The ways that marketing and sales processes are carried out have been and continue to be reshaped by new technological advances. It’s true no matter the type of business you have or the industry you’re in.
New technologies can pose opportunities or threats to a company’s marketing and sales departments, depending on how these teams keep up with the changes. With 2021 proving to be a year of continued digital marketing space transformation, it’s essential to be aware of the most significant advances so that you can plan on how to leverage them in your company.
Here are four technological developments that are impacting all marketing and sales teams today:
Marketing and big data align with one another and are actually showing their worth in the real world. Despite marketing strategists touching only big data’s surface at present, some companies have already found real above-market growth. In fact, compared to their peers, businesses that use big data obtained five to six percent higher profitability and productivity rates. (1)
If summoned and utilized correctly, it’s safe to say that marketing and sales’ future lies within big data analytics. It’s especially true when data lakes are combined with the best forecasting software.
One of the big data technologies significantly impacting marketing and sales is data lakes. What are data lakes? They’re a consolidated repository for storing unstructured and structured data at any scale.
Why is a data lake vital for marketing and sales teams? Businesses generate nonstop information from their websites, social media accounts, and other digital channels. But, although B2B and B2C marketers have more tools at their disposal now than ever before, the lack of a single platform capable of tying everything together caused them to face the following issues:
- No consolidated view of customer data
- Limited ability to personalize interactions
- Limited insights into consumer interest over a specific product or service
- Challenges in measuring marketing campaign effectiveness
That’s changing with data lake’s emergence. Marketing data lakes equip marketers and salespeople to utilize big data to understand customers more precisely and deliver the right message to them at the right time using the best channel available.
Augmented reality (AR)
When customers can connect to a product that your business offers visually in an authentic and tactile way, they become closer to your product, giving your brand an edge in the market. That’s what augmented reality (AR) exactly can do for you. It’s no surprise that more and more businesses are experimenting with this technology nowadays. Research even predicts worldwide spending for AR to grow up to USD$72 billion in the next three years! (2)
There’s no doubt that augmented reality in business is gaining momentum fast. But should you bother? We think you should. That’s because AR can transform your marketing and sales processes. Trends in augmented reality that are revolutionizing marketing and sales include:
- Virtual showrooms: One great example of AR in marketing is a virtual showroom. With AR-powered virtual showrooms, businesses don’t need standard physical stores anymore. All marketers and salespeople need is a small empty room equipped with a virtual reality headset. Even a smartphone is enough for them to showcase their products to potential clients!
Of course, virtual showrooms are more common in the automotive industry. They’re utilized by marketing or sales teams from prominent automobile companies to allow customers to observe a car’s technical components or sit in it virtually for a true-to-life experience before shelling out money for it.
- Try-before-you-buy solutions: The ‘try before you buy’ solution has taken the online shopping industry by storm. It’s a form of shopping where customers are allowed to try or test out a product from the comfort of their homes using only their smartphones. Examples of businesses that are taking advantage of this technology are furniture companies and clothing brands. This solution definitely increases the chance of converting an interested consumer to a paying customer when they see how great a desk looks in their home office or how beautiful they look when wearing a designer collection dress.
Voice search technology’s widespread adoption is also one of the most significant advancements impacting today’s digital marketing.
Over the past several years, we’ve seen how smart speakers and smartphone assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, have skyrocketed in terms of popularity and usage. Their rapid rise and adoption have obviously changed and continue to change how search marketing professionals optimize digital channels like websites to rank for targeted queries and keywords.
With voice-controlled devices gaining popularity, companies should focus their digital content strategy on providing consumers with answers to their frequently asked questions regarding the business’s product or service offering.
Chatbots automate conversation with a user. They’re either software or a computer program that can be programmed with various responses or built-out conversation trees to attend to a user action or request. A chatbot is, of course, powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
There are many ways a business can take advantage of chatbots, including:
- Customer service
- Shopping assistance
While many marketing and sales principles remain the same every year, the tools companies use to achieve advertising and revenue generation success vary from year to year greatly. For instance, email marketing and social media have ruled the marketing world for quite some time. However, data lakes, augmented reality, voice search, and chatbots play critical roles in many marketing tactics now.
- “Marketing & Sales Big Data, Analytics, And The Future Of Marketing & Sales”, Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Business%20Functions/Marketing%20and%20Sales/Our%20Insights/EBook%20Big%20data%20analytics%20and%20the%20future%20of%20marketing%20sales/Big-Data-eBook.ashx
- “Worldwide Spending On Augmented And Virtual Reality Forecast To Deliver Strong Growth Through 2024, According To A New IDC Spending Guide”, Source: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS47012020