shows and award ceremonies. Viewers can expect to see six-second ad slots during the Super Bowl 2018. Although being creative in such a small window of time is a challenge, it is a challenge most brands are more than willing to accept – especially with the added incentive of the cost benefits they can offer.