How Businesses Navigate the Shifting Consumer Landscape In 2021 and Beyond?

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With the end of 2021 right around the corner, it makes sense to sneak peek at digital marketing trends we’ll likely meet in 2022. 

To state the obvious, voice search engine optimization (VSEO) and AI data-driven marketing, were ambitious concepts near to ridiculous. But things have changed, consumer habits have changed as well, and today these leading digital marketing trends. 

And what wouldn’t they be? In today’s all-tech business realm, you must adapt to the latest innovations if you intend to remain competitive. 

Our post today will hit on the most important digital marketing trends you can’t ignore in 2021 and beyond because they will help your business not just survive but succeed in this age of ever-shifting marketing landscape. 

AI-Powered Optimization 

AI has quickly become a key element behind many services, including content creation, search engines, and chatbots, which has skyrocketed since the pandemic. 

A recent PwC survey hints that over 1,000 U.S-based companies, 52%, have accelerated their AI adoption plans. With AI dominating most critical business operations, these companies have experienced better customer service (86%), improved decision making (75%), and an increase in productivity (with 64%). 

AI has proved a more reliable ally when it comes to customer behaviour analysis. It can evaluate consumer behaviour, search patterns and use social data like Instagram and blog posts to help brands understand how customers find their services and products. 

Google happens to be one of the pig-pocket companies with AI at the center of its value proposition. Over the last few years, Google’s implementation of AI has allowed their search engine to understand with higher precision what people are looking for and what type of content best suffices their search intent. 

Outstanding Customer Experience 

Every year is the year of the customer. We’re witnessing a massive shift in beliefs about what marketing actually is. The modern customer no longer wants to be convinced to buy from or work with your business. Instead, the priority has ascended towards providing outstanding customer experiences that will keep people coming back for more. When you focus on building a positive company culture and providing great service, the marketing almost takes care of itself. 

Not only is the modern customer impatient, but they also want those fish and tacos served on a silver platter. Okay, maybe not like that. But the modern customer still expects a seamless experience from the first spark of interest to customer service after the sale. 

In addition to customized marketing emails and messages, find ways to listen and respond to their questions. Align your digital marketing team with your customer services and sales team to provide quality throughout their experience. 

Using AI to Automate Ad Buying 

By removing humans from ad buying, brands and businesses receive a more trustworthy and practical solution to their needs. 

According to Statista, the total spending for global programmatic advertising has reached almost $130 billion, 61% of which comes from U.S companies. It’s expected that the U.S programmatic display ad spending will reach 18.4% next year, a number that’s close to average. So far, it’s clear as daylight that the power of programmable advertising lies in its optimization ability, which exceeds that of a human. Unlike search-driven manual ad campaigns, where you must consider the keyword, location, and time of day, the programmatic platforms can leverage hundreds of targeting signals to individualize the ad campaigns and target according to behavior habits or lifestyle when integrated with customer platforms. 

If paid media buying is an important customer acquisition channel, you should start taking heed of programmatic advertising. 

Story-Driven Content Visualisation 

With the exploitation of voice search and smart speakers in recent years, you’d be pardoned for thinking that “readable” content is more important than visuals and design in 2021 and beyond. 

To put simply, the latest developments in voice search are certainly influencing the way in which we create content today and in the future. With that being said, you should not neglect visual content either. 

Recent findings hint that modern consumers prefer visual content to plain text. And there’s nothing wrong with our brain enjoying such aesthetics. You just have to look at the growth of image-focused socials Instagram and Pinterest to see the proof of this.

Pinterest, Google, and several other companies have also invested in visual search technology. Images already constitute 19%, if not more, of searches on Google, and 62% of millennials are more interested in visual search than in other new technology. And they have their reasons to feel so – data visualizations, images, videos, and infographics are simply more attractive and easier to remember than written content. 

Live Stream Shopping 

While it’s relatively a new concept in the Western World, live streaming is a common and extremely popular marketing strategy in China. In the first half of 2020, roughly 309 million Chinese internet users tuned into a live-streaming shopping season. 

In addition to that, in October of 2010, Viya, one of China’s most popular streaming platforms, hit a roughly $49.7 million profit in just one day of live streaming. 

Recent findings also show that the most popular product categories for live stream shopping are fashion and apparel, beauty products, consumer electronics, food, and home décor and furnishing. Live stream shopping is also expected to generate $25 billion in sales in the U.S by 2023. 

While live stream e-commerce is still in its infancy, marketing experts recommend starting with periodic streams focused on 1-5 products and relying on socials like Instagram, Amazon Live, TikTok, or Facebook. You could then move on to dedicated in-house agency staff to plan and develop content for livestream such as scripts, storylines, influencers, or hosts.