• Dilip Gopinathan

Technology Trends That Will Shape the Future of Brand Communications

Communication has always been the cornerstone of our social fabric and, the impact of technology has significantly altered the way we interact with each other. We will only be skimming the surface if we speak of the internet, cell phones and social media. The advancement of apps, big data, IoT among other advancements will drastically influence the way we communicate with each other.

While most sectors have begun to embrace this change, the communications sector such as PR firms and social media agencies will need to acknowledge this development and ride the digital wave to stay on float in the coming years. Not only would it help the campaigns be more interactive, the adoption of technology will also pave way to effectively measure the success of a campaign. Measuring a Brand helps gives a peek into what works and what doesn't. It aids in altering the strategy, so as to accomplish the desired objectives.

Here are key technology trends that will shape ‘Brand Campaigns’ in the coming years:

Automation: Often marketing departments automate routine activities, such as email marketing, social media sharing, and even advertisement ads, not just for the sake of productivity, but in order to provide their clients with a more customized experience. These roles are made simpler by the technology of marketing automation. The time-consuming and routine activities like newsletters, social media and website maintenance are taken care by implementing marketing automation software. It enables advertisers and PR agencies to reach viewers at the right moment; enables them to transcend time zones and working hours, and allows their ads more successful overall. This gives ample scope for brand managers to spend more time of the strategic aspects of the business such as ideation, community building & engagement and crisis management among others. According to a recent survey conducted by Mirum India, about 91% of the marketers surveyed were of the opinion that adopt MarTech / automation tools helped Increase marketing ROI & efficiency.

Big Data: In a research report published recently by McKinsey, India accounts for more than half a billion internet subscribers, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers, and the rapid growth has been propelled by the public and private sector alike. India’s lower-income states are bridging the digital divide, and the country has the potential to be a truly connected nation by 2025. From a marketing standpoint, brands can leverage insights on content that is most successful at each point of a sales cycle in marketing, understanding how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) investment programs can be strengthened, prospect interaction, conversion rates, revenue and customer lifetime value among others. Big data offers insights into how to reduce Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), and CLTV for cloud-based enterprise software companies.

Internet of Things (IoT): FICCI predicts IoT spending is likely to touch the $1.1 trillion mark by 2025. What this translates for marketers is the IoT platform that offers vast amounts of data and the ability to interpret consumer behavior and action. This equips the brand managers with the knowledge of understanding who a customer is; their tastes and preferences, which influences their sense of purpose. The brand can also garner insights into a customer’s venue, or the device they are using, which will help lay a foundation to implement brand campaigns. For customers, a brand can understand them and can customize experiences at an individual or collective level. This helps brands to create deeper, more meaningful relationships, enabling them to be seen as more important and providing real value.

App Marketing: Ericsson predicts by 2025, the total mobile data traffic is set to triple in India, reaching 22 exabytes (EB) per month, driven by high growth in the number of smartphone users and an increase in average usage per smartphone. This in a way can prove to be a defining point for brands to adapt the concept of ‘app marketing’. PR Agencies can make use of this development to run campaigns from apps. From helping public relations organizations plan, create, launch and manage coverage reports as well as to measure marketing campaign performance through analytics, and the effective app lets users create interactive presentations for donors & supporters to streamline operations across charity campaigns. In addition, brands can leverage apps to understand a Brands’ health and track TV, radio, online news, and social media news on a real-time basis.

While these are some of the technological factors that are set to influence Brand Managers in the coming years, the adoption of such platforms has to be gradual and in sync with current times and scenarios. Each year, though fancy new marketing tools come into being, word-of-mouth marketing still matters. Consumers about 20 years ago may have asked their contacts in person about restaurants offering impeccable dining experiences. Now, they do so by conducting a fast internet search and reading reviews of burger joints in the city, people ask all their friends". In essence, despite the technological advancements, the foundation of an impactful marketing campaign still remains the same – Generating good ‘word of mouth’ publicity across platforms.

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