The NEXT Generation of Technology

March 25, 2020
The NEXT Generation of Technology

Jonathan Harrison

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AR & VR Will Be Used Effectively In Your Marketing

  • Augmented reality and virtual reality conversations had 13.2M engagements in the first half of 2019, up 0.5% from H2 2018.
  • 5% of those mentions were in conversations relating to marketing.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are the next big developments in technology, having integrated into our apps and social media channels. In 2020, we’re expecting this growing trend in tech to be picked up by marketers, to boost user experience, and engage through gamification. VR has 8.6 times the share of mentions relating to trends for 2020, compared to trends conversations in 2019. While AR has 7.03 times the share. That’s due to the rise of 5G in 2020. 62K mentions of VR or AR were linked to 5G. In 2018, experts still considered the technology behind AR to be too discorded for practical use10. But now, with 5G at hand, and the latest handsets with tech like 3D-depth lenses, 2020 looks to be the perfect time for the tech to finally take off. Big time. What does this mean for marketers? Start thinking what VR and AR can do to maximise your user experience, and the environment they will be most effective in. AR will be integral to boosting fleeting numbers of bricks and mortar stores, offering interactive shopping experiences. From dinosaur hunts to playing against soccer pros, you are giving customers interactions that can’t be experienced at home. Brands like Coca-Cola are integrating augmented reality into all aspects of their digital transformation, particularly targeted towards the generation that “doesn’t see a line between “the online world and the offline, the reality and the augmented reality.” If AR helps improve the user experience in-store, VR will be essential for boosting it online. Japan Airlines is allowing customers to pre-experience trips as easily as trying on clothes, with their JAL xR Traveler. While Lowe’s Holoroom allows customers to learn new practical skills in a virtual environment. If you have a blockage in your buying cycle, due to selling high-ticket items that aren’t readily available (because they are tailor made), VR will help customers pre-experience them. 2020 will be the year that AR and VR takes off. If you haven’t invested in the technology yet, now’s the time.

You Will Use Artificial Intelligence, And Love It!

  • Artificial intelligence was our most discussed trend in H1 2019 with more than 4.7 million mentions— more than double the others in total.
  • Through social listening, 50% of emotion around the topic of artificial intelligence was negative.

In the last few years, marketers have struggled to think positively about AI. When we look at the emotional responses linked to the conversational data surrounding it, just over half is negative. That is about to change. The net sentiment flipped into the positive from June 2019 onwards, and steadily remains there. While more people are associating joy with the conversations. People are accepting AI and understanding its potential. The biggest issue previously was technophobia, and rightly so. A report in 2017 predicted 800 million jobs were threatened by automation. But in 2018, early 2019, that story evolved. “I expect AI to change 100 percent of jobs within the next five to 10 years” IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Note the difference— we’re talking about change. People are now seeing the potential AI can bring to the table, handling tasks that humans can’t, freeing up people to focus on the jobs machines can’t do. We’re starting to see the integration between artificial intelligence and human intelligence as digital transformation kicks in. Hands-on AI experience, from automation to chatbots, is changing people’s perception, meaning the tech is now accepted in the workplace.

What does this mean for marketers?

It’s time to adapt. Invest in the available AI technologies to maximise your results, either to speed up your marketing efforts, manage more data effectively or to improve your consumer experience. Chatbots are a significant investment, providing 24/7 customer support, while managing incoming customer data. As brands become more global, consumers fed by the need for transparency, demand always-on customer service. Chatbots help provide that service constantly— no wonder chatbots have a higher sentiment value than other AI techs, at 57.3%. Visual search, like Google Lens, will be a major disruptor in the coming year. People will change their searching habits, so marketers will have to learn how to adapt their SEO strategies. You will have to think visually instead of textually. Visual analytics will make it easier to monitor your brand. With video analytics, you can detect 300% more brand mentions than text monitoring alone. In a video and image driven world, led by Instagram and TikTok, visual analytics within social listening, will reveal not just how your customers talk about your brand, but how they exploit it. Then, there’s the creative potential from using AI in your marketing concepts. Ogilvy used AI to help detect similar global images for German Rail, to create customised social media ads for travellers. An impossible task without the use of machine learning, the campaign had a 6.61% conversion rate, driving a 24% increase in revenue. 2020 is the year to stop fearing AI, and instead, engage it in your marketing strategy to maximise your brand’s potential.

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