A mere 20 years ago, marketing any product or service was still highly reliant on TV commercials and newspaper ads. It almost makes one feel ancient to think how things have changed. Now, TV-centric advertising is virtually dead. Instagram and TikTok, blogs, vlogs, viral content and apps – all of those and plenty more have completely changed the rules of the game.
Are you already noticing the major trend in that recap? No, it’s not (just) social media that has created a revolution. Technology and, more particularly, software have made a tectonic change in the marketing landscape. It’s not something you can ignore if you want to succeed in what’s already the third decade of the 21st century.
In case you’re wondering how you can leverage this to your advantage, here are a few practices to keep an eye on. These can potentially help you spread your reach, quadruple engagement, and make your sales funnel sing.
Using artificial intelligence for marketing purposes
Arguably the hottest topic on the internet is Artificial Intelligence. Given the power of computerized systems, AI has almost infinite potential for acquiring and using the information to evolve and improve its performance. That’s why AI can be a great ally of marketing — because it can analyze vast customer datasets and provide insights to inform a company’s marketing strategy.
As early as 2018, McKinsey Global Institute analyzed 400 different online businesses. Nearly all reported a positive impact of AI on their market research, reach, and sales. In addition, according to the Harvard Business Report, the year-on-year jump in the use of AI in digital marketing was 27% in 2021. That’s quite a leap.
AI software can help you analyze customer behavior and identify patterns you can then use to make decisions. There are two forms in which these AI-based tools tend to exist in the digital world, namely:
- Stand-alone machine-learning apps (such as cnvrg.io, which is extensively used in the gaming industry)
- Integrated machine-learning apps (i.e., Snapchat and its machine-supervised learning algorithms for computer visualization)
A smaller company or a business just starting out is more likely to use the former. A larger enterprise will have the budget to integrate an app into its existing system or software marketing strategy. Armed with insights from AI software, you can see how incorporating new technologies will impact your brand.
Automation as a software marketing strategy
A large, cumbersome campaign is the last thing you want. In order to achieve your goals, you’ll need something efficient that does the job. This is where automation enters the picture. It allows you to delegate certain repetitive tasks to the machines. So far, it has been used in talent recruitment, customer care management, and online marketing.
Companies use commonly use two types of software in this field:
- Stand-alone task-automation apps (IFTTT, AutomateIt, which have their use in marketing, data processing, and other fields)
- Integrated task automation apps (all major retailers like Amazon and Target use them)
Much like with AI, the choice between the two will depend on the size and complexity of your business. You can employ them to deliver predefined actions such as chatbot messages, email campaigns, deal offers, and similar tasks. Each should be based on your clients’ previously recorded and analyzed behaviors. This can enhance your relationship with them.
Big data analytics bring big results
Automation and AI are, in turn, the gateway to big data analytics. They enable the processing of large quantities of information (aka big data analytics), making market research a lot easier. Everything from observing user behavior patterns to monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) can benefit from it. A well-designed, custom-made piece of software can keep an eye on unique visitors, leads, and generation costs – and identify potential growth opportunities.
For instance, Swedish fashion giant H&M currently employs no fewer than 200 data scientists to observe, analyze, and predict trends that help the company better engage with their clients. Other ways in which you can leverage big data analytics for success are:
- Building better customer relationships.
- Defining appropriate positioning for your brand.
- Optimizing prices of your goods or services.
- Designing small or large-scale campaigns.
Analytics can be applied in a range of industries – from building a software marketing strategy to trying to break into the beauty industry.
Personalization is a way to form strong bonds
Speaking of which, the cosmetics industry has recently been at the forefront of personalizing the end-user experience. Gone are the days when special offers based on your purchase history were enough to move you to buy more. Even deals tied to your geographic location or generic recommendations simply won’t cut it.
Consumers demand discourse and products that are specifically tailored to their needs. We’re talking about taking the guesswork out of picking the right skincare routine. Function of Beauty boasts interactive quizzes that serve this purpose. The luxury giant Yves Saint Laurent, on the other hand, lets users create a custom shade of lipstick.
Socially and ethically conscious marketing is also becoming the norm. In 2020, Sephora pledged to dedicate 15% of its shelf space to black-owned brands. This is a trend we can see in other industries as well, from software marketing strategy implementation to promoting Hollywood blockbusters.
Know what you want to achieve
All of the above-mentioned strategies can open the doors to success. They can also be completely useless. After all, no method is a magic wand that’ll make all your troubles go away. No strategy is foolproof.
In order to mitigate the risks, you’ll need to know what you wish to achieve. Having a clear vision is essential for picking the right tools. After all, a small business won’t need big data analysis just yet, while a big brand can benefit from it greatly. Personalization, on the other hand, can boost performance for both.
Before picking (or developing) software to fit your needs, review your strategy and objectives. By managing your expectations, you’ll prepare a solid foundation for future action. You’ll then be able to effectively improve your software marketing strategy, product placement, time management, data access, and decision-making.