The future is near. Then suddenly, the future is here. A wave of digital disruptions is upon us. Emerging tech is revolutionizing the marketing game as we know it, and it’s up to you whether your business sinks or surfs. Here are just a few to look out for this year and beyond.

Customer experience
The Internet has amplified the speed at which news and information travels. Especially the bad news. Social media enables your customer’s voice to be heard but while a couple of good reviews can boost your brand’s reputation, one bad word can break it. 82% of people stop doing business with a company due to bad customer service. Bad experiences don’t just drive one person away. Word-of-mouth carries more weight than ever before, and one rotten experience can infect your entire consumer community within minutes. However, if this happens, you do have the option to make things right. Immediately (and sometimes publicly) addressing the problem will reassure your customers that they matter, their voices matter, and that your company cares.

Bear in mind that technology only gets companies part of the way; if there aren’t cross-departmental processes in place to support employees, the overall customer experience will suffer. This communication between departments enables brands to personalize and improve their digital customer experience in real-time.

Another focal point within the CX priority is the importance of having a “mobile-first” mindset. From Salesforce’s recent mobile behaviour report, customers are spending 3.3 hours a day on their smartphones and 85% of consumers said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life (especially for online search, email, messaging and staying connected socially). Digital marketing strategies without a mobile-first mindset are simply not an option, as your customer’s first interaction with your business is statistically likely to be on a mobile device.

The Internet of Things
The convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and the Internet, has resulted in the idea that soon our physical world will become an “Internet of Things”. Everyday objects will have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data with no human-to-computer interaction required.


The Internet of things (IOT) will undoubtedly affect your brand. IDC estimates this disruptive technology to account for a market size of $8.9 trillion by 2020. With such high growth expectations, it is impossible to ignore the IOT’s marketing potential.

Predictive marketing, contextual marketing and real-time marketing will be more prevalent than ever. As devices connect, marketing platforms and business models will be forced to integrate and transform. Vikrant Gandhi, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan says, “What used to be inputs (marketers telling the platform which devices to target) should ideally become outputs now (platform telling marketers which devices to target)”. iBeacons, augmented reality and wearable tech are just a few IOT related concepts to watch in 2015.

Marketing will need new models. It will become more of an exchange of equals, replacing the legacy model of brands preying on consumers. Brands get data from the consumer’s Things (once they’ve opted in, of course), and consumers will wake up to their favourite song, have a steaming coffee waiting for them (black, no sugar), and get into a nice warm car.
The IOT will lead to a massive increase in data generation and exchange, which leads us to our next priority:

Big Data in Digital Marketing
Like the advent of the telephone, big data one of the most transformative paradigm shifts marketing has ever experienced. Perhaps data has always been a big deal, but nothing compares to the complexity, volume and variety of data today. And it’s only getting bigger. Naturally, this ever-increasing amount of data and information comes with complications. But hand in hand with the challenges presented, come numerous business opportunities. An entirely new industry has been formed around storing, sorting and analyzing this data.


What does this mean for the world of marketing? It means salespeople will no longer rely (as they have done for so long) on the art of the deal. Although it may seem slightly impersonal, relationships and soft factors will fade along with the analog age. It means the fortunes spent on brand advertising will no longer be a gamble – everything will be supported by empirical data. Big data coupled with predictive analytics technologies will result in a cutting-edge marketing model: one that is mathematical and precise. Intuition will be replaced by algorithms, and sales forecasting accuracy will dramatically improve. Live data feeds will mean that tactical problems can be identified and resolved even quicker than before.

Moving Software To The Cloud

Cloud computing comes with massive benefits. It is flexible. As long as employees have Internet access, they can work from anywhere. In addition to this, the second a company needs more bandwidth than usual; a cloud-based service can instantly meet the demand.

It is safe. Cloud computing providers enable disaster recovery to be conducted quickly and efficiently. Aberdeen Group found that businesses which use cloud services are able to resolve issues 4 times faster than businesses who don’t use the cloud. On-site security is no longer an issue for those who use the cloud. Server updates maintenance and security updates are all handled automatically by the cloud provider. Some 800,000 laptops are lost each year in airports alone. But when everything is stored in the cloud, data can still be accessed no matter what happens to a machine.
Cloud computing significantly increases collaboration within a business. Everything works in sync and real-time updates boost productivity. A survey by Frost & Sullivan found that companies which invested in collaboration technology had a 400% return on investment.

Finally, business using the cloud instead of on-site servers can expect a significant decrease in their carbon footprint. Business can expect a average decline of at least 30%, while smaller businesses likely to cut their emissions by up to 90%.

Crowdsourcing Marketing Content
When it comes to content, more really is more. Which can be a serious problem when limited by time constraints and other deadlines (not to mention writer’s block!).

Crowdsourcing is impacting content marketing in a big way. With scalable labor, the only limitation to posting 5 articles per day is your budget. Although crowdsourcing requires careful moderation, it speeds up the content creation process and frees your time.


Now comes the important bit: crowdsourcing gets everybody involved – including current and potential customers. Customer input is valuable to your market research team, but more importantly, it can be used as content marketing to attract customers who feel the same way. Not only do your customers and potential customers get involved and actually tell you how to sell to them, but because they were involved with the process, they’re also now invested.

Crowdsourcing steers your business away from uniformity. Because crowdsourcing provides diverse creativity, there is little chance of content seeming stagnant or overly-familiar. Overall, crowdsourcing enables you to engage with your community and entreat their input. The result is creative and social collaboration that increases the efficiency of content creation, and builds a lasting relationship between business and consumer.