It can be overwhelming to try and stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends. The industry is changing so fast, with new innovations seemingly being released every week. But, to succeed in digital marketing, either as a job or as a brand using it as a channel to communicate with potential customers, it’s necessary to stay on top.
So, to help make your job easier, we’ve summarised the five key digital marketing trends that you need to know in 2022-2023.
Here are the digital marketing trends you need to be across
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is what is driving everything
You may have heard that AI is a big deal in the marketing world. But just exactly why is AI a digital marketing trend you need to keep your eye on?
Firstly, let’s define what AI actually is. Artificial intelligence is all about teaching machines to learn and make decisions in the way that humans do. For example, machine learning is a subset of AI focused on teaching machines to make accurate data-driven predictions.
So, why is it a trend to keep your eye on? Essentially, AI is what now powers everything when it comes to digital marketing. Without AI, none of the other trends work.
AI enables digital marketers to:
- generate deeper insights into the customer journey
- personalise content more accurately
- streamline tedious manual processes
- automate marketing campaigns
- identify new products and services
- improve customer service and experience
One great example is when global consumer goods giant Unilever recently used AI and machine learning in their digital marketing to develop a unique new product range: breakfast ice cream.
Unilever’s data scientists used social listening, customer data from automation software and traditional marketing research to uncover some surprising insights:
- 50 songs in the public domain include lyrics about ‘ice cream for breakfast’
- A number of local businesses across the United States had ice-cream based meals on their breakfast menus.
- Many consumers were going to Dunkin’ Donuts for a sweet breakfast.
The end result for Unilever was a global launch of breakfast cereal flavoured ice cream for their brand Ben & Jerry’s. Its success inspired other major ice cream brands to release their own cereal-flavoured ice cream lines as well.
Personalisation needs to go to the next level
Personalisation is the number one digital marketing trend for 2022, again. We’re not talking about the expected personalisation of the last decade - think, first name in email subject lines for example - but completely personalised digital experiences.
A recent McKinsey & Company analysis states, “Consumers don’t just want personalisation, they demand it.”
But that’s not all. Digital marketing teams that excel at personalisation can generate 40 per cent more revenue than their less advanced counterparts.
While that sounds impressive, you might wonder what is meant by personalisation. Research indicates that “consumers associate it with positive experiences of being made to feel special.”
In other words, personalisation means focusing more on customer relationships rather than being all about the transaction.
On a practical level, the following are five things you can do to personalise the experience for your customers in 2022-2023. They’re based on the results of a recent consumer survey:
- Make it easy for customers to navigate in-store and online by investing in research to ensure your site navigation is as intuitive as possible
- Give customers relevant product/service recommendations by leveraging their recent search history data to provide a bespoke experience
- Offer targeted promotions based on seasonal trends aligned to each individual’s location
- Celebrate milestones, such as their birthday, with customised messaging and surprise and delight gifting
Of course, personalisation only works with the right technology in place, such as a robust AI setup.
Automation is the future of digital marketing
Marketing automation typically involves using software to manage all of your customer interactions and touchpoints in one central location while facilitating multiple multichannel campaigns.
For example, automation lets you connect the dots automatically between:
- customer demographics
- data on recent purchases
- content customers have engaged with
- any customer service enquiries made
- communication preferences
- customer survey responses
- online and offline behavioural tracking data
The analysis of all of these data points is automated and then meaningful insights are delivered that marketers can draw on to improve the digital customer experience.
According to Dr Ashish Kumar, senior lecturer at the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University, data analytics is the key to getting automation right.
“Data analytics is extremely important for successful digital marketing strategies,” he says. “Firms and marketers need to leverage their data, whether that’s internal or external to the organisation, to make informed marketing decisions.”
Some of the informed decisions that automation can help you with include:
- Sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Automation can create dynamic landing pages, eDMs and SMS messages to deliver time- and need-relevant communications.
- Improving customer service. With all of your customer interactions in one place, the tailored customer service experiences consumers now expect become simple to provide.
- Streamlining advertising processes. Automation creates thousands of variations of ad creatives, making it easy to personalise the content in a single click.
When all the trends come together…
The global COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of online shopping. More Australians are shopping online, and they’re purchasing more frequently too.
For example, a recent report by Australia Post found that in 2021:
- Online shopping had a share of almost 20 per cent of total retail sales.
- Throughout the year, 81 per cent of Australian households bought something online.
- Compared with 2019, 73.1 per cent more purchases were made online.
And it seems that the online shopping trend in Australia isn’t going to reverse anytime soon. In fact, a 2022 survey of Australia Post parcel recipients revealed that 93 per cent intend to maintain or increase their online shopping activity.
Social shopping is a perfect example of the convergence of all three trends making an impact on a sector. You can see AI, personalisation and automation at play here. Yes, eCommerce has grown; but the prevalence of social shopping is a result of these digital marketing trends further amplifying the online shopping experience in a way that suits consumers.
Another key trend in digital marketing is social shopping. It’s buying and selling products directly within social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook. There’s no need for customers to leave the platform to go to an external website to purchase.
According to Dr Kumar, the rise of social shopping makes sense when you consider its place in our lives.
“Social media is very important. It influences our online as well as offline lives,” he says. “And when you look at how influential it is, I think that the concept of social shopping is going to be very important in developing a successful eCommerce strategy.”
Consumer behaviour is constantly changing. And since 2020, never has that statement been more accurate. Why?
In response to this rapid consumer behaviour shift to online shopping, digital marketing is evolving to optimise online customer experiences.
How to keep up with marketing trends
The rapid pace of change in digital marketing has meant that many in the industry want to know how to keep up to date with marketing trends.
It’s why RMIT Online, in collaboration with leading industry partners and academics, have co-designed the Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing Leadership program.
With a focus on building data, technology and capability to deliver ROI and a customer-first experience, the program will give you the knowledge and skills to excel in the face of change.
You will learn how to select marketing technology, connect data systems and implement strategic partnerships to drive greater value through customer-first marketing strategies.
You’ll also be certified by the only qualification to help you upskill in digital transformation in marketing, giving you a competitive edge in the job market. And with a greater competitive advantage, you may be able to enjoy a more competitive marketing manager salary.
Whether you work in B2B or B2C, Dr Kumar says that one of the significant advantages of the program is its immediate applicability and relevance to solving real industry challenges.
“It’s a very practice-oriented program where students can take advantage of the collaboration between leading industry partners and academics,” he says. “Once students graduate, they have the knowledge and skills to confidently tackle current problems facing the digital marketing industry.”
Step up with confidence in your digital marketing career
Gain the confidence to drive digital transformation in your organisation and rediscover what you love about digital marketing with RMIT Online’s Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing Leadership program.
To learn more, visit the website or call 1300 701 171.