With the holidays almost here, we’re all focused on making sure our marketing tactics are on point to command attention during this busy time.
Plus, many B2B companies are under more stress, both personally and professionally, and are surrounded by cues to buy. It’s a unique mind frame that the best marketers will profit from immensely.
But it also feels a bit like the Sunday afternoon of seasons, as right on the horizon is the new year, with all of its new possibilities, challenges, and trends just barely hidden from view. Keeping an eye on these trends can help boost sales.
Below are 10 technology trends marketers need to stay abreast of to thrive in 2017 and beyond, courtesy of Gartner, the research firm:
During the past decade or so, we’ve seen new marketing trends evolve—from social media profiles being a new and mysterious tool to viral videos being a standard goal for marketing teams.
When you think back to how far we’ve come as an industry, and how much our use of technology has changed over the years, you may picture one of the many iconic representations of the internet shown above: the Digital Mesh
The mesh made up of digital connections is more accurate than many give it credit for. And Gartner makes the case that it's starting to cover our planet and will be the key to marketing in the future.
In a recent report, Gartner discussed 10 trends that make up the existing Digital Mesh—trends that will impact our lives and businesses greatly in the future:
- Artificial Intelligence/Advanced Machine Learning
This trend also tops our list at LeadCrunch. It’s why we’re so successful! That's because Gartner came to the same conclusion we did: Artificial intelligence and Advanced Machine Learning are the future of data collection. We can’t wait until the day where we don’t have to touch another spreadsheet again.
- Intelligent Apps
Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to support your brand presence on phones and tablets seems like an obvious step for the technology, and we’re thrilled to see more in this category in the future!
- Intelligent Things
Yes, we know that the Internet of Things broke the internet recently. But hey, forgive and forget, right? The truth is that the IoT really is the future—not just a few high-priced gimmicks. Once security software catches up, the movie SmartHouse will no longer seem weird.
What does that mean for marketers? What if you knew whenever a customer added your product to their shopping list, asked for news about your company, or even asked about your industry? How would it impact your marketing efforts? That's happening right now with the IoT.
- Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
While slipping a mask on to experience another world seems like something designed for hardcore gamers and consumers, VR/AR offers endless possibilities for B2B marketers.
The most obvious possibility is virtual meetings, where you meet clients face to face without having to travel. But there’s also product demos, walkthroughs, training sessions… the list goes on and on.
- Digital Twins
This trend may be a bit foreign to marketers. A digital twin is a computerized companion to physical assets, such as sensors, that keep operators updated on an asset's operation.
For marketers, this increase in technology is a boon. It will help them measures things like how people interact with a sample, where they walk first in a room, or how well a product on display is working. The possibilities are endless.
- Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers
This trend seems daunting, but it's not. Think of blockchains and distributed ledgers as new ways to organize a database.
Instead of having all the information stored in one place (like a spreadsheet on your computer), the information is stored in pieces on many machines (like how the Internet is made up of millions of websites, all stored in different places).
Marketers will need to learn how blockchains and distributed ledgers work and how to use them to market products and services. This trend is here to stay. in fact, we’re betting that as the global economy grows, it will increase in popularity.
- Conversational Systems
Also known as a dialog systems, this technology is what supports chatbots. It enables them to have increasingly normal conversations.
Conversational systems are already changing marketing in all industries, as customer support moves towards chatbots. For B2B marketers, this means that even small businesses can offer 24/7 customer care.
- Mesh Apps and Service Architecture
This highly technical term describes the IT architecture that makes it possible to deliver apps and services over a mesh network, allowing them to simultaneously update.
Basically, it means that if your clients follow through on a call to action on your app, they'll get a whole new experience if they look at the website—even if it’s only a few seconds later.
This technology is what allows sites like Amazon and Facebook to deliver consistent user experiences across devices.
- Digital Technology Platforms
Here we go again, back on track with directly marketing focused trends! This trend is essentially just that—many companies choosing to outsource part of their business operations elsewhere. (Just as so many marketing departments trust LeadCrunch to take care of their analytics and lead generation.)
- Adaptive Security Architecture
This technology brings it all together and secures everything. Adaptive security architecture increases the flexibility of security software and security systems, boosting protection for an organization's information. As time passes, the software we rely on will become increasingly safer - so sleep easy, marketers!
Keep an eye on these technology trends if you're a marketer. Their impact may just revolutionize how you market to customers and help you boost profits dramatically.