Data-Driven FutureThe future of marketing is a topic that constantly attracts attention across the internet. How is it changing? How are consumer interests and expectations influencing that change? And how will the intersection of data (and data privacy), technology, and customer experience manifest in the next few years? These are all examples of questions being asked within the marketing industry.

Below are some of the predictions that are expected to come to light within the next 5 years.

Control of Data

The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) isn’t the first act aimed to protect the personal data of consumers and it won’t be the last, with predictions of it already inspiring new regulations all over the world.

Data breaches are now a regular occurrence, and because of this, today’s customers have become increasingly wary about the safety and application of their data once it goes over to a brand. Trust is now the number one issue.

Brands know how important the customer data they’re collecting is and take advantage of this in several ways, from forms to browsing, and cookie data. Customers don’t always understand what’s going on here and because of this, consumers are seeking greater control over what they’re sharing with data processors.

Making sure to be more transparent with how you use data is key here – only use it how you say you will and make consent easy, clear and mandatory.

Machines and Algorithms

AI, machine learning, and data science are all big news at the moment. But just like humans, in order for this intelligence to learn and develop, it needs to have access to a huge amount of quality data.

In the next five years, companies will start to sell their data to other companies, so they can teach their AI systems how to analyse and act upon insights. This means that if your company generates a lot of first-party data, you will be able to anonymise this and lease to other companies.

For those companies with very little data who need it to fuel their machine learning strategy, this is fantastic news. Even for larger companies with an abundance of data, this will present new ways of making money.

Location Data

Within the next 5 years, location data will act as one of the most accurate indicators of who we are. With it, marketers will be able to tell things such as where you’ve been, what you’ve done, where you’re going, and then apply this knowledge to the forefront of their personalised marketing approach.

Hyper-personalised shopping experiences will also become the norm with location data. Most individuals already allow foreground and background tracking – giving them a better experience with most apps, but within the next 5 years, marketers will have the ability to leverage the information gathered to offer better incentives and more relevant messaging based on a customer’s location.

First-party Data

There’s no doubt that within your business there are multiple assets that can be considered your most valuable – from customers to your website, or employees. However, within the next few years, your most valued asset will indisputably be first-party data which has been collected from your customers.

In the digital world that we live in today over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated daily. This means that with the first-party data that you collect and own, you’ll be able to find solutions to questions which will help to improve your business and bring in more conversions.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

In today’s world, both augmented and virtual reality are used in many ways across a number of different industries. From gaming to space/flight simulations and healthcare, the technologies will continue to impact industries, with the retail and marketing sectors their next target.

Some major retail and marketing companies have already started to make use of it, IKEA, for example, is using virtual reality to give shoppers the ability to see what a product will look like in their home before they purchase.

This usage of the technology is soon to become a regular thing, with online and offline worlds merging together even more over the next five years. AR, for example, will allow customers to try clothes on virtually, giving them a better idea of whether to buy the item of clothing or not.

As the value of data continues to skyrocket, the companies that recognise the value of data and can pair that with the ability to prepare for these trends will be leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.

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