Digital trends

5 digital trends you can’t afford to ignore

In a rapidly evolving world, it’s not an easy job to follow up on the barrage of trends that are fired upon us. That’s why we picked out those 5 digital trends that are bound to become crucial for companies and organisations in 2021. The time to build the foundations of tomorrow's success is today. You snooze, you lose…

1. Master new data-driven marketing tactics

The foundation for a successful marketing approach is a well-defined strategy and a vivid imagination. At least, if you can see the forest for the trees in the huge range of marketing tools and platforms. But no worries: RAAK to the rescue!

databaseWhatever the tool, strategy or tactics you’re using, what drives them is one thing: data. The fact that collecting data has become essential in today’s marketing is hardly a secret. However, remarkably few companies are able to keep the right data in a structured and workable way today, so that they can actually do something valuable with it.

There are loads of marketing technologies that bring in fresh opportunities. You can often make a big jump forward with a limited investment. And more importantly: with tangible results in the short term. Whatever you do, always keep in mind that ‘to measure is to know’. We know it’s a mouldy old cliché, but it’s one that is rarely put into practice the way it should be. Make sure your teams look at the right figures and know how to interpret them with expertise. After all, the impact of false conclusions cannot be underestimated, not to mention the magnitude of wasted marketing budgets.

2. Add new channels to your mediamix

There’s one golden rule in marketing: be wherever your target group is. And that’s probably at lots of places… at the same time. Remember how two years ago, TikTok, Twitch or WhatsApp for Business never popped up in marketing plans? With things evolving at such a frantic pace, it's important to stay well informed about the rise (and fall) of all channels and experiment continuously to see where your target group moves. Just take a look at today’s most popular channels with an open mind and see which fit your business context. As a B2B company, for instance, you’ll find that TikTok isn’t your place to be.

Be inspired by the current opportunities and their associated target groups below. You might just spot the perfect fit for your brand or company in there

Google My Business

Google-MBFind your own company in Google and check which information pops up in the box on the right side of the search results. Do you have specific opening hours? Got a product range, blog posts, events to communicate? Get them in there. Surprisingly few companies exploit the full potential of Google My Business.

Facebook

FacebookHave you filled in your product or service offerings on your Facebook page? Can visitors make online appointments? The Facebook family (Instagram, WhatsApp) has introduced loads of new features and interactive opportunities in recent years. A new shopping feature is bound to be live soon, allowing people to shop online without leaving Facebook. An extra sales opportunity you shouldn’t miss.

Whatsapp for Business

whatsapp-business-logo-EDB5F1AE1F-seeklogo.comAn excellent way to get customers to contact you in the easiest way possible. Just add your company information, including photos and your product range. Want to find out more about how to use WhatsApp for business purposes? Check out this blogpost

Instagram, TikTok, Twitch

TikTok

Are you targeting a younger audience? By all means check the exciting communication and advertising possibilities channels such as Instagram and Twitch offer you. Want to use TikTok to spice up your marketing strategy? Check out our tips here

YouTube

YouTubeYouTube is the second most used search engine in Belgium, hot on the heels of Google. Make sure that you’re there too, with relevant content for your visitors. And keep in mind that it’s also a very interesting ad channel with a wide range of possibilities at a relatively low cost.

Spotify

SpotifyAdvertising on Spotify is an affordable alternative to radio advertising. And it offers some cool targeting features too. Plus, we all know how immensely popular podcasts are these days. They make an ideal channel for sharing knowledge and building a relationship with your target audience.

Waze

WazeDo you have a brick-and-mortar store? Waze offers plenty of interesting advertising opportunities to show potential customers the way to your store or business.

Bol.com, Amazon and co

AmazonEver considered platforms such as Bol.com and Amazon as an additional sales channel? You should. Despite the commissions they’re asking, there are many advantages to the advertising opportunities they offer.

In addition, advertising opportunities on ‘classic’ channels are constantly evolving. Think of the very successful lead ads on Facebook and LinkedIn. Instead of detouring people to a landing page on your website, you collect information from potential customers directly on the platform. And as one of the basic rules of conversion optimisation still says: the fewer the clicks = the less downtime = the better the conversion.

Do you really need to be present on all of the above channels? Heavens, no. Just pick the ones that fit your business best and use them to the fullest. Need some help with that? Get in touch with RAAK. We’ll be happy to oblige.

3. Keep the dialogue going

chatbot_final Over the last few years, many customer services have shifted their focus fromtelephone contact to social media support. Customers are increasingly expecting you to be (almost) everywhere and at every hour of the day - from Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for Business to the classic community management on social media. But there’s no need to let these additional channels put extra strain on the workload of your customer service. Technologies such as chatbots are now sufficiently capable of dealing with first-line questions independently, even in Flemish and Dutch. You can easily integrate a chatbot feature into Facebook, WhatsApp or your website, so your human staff can focus on handling the more specific questions.

4. Put the functionality of new technologies to good use

In the meantime, promising technologies from a few years ago are also becoming really useful. JavaScript-based 3D engines are bringing great 3D functionality to the web browser, complemented by virtual reality and augmented reality. This opens up lots of possibilities for online visual configurators and product configurators (think of designing greenhouses, drawers, furniture, ...).

Progressive web apps (PWA’s), technologies that allow your website to work as an app on mobile devices, continue to gain popularity and are increasingly replacing expensive app development. For example, offline use, push notifications, and ‘app-like’ behavior (like pages that no longer need to be refreshed to display new content) are now also possible with your responsive website.

Bring added value to the user

AI-CoolblueWhat matters most when you use new technologies is that they add value for the user. A nice example is the Coolblue app. If you want to buy a new tv set, you can place the model you're looking for ‘live’ on your own TV cabinet via augmented reality. Can’t choose between two formats? The visualisation in your own living room via the app helps you make the right choice.

But be sure to have the basics in order first. Your customers want comprehensive product information online with high-quality product shots and preferably a product video. Start there and add extra’s as you go along.

5G opens up new perspectives

5G, another new technology, is seen by many as the future for connected smart devices (IoT, the Internet of Things), self-driving cars, and so on. You may have seen the images showing miners in China operating large excavators from behind their computer screens, instead of having to enter dirt-ridden and dangerous mines. All thanks to the 5G connection between their computers and the machinery.

5. Make your marketing approach multichannel

If you didn’t yet come to that conclusion, we’ll do it for you: a multichannel marketing approach is crucial these days. In retail, digital isn’t merely an extension of your physical presence anymore. Instead, physical stores are increasingly becoming extensions of webshops and other digital touchpoints. This evolution was accelerated by the coronacrisis, but it is particularly important to continue on that momentum now. Even when we return to the ‘new normal’.

As mentioned earlier, new channels bring new opportunities. In addition to Facebook Shops and market opportunities such as Bol.com and Amazon, we see other interesting trends emerging for retailers and retailers. Live e-commerce, a form of interactive sales television or TellSell via a live stream on the net, was already immensely popular in Asia and is now gaining popularity in the United States. Just check out Amazon Live's efforts.

Conclusion

If it’s your intention to take your marketing results up a notch after a very challenging 2020, you can’t afford to just sit around and wait until opportunities fall into your lap. We at RAAK expect that the digital trends above will be crucial for companies and organisations looking to take on their marketing challenges in full force. Need some advice or extra hand to do the job?

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Posted on
Mar 9, 2021