5 emerging tech and how to leverage them for marketing success

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30-second summary:

  • OTT is solving many of the problems that traditional TV advertising has faced, and the ability for brands to get extremely granular and target their ideal customers better will make this marketing medium a hot topic in the new year.
  • Amazon’s Twitch is a perfect example of a niche network that is Gen Z heavy, has an audience that’s uber-engaged, and offers its own advertising placements that can be catered to reach this audience, like in-stream and video advertising.
  • The real magic of AI image recognition lies with the innovative companies that have started to crawl all of the images on the web and offer them as a way for advertisers to get placements on those pages — even on the images themselves in some situations.
  • Pinterest’s demographics and usage are a match made in heaven for a wide swath of B2C products. Whether it’s fashion, home decor or other consumer goods, these products are being pinned, shared and engaged with by an audience that has a fairly large amount of buying power.
  • VR and AR continue to make their own leaps in usability and tech, which are making them more and more relevant from a marketing perspective.

Tech and marketing in particular are in my experience, the fastest evolving of hybrid industries due to the need to keep ahead of and yet in alignment with what their consumers are going to demand now and in the future.

In my biased opinion, there’s no industry that’s quicker moving or more exciting. If you’re not staying up to date on the latest and greatest marketing opportunities, then you’re falling behind and risk losing market share or opportunities for your brand to grow.

As a marketing leader, and someone who strives to keep my finger on the pulse of the latest marketing trends, I have observed five interesting emerging tech that brands should be leveraging now, and experts on by 2021 if not sooner.

OTT advertising

Traditional television advertising has faced some significant challenges: it’s both difficult to quantify actual results, and avoid waste when trying to reach your ideal target audience.

Plus, it hasn’t been the most democratic of marketing activities as it tends to favor bigger brands due to the high cost of entry into the marketplace.

However, as we enter into mid-year 2020, marketing on TV is something that brands, both large and small, should consider due to the emergence of connected TVs and “over-the-top” (OTT) television, which is delivered through smart TVs and other devices.

While it’s been around for a few years now, this advertising medium is poised to hit the mainstream, and brings a few key benefits that brands can capitalize on.

Not only does OTT have hyper-specific targeting abilities (akin to a social media platform like Facebook), it allows smaller advertisers to get exposure due to specific placements with smaller budgets.

OTT is solving many of the problems that traditional TV advertising has faced, and the ability for brands to get extremely granular and target their ideal customers better will make this marketing medium a hot topic in the new year.

Gen Z, millennials, gaming and twitch

There’s a constant conversation going on in the marketing world centered around the best way to reach the new kids on the block, Gen Z.

While they may be resistant to many of the old methods of targeting that are so effective with other generations, it has become apparent that there are effective ways to reach Gen Z where they’re spending the majority of their time, like niche gaming sites.

Amazon’s Twitch is a perfect example of a niche network that is Gen Z heavy, has an audience that’s uber-engaged, and offers its own advertising placements that can be catered to reach this audience, like in-stream and video advertising.

Curious about popularity? Look at some of the highlights from the network just over the past three years (2019 is YTD).

If you’re one of the many brands that’s scratching its head about how to reach the younger crowd, it just takes one look at this to realize where many of them are hanging out…

AI image recognition

We’ve all been inundated with AI talk over the past few years, and many new products that have varying degrees of effectiveness from a marketing perspective.

However, there are a few gems out there like AI image recognition that offer a very interesting niche that could really move the needle on your current marketing.

AI image recognition is literally a piece of tech that can recognize what a picture represents, just like a human being. If there is a picture of a golden retriever, it can be identified and assigned the proper tag and category to be leveraged by marketers.

But the real magic lies with the innovative companies that have started to crawl all of the images on the web and offer them as a way for advertisers to get placements on those pages — even on the images themselves in some situations.

Using the golden retriever example above, imagine you sell protective dog seats for your car or air freshener to mitigate pet smells, and wanted to place an interactive ad on top of every image containing a large dog.

Seems pretty correlated, doesn’t it? Probably worth checking out…

Pinterest shop-able pins

Pinterest certainly isn’t a new network, but they continue to innovate, and some of their recent activities are worth a close look.

Let’s begin with the fact that their demographics and usage are a match made in heaven for a wide swath of B2C products. Whether it’s fashion, home decor or other consumer goods, these products are being pinned, shared and engaged with by an audience that has a fairly large amount of buying power.

Enter in shoppable pins. Pinterest recently unveiled a feature where products can be identified and purchased at the pin level, without the consumer ever having to leave the site.

Since users are already compiling their shopping wish list, it makes sense to avoid the off-site ecommerce conversion process by taking them to the brand site, and hitting them while they’re at the point of highest intent.

While this takes some setup from an ad tech perspective, the investment is well worth it from an ROI and branding perspective.

VR and AR

We’ve already hit on AI, so naturally we had to throw in a virtual reality and augmented reality component when talking about emerging trends. VR and AR continue to make their own leaps in usability and tech, which are making them more and more relevant from a marketing perspective.

We are at the tipping point due to two reasons: the creation of digestible VR content that can provide a truly immersive experience during the shopping process (beyond simple novelty), and also the widespread affordability and penetration of the tech that supports the experience.

From a content perspective, mainstream companies like Amazon and Alibaba are going beyond the typical photos and videos, and offering an additional option to experience the product in VR as well.

Brands like Wayfair are experimenting with the ability to place a particular product like a couch into a model of your living room to see not only how it would look in your room, but also make sure that the dimensions will work.

When it comes to the technology itself, the prices have now come down to the point where it makes sense for even non-gamers to have a VR device.

Google Cardboard can be purchased for under $50, attaches right to your smartphone and is easy enough to use that it can get the mainstream buyer into the game.

Marketing as an industry has never been one to take any time to catch its breath from an innovation perspective. We’ve only scratched the surface of the capabilities and marketing opportunities each of these new tech offers, and there are numerous other ways to use them.

Mike Rowan is the Founder of KPItarget, an agency that helps brands meet their objectives through personalized data & marketing strategies.



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