by Jordan Buning, President, ddm marketing + communications
The words MarTech, SalesTech and AdTech can sound like giving a Lamborghini to a person that lives on a two-track: All the power in the world could become a wonderful machine that never leaves the garage.
Before you go crazy ― or drive yourself there ― start with a plan. Think about your organization’s strategy and goals. By thinking in terms of what you want to accomplish, and how you want to interact with others, you’ll make better decisions about the types of tools that will work best for your business.
Here are a few tech trends for 2022 that could push your business to the next level:
1. Mobile apps.
Mobile devices have become an essential part of digital lives, including our purchases. More than 75 percent of consumers shop from a mobile device, but only 12 percent are satisfied with mobile shopping. That means there are ample opportunities to seize and plenty of room for improvement ― a trend the most successful organizations will be quick to seize upon.
Whether the mobile version of a website is developed with adaptive, responsive, or standalone design, it does not always entail the best user experience. In many cases, mobile apps have a user-friendly interface and enable greater user experience compared to mobile websites. An app developed precisely for your business needs could be a powerful tool to support your customer engagement and sales. The more you can control the interaction, the better you can build a strong brand, improve customer engagement and increase sales.
2. Voice search.
According to Emarketer, more than 50 percent of all internet users, and more than 40 percent of the U.S. population, used voice search features on their phones and voice-enabled devices. 71 percent of them prefer voice searches over typing.
Voice search is one area where your business can stand apart from your competitors. If your business is online, there’s an increasing chance people will either find your website or content you created that exists online. A simple technique you can apply in 2022 is to provide answers to questions that customers frequently have about your product on your website. Remember to be detailed and conversational with your answers so it sounds helpful when spoken.
Voice assistants also are used after the sale. 30 percent of online shoppers use it to track their packages, 20 percent leave reviews or ratings, and 17 percent using voice search to repurchase items.
3. Quality storytelling.
Story and content are key elements of building brands through personal engagement and product sales. Storytelling is a timeless art, even when delivered through evolving technology channels. The technology pieces to enable it include video, including live-streaming, and audio – particularly podcasting. According to iHeartMedia, consumers spend one-third of their total media time on audio. Think about that. Audio is accessible from anywhere – home, work, in transit, exercising, etc. The potential to deliver engaging content to very specific audiences at scale is incredible, and we will only see further growth in storytelling in 2022.
4. Social shopping.
2022 also shows a huge push towards live shopping. The concept builds on what QVC and Home Shopping Channel started in the 1980’s: swap out televisions for mobile phones and TV networks for social media platforms. And in case you think this idea will never fly, see what’s been happening in China. Buyers can watch people try on products in real time and comment, allowing the brand to get feedback instantly. There’s often a human element, like a well-known influencer or personality who acts like a glamorous version of a buyer’s favorite customer support staff. Social shopping is coming to all platforms including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. Instagram shopping is already a profitable alternative to paid ads.
Chatbots can significantly expand your interaction with customers and prospective customers. They also help to analyze and collect valuable data. According to Salesforce, 69 percent of consumers in the United States interact with brands using chatbots. Despite some attempts (see car dealer websites), chatbots don’t have to be annoying or irritating to be effective. Many companies are trying to make them as realistic as possible. And chatbots can work nights, weekends and holidays.
Virtual assistants and chatbots have taken customer support to a whole new paradigm by bringing AI to the mix. AI can leverage customer data and communication history to help your team drive conversations. And, AI-powered chatbots can reply to basic queries or resolve issues, reducing the need for delayed customer service interactions. Most importantly, 79 percent of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales revenue and customer loyalty.
Jordan Buning is the CEO of ddm marketing + communications. Throughout Jordan’s 25 years in marketing, he has served clients among a diverse range of industries, including healthcare organizations such as Metro Health — University of Michigan Health, Spectrum Health and Hurley Medical Center, as well as public transportation, higher education, recreational products, and manufacturing.