How To Leverage Interactive Advertising For Startups

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In this article, you will learn how you can benefit from new cutting-edge technologies to tinker about your next digital marketing strategies with your teams and business partners.

Let me tell you a little secret. Most digital marketing books out there are worthless. Why? Because the world of digital marketing changes every 3 months.

Instead, we’ll talk about technologies that will actually have an effect on your strategies:

  1. Chatbots
  2. The Future Of Search – Voice
  3. The Power Of Virtual Reality In Marketing

Read further to find out how you can leverage these new ways of growth hacking your business online.

1. How Will Chatbots Change Marketing?

Chatbots – software programs that use business-to-consumer (B2C), text-based messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks.

Imagine this,

Margaret is an avid reader of The New York Times online. Although she sometimes checks the international news and opinion sections, she spends most of her time reading about arts and culture.

By using this data, every interaction The New York Times has with Margaret, like email or messaging, is focused on art gallery openings. Or movie reviews and museum exhibits.

Not the stock market.

The New York Times also knows to send Margaret something around 9.00 a.m. when she usually reads because she is on the train to work.

As a result, Margaret consumes many articles, feels a personal connection with the brand, and does not look for other sources.

This is interactive marketing, meaning marketing that responds to individual actions, allows brands to deliver a better experience to their customer. It can also change the dynamic from a one-sided consumer interaction into a two-way conversation.

Here are the current major trends in Interactive Advertising:

  1. Through messaging, marketing is becoming a two-way conversation providing rich data from which we can do deep learning about the behaviours and desires of the customer.
  2. Chatbots – computer programs with personality – are rapidly becoming the primary tool for online interactive marketing.
  3. Voice commands with smart speakers and virtual reality are providing additional unique marketing experiences and opportunities.

Welcome To The Era Of Actual Conversation

Facebook Messenger has over one billion monthly users. Yes, that’s right. One. Billion. And everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon. Take LinkedIn as an example – the online professional network changed the way we work. But, to become more than just a database of contacts, the company had to make communication easier and more fluid. The email-like system was just not good enough to activate a network. So they made a big shift toward messaging.

How To Leverage Interactive Advertising For Startups

With messaging, LinkedIn promises intelligent features that will make conversations more productive. Like scanning your calendar for availability, so when you message someone you want to meet, open time slots will display promptly. It will also provide more contextual information about the people you’re meeting, like where you’ve met before.

With easier professional messaging, careers are about to accelerate. The data collected through messaging makes it possible to add value through a useful and timely suggestion.

And it’s not just LinkedIn that sees the value of messaging. Loads of brands are beginning to interact with their customers more intimately through messages.

Remember – every message is a piece of data. Was it read? At what time? Was there a response? How long did it take? Lots and lots of data that reveals customer tastes and behaviour and allows marketers to perform “deep learning.” In turn, through deeper learning and a more personal understanding of the customer, “targeting” can be achieved. This provides marketers with a scope to better aim at their customer, on an individual basis.

With Conversations Come Chat Bots

All these messages. All these conversations. All this data. It requires automated software with a personality. This is a chatbot.

Chatbots are already big business. When asked about emerging technologies they’re already using and which they intend to implement, 80% of senior decision-maker respondents said they already used or planned to use chatbots by 2020, according to Oracle.

Chatbots represent a tremendous opportunity for brands to connect with their customers on a personal level while providing them with timely, contextual value.

How To Leverage Interactive Advertising For Startups

Chat apps are replacing email as the preferred mode of business-to-consumer interaction. More and more millennials – those between 18 and 34 years old – are finding that chat apps are a more reliable and convenient way to reach brands and service providers, according to an Ovum survey of millennials in the US and Germany. Around half of respondents noted they preferred to interact with a service provider via chat for several reasons, including the desire to achieve a swift resolution to a problem and the idea that they don’t have to use a separate service or app to achieve this resolution.

Chatbots are still a new technology, but they’re already gaining traction with tech-savvy millennials and Gen Xers, according to exclusive Business Insider Intelligence survey data. About 60% of US users between the ages of 18 and 55 use chatbots at least occasionally, the survey found. BI Intelligence’s survey population tends to include a fair number of early adopters of emerging tech, so the relatively high level of familiarity reflected in the results may presage growing adoption among the general population.
The survey results highlight an opportunity for brands and businesses seeking ways to address low mobile engagement and payment conversion rates. That’s because chatbots provide increased reach, better user retention, and engagement than apps, and are working on a seamless payment experience.

  • Chatbots can reach users across multiple platforms, including messaging apps, SMS, email, and the web. Further, they’re perfectly suited to the mobile interface – where consumers now spend a majority of their digital time.
  • Chatbots boast high retention rates because they can provide engaging, conversational, and intuitive responses in a space where users are spending much of their time. Over 30 days, chatbot users are more likely to continue using a chatbot than other apps, according to data from chatbot platform ChatClub.
  • Chatbot platforms are integrating payment methods which can house user information. This will mean that users will be able to purchase items within the chatbot interaction, without having to re-enter payment information or leave the conversation to go to the vendor’s web page.

2. The Future Of Search – Voice

What does the voice of Starbucks sound like? Maybe female and helpful. But what about the voice of Heineken? Probably more masculine. With the convergence of voice search, audio command and chatbots, more and more brands will need to decide the voice of their brand literally through audio.

More and more customers are opting for audio commands over typing. Google Voice search has double from 2015 to 2016. This has led to innovative products like Amazon Echo & Google Home.

3. The Power Of Virtual Reality In Marketing

David’s Tourism Agency specialises in summer vacation packages in the Caribbean. At his office, he shows his customers photos of the sandy beaches and hotel rooms. His customers are interested but not convinced. That is until David asks his clients to put on the virtual reality kit. When his clients see glistening sand, clear blue water, and the delivery of elegant room service, they are ready to buy their tickets.

Today, only the most impactful, emotion-driven storytelling will resonate among the clutter. And there is no better way to deliver impactful, emotion-driven content than through VR. Virtual Reality provides an unprecedented opportunity for marketers to deliver an immersive, impactful, memorable, and novel experience. With VR, the experience has fewer distractions, thereby enabling greater attention and deeper emotional resonance.

The numbers are in – over 2 billion Dollars of global investments were made in augmented and virtual reality in 2016, according to CB Insights data cited by Bloomberg. Facebook spent 250 million Dollars on VR content alone. The world’s largest brands like Coca-Cola and The New York Times mention VR as part of their business plans.

How To Leverage Interactive Advertising For Startups

Bringing It All Together

So, a recap. What’s going to happen in 2017?

Messaging will further dominate turning communication into data rich conversations both between individuals and individuals with brands. With all the messaging, more sophisticated chatbots are being developed to deliver customised and personalised content unlike ever before. Voice commands will alter brand recognition. And chatbots are taking on physical form. All these are new and exciting tools for marketers. Big bucks are being spent.

And don’t forget about virtual reality. Perhaps the most profound delivery of content yet.

So the annoyed consumer may become a thing of the past with only highly relevant ads crossing their path. And the frustrated marketer will also become a rare species, as a new arsenal of tools is providing the possibility of deep learning and advanced targeting.

If you want to learn more about growth hacking lead generation and creating a lead nurturing campaigns, marketing, and sales funnels build on data, not hunches check out our blog here.

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Photo Credit: Sklathill via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA