Digital Marketing and Automation in 2021 (How Can Businesses Prepare for Incoming Trends)

Digital marketing continues to skyrocket, not only in popularity but also in smart tools and cutting-edge tech applications for productivity. Digital technology for your business is something you need to embrace to stay competitive today. 

Advanced technologies like Machine Learning powered by Artificial Intelligence impacts user experience greatly. These innovations are revolutionizing digital marketing into a sophisticated, precise industry.

Moreso, a new breed of technology continues to transform digital automation, particularly when the world is still reeling from a pandemic.

7 Digital Trends to Expect in 2021


  •  Automation Overtaking More Jobs


The recent pandemic definitely pushed digital technologies deeper into automation. Touchless solutions needed to be in place to preserve human touch while keeping business continuity amid the pandemic

That is why self-service kiosks and chatbots are seen more and more, and jobs that can be automated have been delegated to AI-powered robots and smart machines. 

Even in digital marketing, this is a growing concern among digital marketing teams. Automated outreach systems are increasingly becoming more and more sophisticated. As automation becomes more the standard in businesses and enterprises, there has been shifts in the workforce. 

Some jobs have been outdated due to automation, so these positions either needed to be dissolved or shifted into another function. 

In advertising, there is a transition towards customer information aggregation towards outsourcing for advertisers. It thins out jobs even more because outsourcing eliminates the need to create dedicated teams for the service being outsourced. 

Since we cannot avoid automation, companies then need to step it up. Retraining or upskilling is an utmost necessity. Multitasking is also trending. Since automation simplifies most tasks that used to take up time, investment, and efforts, teams can now multitask, or increase efforts on activities that cannot be relegated to machines. 

This includes planning, strategizing, analysis, interpretation, and implementation. At the end of the day, you would need human analysts and strategists to interpret and implement what the data is showing. A machine alone cannot do that. 


  • More Accurate Analysis


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a corporate practice that develops a customer-centric approach to business. It optimizes the integration of customer information and filters valid data for interpretation.

As CRM, AI, and Big Data technologies are merged, they can streamline the aggregation of consumer knowledge from different sources. This includes obtaining reliable feedback for potential markets, identifying user demands, and the like. 

All these innovations help businesses establish the most effective marketing plan, as they can better predict future buyers’ behavior. AI not only modernizes digital marketing, but makes it more accurate for improved revenues. 

You can also make highly targeted approaches, make the buying process smoother to minimize cart abandonment. 


  •  Chatbots


Chatbots are the best example of the use of AI technologies. They serve as virtual customer assistants, answering user’s needs from playing their favorite song, to setting alerts, or scheduling meetings. Chatbots are enhanced further with AI translators that boost your business. 

There are many AI chatbot applications that can help you to communicate with your customers. You can connect helpful chatbots to your websites, e-mails, applications, and text messages.

You may also use chatbot programs to reach out to your customers or to respond to their questions. Conversational marketing is a trend that we will see more of in 2021, because it personalizes consumer’s experience to a greater level. 

Chatbots can participate in human-like interactions even while you are sleeping. This way, lead generation and customer nurturing does not stop, even if your human customer services are not on the clock. 

Customers do not mind talking to chatbots, as long as their needs and concerns are acknowledged immediately, and they get answers fast. 

Smart chatbot switches the dialogue depending on how users talk. It gives consumers richer interactions, draws their intentions better, and generates more leads. 

Starbucks is one of the brands that makes good use of this AI digital marketing approach to complement human employees. It can provide zero human contact customer service via its Starbucks Barista bot for Facebook Messenger. It orders your coffee exactly the way you want it, even carrying out complicated instructions. 

Businesses can analyze their services and determine which ones can be relegated to chatbot services. There are a lot of WordPress plugins you can use that lets you connect with your target audience within and outside of your website, like email marketing tools, chatbot tools, and the like. 


  •  Artificial Intelligence Disruption is Already Happening


AI is disruptive no matter how you look at it. But the disruption is for a good cause. When digital marketing tools become intelligent, businesses can focus their investments into the best possible strategies that yield the highest possible revenues. 

If AI can elevate the level of service in sales and promotions, then businesses need to jump in and utilize emerging technologies. It will actually help your team if you integrate AI into your business in more and more ways.

For one, you are providing them with better, more accurate tools. Secondly, you are providing better customer service. In addition, you stay at par with your competitors. Just being able to acquire more accurate user data is already a game changer. 

In marketing, AI can analyze sales calls even quicker. And AI is now being used to build advertising campaigns for advertisers and playbooks for email marketing. 

It is clear that AI-powered bots can actually make us happier at work, safer in our professions, more successful in our campaigns, and data-driven in our operations.


  •  AI through AR/VR technology


AR and VR give a new experience of consumption to your users. It adds a dimension of customer service that no other digital innovation offers just yet. 

Coca-Cola, for example, has opted to combine AI and Augmented Reality (AR) by overlaying computer graphics over a user’s real-world vision using glasses or goggles. They have implemented this into several bottling plants.

The technicians receive data about the devices for maintenance or updates, enabling them to coordinate with technicians who have nearer access to the plant. It standardizes maintenance operations even among technicians in remote areas, as main technicians from the base are able to monitor and guide every step of the service being done and get data for results right away. 

The use of AR/VR in digital marketing also increases engagements with customers because it is new, unique, and exciting. It provides a unique way to develop a stronger bond between a brand and its consumers. 

For example, YouTube now has YouTubeVR that adds a new dimension to their users’ experience. If you are a content creator, it gives you more ways to increase your YouTube views. Grabbing this opportunity and pioneering VR content on YouTube as early as now gives you the advantage of rising as an influencer specializing on this niche. 


  •  AI Shifts in Marketing Jobs


Today, AI and machine learning is helping digital marketers understand their audience, customize offerings, streamline content creation, and collect and evaluate greater volumes of data. All these enable businesses to study data in greater detail and quickly adjust business decisions. 

Even if some skill sets are being overtaken by AI, it is generating a market for new skills rather rather than specific jobs. A digital marketer, for instance, needs to be good in content creation and analytics at the same time, plus have acuity for frontend and backend operations. Digital marketers must also be familiar with emerging technologies especially if they are crucial to anyone of the skills demanded of them. 

In 2018, there were 583,000 businesses in the US using AI and other advanced technologies.

In 2019, there was a survey by Salesforce that recorded about half of 3500 advertisers use AI.

AI allows people time to do other things while monitoring and analyzing different aspects of sales and conversion.


  •  Personalization 


Many retail and eCommerce brands use AI technologies to monitor the tastes, behaviors and actions of their consumers. Social media platforms spearhead in personalization.

For instance, in the most popular social media platform this year amid the pandemic, brand positioning on TikTok is also yielding much profit, not just for the brands advertising in it, but rising TikTok influencers, including cross-platform influencers from YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Substantially large investments are pouring in for personalization, because the insights these platforms gain help them make recommendations on goods and services that could be of interest to their consumers. In turn, advertisers, third-party suppliers, and the like are able to jump in and grab advertising slots to be more visible to the consumers as they browse through a website. 

Knowing the purchasing habits of your clients will help you build a more successful marketing campaign. It is therefore smart to prioritize items that your consumers may likely buy.

When you can personalize the customer experience of your audience, you connect better with them, and boost eCommerce revenues. Better yet, when you combine your cloud POS system with a great CRM, you’ll save money, instill more efficiency, and retain more shoppers.

eCommerce giant, Amazon, uses AI-powered recommendation engines to efficiently provide tailored recommendations. These guidelines play a critical role in growing revenues and adding to their revenue growth, even more, when you are selling in gated categories.

Amazon’s recommendation algorithms evaluate the shopping experience of their customers, the items in their cart, the items they enjoyed, and what other users ordered or watched.

Conclusion: The Best Tools Require Skilled Marketers

No matter how sophisticated digital marketing platforms and applications are, they could not completely replace digital marketers, although the latter need to keep up with new technology.

Digital marketers only remain relevant and worth investing in if they know how to strategize the best campaigns, but also use the best tools used by digital marketing teams to date. This is the reason why most companies outsource their digital marketing teams–they want the best talents they could afford. 

Companies know digital marketing is a worthwhile investment, and if it brings revenues to the company, will not shy away from hiring digital marketers. But you need go beyond responding to a need or a trend. You need to create a need for your talents and skills by constantly upgrading yourself and your know-how regarding automated digital marketing. 

Mayleen Meñez used to work in media before finding her true passion in NGO work, travelling the Philippines and Asia doing so. She homeschools 3 kids and loves reinventing Filipino dishes. She is a resident SEO writer for Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand


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