Latest News

12 Dec

Businesses urged to claim £2500 voucher for broadband boost

Businesses around the UK are being urged to make use of a £2500 voucher for gigabit broadband speeds before the scheme closes due to high demand.

12 Dec

Deadline looms for Enterprising Women nominations

The annual quest to find the region’s most successful and inspirational businesswomen will end soon after Christmas.

12 Dec

New Chief Executive Officer appointed by D2N2 LEP

A new Chief Executive Officer has been appointed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

What does the future of marketing look like?

The short answer to this question is ‘no one actually knows’. That’s because the marketing landscape is so vast and changes so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with the now, let alone the tomorrow.

But there are some clues out there that allow us a sneak peek at what might just be around the corner, and helps us to start thinking about the types of things we may need to learn in order to keep ahead of our competition.

Take, for example, the humble website. Remember the days when the page took an age to load (on dial-up usually)? The web design had to be reasonably simple just to make it usable. How funny, then, that we are right back at considering site speed as fundamental in the design. Does that make the design simple though? Not today. Technology and, fortunately, bandwidth has moved on to give us websites that have fantastic functionality allowing us to craft, view and buy.

We are heading into the multi-sensory website, where visitors have a truly immersive experience into the host’s environment. That may come with virtual reality as part of it, but at very least, we can expect to see a greater amount of touch points on screen. Consider it potential customers touching, and playing with, your product. It’s helpful in the decision making process to buy.

What if someone has questions about your product or service? Live chat has been around for some time. That’s great if you have the resources to man it, but it’s a challenge if you don’t. No one likes to wait (another by-product of progress). Indeed, the average expectation of response to an instant message is one hour.

This response time expectation is surely set to decrease, so how do you meet this expectation? By potentially using automation tools to assist your business. Chatbots are the latest piece of the puzzle. Sometimes combined with artificial intelligence, other times just about understanding standard processes and questions and finding ways to provide the required response without the customer having to wait. The technology is available now, but there are very few businesses implementing them at the moment, and those that are seem to be making things over-complicated for the customer, generating a unnecessarily negative response.

Expect, in the course of time, for the standard of bot design to be more akin to how sales funnels and customer journeys are designed, including a heavy focus on customer service.

Whilst you’ll be able to ask questions via a bot, it’s inevitable we’ll see a huge increase in the use of voice activated devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri and others, to answer the questions we have as consumers. It’ll feel more natural than it currently does to ask a device a question about a product and get an audio response. A company’s ability to answer the question provides trust to the consumer (assuming the answer is correct of course).

It’s not just one way with voice, however. With huge growth in podcasting and the ability to deliver value via Alexa skills, audio marketing is certainly worth paying attention to.

What about the humble email? Could it be dead? GDPR has seemingly reduced the amount of sales based email, but mainly because people are scared about breaking the regulations. It’s likely that emails will be smarter – content will have to be worth reading and permission is imperative to keep. Email is here to stay, but the quality of the content will have to be fantastic in order for it to have any real value.

Of course, all this so far has focused on digital marketing. There’s a temptation to think about the future as being exclusively digital. Far from it. When potential customers are turned off by spammy emails, website pop-ups that don’t add anything to the user experience or direct messages pinging on their phone, there’s a huge opportunity for more analogue methods.

The impact of direct mail is significant, particularly if thought has gone into it. Think quirky packaging, content that puts a brand front of mind and something you can physically use.

And don’t forget the power of networking – at one of the region’s many networking events, a trade show or a conference. Making connections with others will always be one of the best ways to market your business and is future proof.

About the author

Paul Ince, Like Mind Media

Founder and Host of Marketed.live - 25 September, Nottingham Contemporary

Disclaimer

The above blog has been kindly supplied by the above mentioned author. The inclusion of this content and any links to another web site, or any reference to any product or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by D2N2 Growth Hub.

 


Back