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Digital Marketing Trends in 2018 and Beyond: What Digital Marketing Startups Need to Know

Like any industry that relies heavily on the internet and the use of new technologies, the digital marketing industry is evolving so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep track of it. There’s been a lot of talk in the last year alone about everything from augmented and virtual reality to the blockchain, machine learning and the internet of things.

While all of this is happening, more and more power is flowing into the hands of consumers. In fact, we’re no longer at the point at which consumers determine how your brand is perceived. Now they determine whether your brand is perceived at all, and if you’re not giving them a good reason to talk about you then they’re not going to bother.

Luckily, here at MS Technologies, digital marketing is our business. We stay on top of the trends so that you don’t have to, because we know that your time is better spent doing what makes you money. We’ve collected just the trends that you need to know about right now. Let’s jump right on in.

1. Big Data

The internet of things is already huge, and it’s only going to get bigger. In fact, Intel predicts that there’ll be 200 billion connected devices by 2020, from mobile devices and tablet computers to smart home devices and connected cars, fridges, lighting, thermostats and more. Each of these connected devices will generate a huge amount of data, which is one of the reasons why many pundits are calling data “the new oil”.

Big data is effectively just regular data but in massive volumes, to the point at which no human being could ever process it all. Think about how much data Google needs to process each day just to keep their search engine rankings up to date. You’re now picturing big data in action. Now imagine being able to process similar amounts of data but about purchasing habits, demographics and more. And imagine what would happen if you could use that as part of a marketing campaign.

2. Machine Learning

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are two technologies which go hand in hand and which are the answer to the question of how to process that big data. AI is essentially digital software which is designed to mimic the human brain and to show a type of intelligence, and machine learning builds on this by allowing computers to “teach” themselves.

When a machine learning algorithm is applied to these huge banks of data, it can start to process it and to find new correlations that might previously have gone unnoticed. Digital marketing startups have always been keen to tap into data where possible because it enables them to focus on metrics and to improve their marketing campaigns and their messaging over time. Machine learning basically takes this existing data-driven approach and attaches it to a rocket. Everything that you do can be based on data, and machine learning can help you to achieve that.

3. AR & VR

Artificial reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are both big topics at the moment, in part because the technology which powers them is becoming more and more widely available as time goes on. Pretty much any smartphone can be turned into an AR device, and they can also be turned into VR devices with the addition of a relatively inexpensive headset.

Breakout trends like Pokémon Go (which is AR-based) and VRChat (which uses virtual reality) have done a lot to popularize AR and VR in the minds of the general public, but marketers are yet to fully take advantage of the technologies. This means that there are still opportunities for the first-movers, and it’s likely that AR and VR are going to get more and more attention in the months and years to come. Who’ll be the first to create a viral AR marketing campaign or to score deals to advertise inside the latest hot VR game? Only time will tell.

4. Data Protection

Data protection has always been a hot topic, but never so much as over the last couple of months thanks to the EU’s implementation of its General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). These new rules are different to what we had before because their jurisdiction stretches outside of the EU and the regulations apply to any company anywhere in the world that processes data on European Union citizens. You don’t even have to directly sell to them. If they can sign up on your website or join your mailing list, they’re covered.

GDPR is important to pay attention to in and of itself because of the huge fines that people face for non-compliance. But it’s also important because it’s a sign of a wider trend in which data and the way that it’s stored and processed will come under more and more scrutiny. For digital marketing startups, this will require a fundamental change in mindset. Instead of trying to capture data and generate leads, companies will need to focus on developing marketing campaigns that people want to consume.

The Bottom Line

These four trends are set to shape the future for digital marketing startups because they can have a real impact on companies’ bottom lines. This is especially true right now, when there are huge rewards on offer for the early adopters. But not everyone has the expertise that’s needed to take advantage of them, which is where we come in.

MS Technologies is a web design and digital marketing agency with a difference. We partner with our clients to help them to harness the power of technology to generate inbound leads and to boost their bottom line. We use white hat SEO and digital marketing techniques to attract prospects with quality web design, intuitive mobile apps, tactical PPC campaigns and more.

Ready to get started and to take the first steps towards a much more profitable business? We’re offering free website reviews which cover technical assessments, content assessments, competitor analysis and more. Click here to get started, or request a quote to find out more about our other services.

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