The digital age has rapidly disrupted virtually every industry, and marketing is no exception; more so today than ever before, emerging technologies are fundamentally reshaping how products are marketed, and how consumers can find goods and deals that work for them. Some innovations are more impactful than others, however, and marketers who don’t want to waste their time should only be focusing on the most cutting-edge tech that’s reshaping how we do business.
These are the 5 new technologies that are transforming marketing like no other, and how they’ll continue to be used to innovate and disrupt in the near future.
1. The era of VR has arrived
Most innovative technologies are surrounded in flashy language that makes them appear to be highly sophisticated, but virtual reality technology actually follows through on its promises to take users to another world.
Time and time again, we’ve seen companies large and small rely on the power of VR to add a bit of edge to their marketing technique. That’s because there’s nothing quite like a virtual reality headset when you want to make your consumers feel like they’ve stepped into an alternative reality rife with opportunities and splendor.
Even world-famous newspapers like the New York Times are beginning to leverage VR to deliver storytelling to people around the world, and we should expect this trend of employing VR in marketing strategies to continue. As long as these wondrous headsets can make people feel as if they’re in an alternative reality, expect savvy marketers to use them to boost their sales figures and market reputations.
2. Microtargeting will change everything
At this point, many marketers are familiar with microtargeting strategies that employ data-collection efforts to intimately market deals to a small but likely-to-click section of the populace. What few seem to realize, however, is that microtargeting is just getting started, and will soon fundamentally transform the world of marketing as we know it.
That’s because microtargeting isn’t restricted to consumer shopping alone; while companies like Amazon may be using big data analytics operations with Amazon SEO to market products that certain demographic are more likely than not to purchase, the real power of microtargeting will from the political marketing campaigns it’s employed in.
Take a glance at some of the way contemporary political parties in the US are leveraging microtargeting strategies to directly market their campaigns to prospective voters, and you’ll see the true potential this technology has to upend the way we view messaging in the digital age.
3. Smart-home assistants will soon be peddling merchandise
The rise of smart-home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home has been well-documented, but not everyone has yet to see the potential these voice-dominated devices offer to marketers. Many consumers now have these assistants placed directly in their living rooms, meaning marketers can reach prospective customers in a much more intimate way than ever before.
Take a look at some of the brands that are already leveraging the power of Amazon’s Alexa to reach consumers right in their homes, and you’ll see the true potential of voice-dominated marketing. Companies like Tide will soon be explaining how to get grass or wine stains out of clothing to people as they’re standing in their laundry rooms, and future automotive companies may find themselves offering mechanical advice to consumers in their garages hoping to toy or repair their vehicles.
4. Additive manufacturing is growing cheaper and cheaper
Additive manufacturing is more popular known as 3-D printing, and it’s getting cheaper and more effective by the day. By typing in some codes to a clever software program, we can now 3-D print just about anything, from $1 plastic knickknacks to complex electronic machinery. When marketers finally get their hands on 3-D printing technology en-masse, we’re also going to experience a new way of product-pushing unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
One of the world’s most dominant brands, Coca-Cola, is already leading the way when it comes to employing additive manufacturing for marketing ends. The famed beverage company recently launched new mini coke bottles in Israel, and helped generate buzz for its new product by scanning visitors to its 3-D printing lab to produce mini-versions of themselves. Expect more companies to follow in Coke’s footprints sooner rather than later.
5. Social media is creating a human/machine marketing hybrid
Social media platforms aren’t new at this point, but they’re just now starting to give birth to the human/machine/brand hybrid known as “social media influencers.” Thanks to the vast reach of modern social media platforms, popular users can use their influence to push out videos, pictures, and post of them using modern brands, which see immediate upticks in sales.
As social media goes from a trend to a way of life, expect more “influencers” to surface. Tech itself isn’t just changing marketing—it’s changing marketers, too.