Digital trends South African companies can implement in 2018

Digital trends South African companies can implement in 2018

As a marketer, I am always lured by a trends prediction or survey. Gartner puts out an annual forecast, and then there are theAdobe digital surveys, we love them all. Each year our clients are intrigued by the changing trends on our digital landscape. But often the lure of something new, or the need to advance as quickly as you can to the next big thing, is more challenging than you realises. So let's look at the real trends that can be implemented.

AI, AR, VR and Virtual Assistants: The lure of artificial intelligence

With AI the possibilities to create a genuinely engaging client experiences could be endless. Seamless system integration that will recognise you across all your digital devices, no matter how you choose to engage a brand, will become a necessity for your client. Creating virtual environments for a client to engage with products and services, and virtual assistants that bridge the gap between digital and humans, is already a possibility, but you don’t need to start out with the most comprehensive engagement. Start with a few functions you want to encourage customers to perform via these tools before moving to more complex engagements. Ensure that all of this engagement can be captured against the customers' records to ensure that you have a rolling view of your client engagements across platforms. Make sure you have a marketing or digital business system that can help manage both the tools and the data. Once you have created the ecosystem for AI, and the data and systems you need to support this, you will be able to grow this function until it becomes fulling ingrained in your business systems.

Personalised client experiences will reign supreme

We are all selfish creatures by nature, and with the instant gratification provided by online engagements, we as customers are drawn towards unique, tailored experience no matter the product or service. Personalising your client experience is a crucial differentiator from your competitors. Your investment will win brand loyalty from your customers, so it is a worthwhile investment. Ensure you understand your own database, understanding your existing customer is vital. Capture new data about your client to build out the personalisation. Create buyer journeys that have personalisation points or actions build into them. You don’t have to change the product for each customer, but you can improve the engagement and the journey they go through to get the product. In future, you will be able to model products and promotions around particular audience types or introduce predictive marketing models and behaviour based marketing to attract new customers. Personalisation will not erode as a marketing tactic, it will become increasingly necessary for brands to communicate with the individual.

Content and context

Content is becoming shorter and more impactful for your reader. While we may still need to have a more extended format of content for product info, the how’s and why’s of your offering need to be communicated succinctly. Consider how you can answer client questions in 250 words. From an SEO perspective, content clusters are playing a more significant role so content that is centered around a central topic or theme will improve the reach of other content pieces in the group. Further to this, the context of the reader is becoming more and more important when implementing your writing strategy.

Remember, the following trends, trying to be first means very little if you cannot achieve your goals and show ROI for your digital efforts. If you have a question about any of these items feel free to contact our team to give you some insight.

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