How Today’s Technology Has Changed Online Marketing


Ah, the technology. Some of us like it, and some of us like to hate it. No matter which side of the fence you stand on, there’s no question that technology has changed our lives and our businesses.

Online marketing runs the gamut and different businesses have different marketing goals. That said, all successful businesses today must remain the top priority of consumers. The branding and marketing behind a business can be just as important as an actual sale.

This means that marketers today need to keep abreast of the latest developments. Many technological advancements have changed the marketing landscape, including AI, cross-platform tracking, and even the latest iPhone security features. Here, we explore how each of these advancements has changed the way online marketing works.

1. AI improves personalization efforts

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce by consumers, and their expectations for personalization have increased along with this digital shift. An Epsilon study found that a huge 80 percent of buyers want personalization and, more importantly, take it for granted.

Personalization efforts require a deep-rooted business-consumer relationship. Now this is possible thanks to AI, which can help collect user data and identify what consumers are most likely to buy. By hypersegmenting users into different compartments, AI is able to create more relevant shopping experiences.

This is exactly how Thrive Market, an online organic grocer, uses AI. By segmenting users into different categories and preferences (i.e. shopping. This is all due to AI technology.

Companies that leverage AI are often able, like Thrive, to tailor results to individual consumers. And it is certainly worth it, because 91 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that provide relevant recommendations.

2. Multiplatform tracking optimizes advertising campaigns

Imagine if we all only had one device. How simple and impractical the world would be. In truth, we are changing devices more than 21 times per hour, and we research and buy differently depending on the device we use. Luckily for marketers, cross-platform tracking allows businesses to vary their email strategies depending on the device.

With cross-platform tracking, businesses can track the same user across all of their devices. With this collected data, businesses can know which marketing campaign tactics are working well and which need to be changed or reconsidered. In fact, around 90 percent of consumers regularly switch between a brand’s channels while they’re shopping, according to small business software Anthem.

Take, for example, drugstore purchases. A consumer going through a CVS can remember to renew their prescription and immediately order a top-up through the mobile app. Alternatively, they might be reminded of the need for a refill when they reach the end of their home prescription. There they can connect to their laptop to send the recharge request, adding items like hand lotion and soap to their cart as they go.

Cross-platform tracking helps the pharmacy discover what types of ads the user is most likely to click on based on their device. A “remember to refill your prescription” ad may work best on mobile, while a “back to school refueling” ad may work best on a desktop computer. By pinpointing when and how a customer makes a purchase, cross-platform tracking helps businesses refine their marketing efforts and spend less money on marketing for wasted impressions.

3. Privacy Updates Change Social Media Advertising Efforts

Cross-platform tracking is a definite boon for marketers, but clouds are looming on the horizon. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a call for businesses and websites to fine-tune their privacy policies. Hence the Apple iOS 14.5 update, which allows users to turn off ad tracking in apps. While a win-win for users who want their online lives to be kept private, this development is bringing about adjustments for marketers who rely on tracking for their ad campaigns.

Consumers who choose to opt out of data sharing will not be trackable by pixel events such as ad views, cart additions, purchases, etc. This impacts retargeting, conversion, and ad targeting campaigns.

So how are marketers reacting? Those who primarily use Facebook prioritize their top eight events / activities, as the new update allows data from only eight pixel events per domain. Another tactic is to use value optimization–a Facebook tool that brands can use to bid for their most valuable customers.

On the other hand, some traders are turning to large-scale marketing. It may not be as laser-focused as campaigns based on audience segmentation, but it can increase brand awareness and recognition in the long run.

Technological changes come, go and evolve over time. The ones that stick around, like AI, are improving the way marketers engage consumers. Others, like privacy updates, are just a hurdle down the road for marketers, who will continue to figure out how to successfully reach their desired audience.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.


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