Over the past decade we’ve experienced a little bit of change – OK a lot of change – that impacts us daily. They are small things that quietly nudge their way into our subconscious and become normal almost instantly.
All of a sudden, hashtags are common place (does anyone remember when it was called a pound sign?) and we are accepting advice from relatable, photogenic strangers without question. We ask a robot named Alexa to tell us the weather and the traffic. We expect everything to be available in an instant, and aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
Check out five marketing trends that happened overnight and changed life as we know it:
Influencers – “My influencer told me to do it”
Whether it’s the new iPhone, weight loss tea, or a fool proof workout regimen, anyone with a large following is capable of effectively promoting a product to a particular audience. Influencers are experts on a certain topic and have developed loyal relationships with their audience, making them ideal partners for marketing campaigns targeting the tough to reach millennial and Gen Z crowds. Brands are now able to advertise their products or services for a low cost (or extremely high, depending on the influencer), using a social media profile who has gained their followers’ trust and respect – and desire to copy their every move.
You can read more about how influencer marketing works at our other blog: here.
Live Stories – Now, everyone’s a star
The “live” features on almost every social media app took news and video to the next level, adopting a long-utilized TV method of delivering news in real time. This gives businesses, influencers, and even celebrities the option to promote themselves live. After seeing the success of Snapchat’s 10 second streams, this concept was adopted by almost all other platforms. The addition of “stories” on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, allowed for easy, frequent, real-time engagement on content that may not have made it into a wall post. It offers an interactive experience between brands and users, allowing for questions, polls, and of course, emojis.
Streaming Services – Disney+ isn’t the first, and it won’t be the last
It’s starting to feel like we have almost as many streaming services as we do TV channels. That may be because the majority of networks are falling in line with the trend set by Netflix and Hulu. Disney, NBC, and HBO have all hopped on the bandwagon and their viewers have joined them. Forbes shared in 2020, 69% of viewers subscribe to a streaming service, compared to 10% in 2009. So, where does this giant leap leave live TV and commercials? The ability to stream anywhere comes with new challenges and opportunities for marketers. Because of how our content is being delivered, advertisers have had to seriously adapt to streaming commercials and ads that catch our attention even faster.
Artificial Intelligence – “Alexa, tell me the future”
With Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s Assistant, most Americans use AI almost daily. Voice assistants have revolutionized many aspects of daily life, including how brands market to consumers. When we ask these friendly robots the weather, the price of pizza down the street, or to remind us to feed our cat, she – he – it – is taking in all of our preferences and interests. This has helped marketers identify target audiences with near pinpoint accuracy. It’s not a coincidence that a product you recently searched on Google is now popping up on your Instagram and Facebook ads. This could be considered futuristic convenience. But the question is: Is our privacy disrupted in the process? Maybe a little.
LinkedIn – A new way to network
LinkedIn has completely changed the way we apply to jobs, connect with colleagues, and represent ourselves in the professional world. It has become an effective way to network, share ideas, and advance our careers all from the comfort of our laptops. As of 2020, LinkedIn has over 300 million active monthly users, 40% of which are active daily! Now a LinkedIn profile – and a savvy headshot – is considered a must in order to make the right connections and elevate your profile in the professional, working world.
As technology evolves, so too does marketing. Marketers are expected to manage at least five different social platforms, navigate the distribution of content with effective perfection, cut through the noise of 24/7 access to information, all while being inundated with content about what the next biggest change will be.
We are navigating and learning these changes as they come, soaking in content through what seems like osmosis, to understand and execute our strategies with determined preciseness and record speed. The way we market ourselves, our products, and our consumers is consistently modernized, refreshed, and reconstructed.
The question is: what will be the next big trend? Odds are, it will happen rapidly, but subtle all the same, right under our noses.