Keeping atop the latest digital marketing trends across mobile, analytics, video, and top platforms is no small task. Ad innovators such as Google are constantly developing new ways to reach consumers.
At last month’s Google Marketing Next event, the company’s annual gathering of industry leaders, experts outlined the latest trends shaping the future of marketing in the digital sphere.
In addition to detailing the latest innovations in its Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick programs, the Google team shared big-picture observations regarding the current – and future – digital experience.
Here are four fresh takeaways.
Micro-Moments Accelerate, App Assistance Methods Evolve
The journey of today’s consumer, from wanting something to final payment, is made up of micro-moments. There are dozens of little decisions to be made before settling on a product, service, or venue.
Prior to the purchase of a flight, for example, travelers first experience an “I-want-to-go” micro-moment in which they transform their desire to travel into an immediate plan. By preparing for and predicting these moments, companies can provide convenient and welcome service that will quickly transform into sales with satisfied clients.
Industry experts suggest that in order to provide service how and when the customer wants it, companies must take into account that the way people seek assistance from their mobile devices is changing, and more drastically than you might think.
When it comes to the future of search, Google recently noted that as many as one out of every five searches in its Google app is now made by voice.
So while most people still carefully type each search without ever considering a tap on that mini microphone button embedded in the keyboard, as the technology evolves, including “hands free” vehicle applications and this year’s rollout of Google Home, an increase in voice search is expected.
Apps Must Be ‘Frictionless’
Mobile apps exist to provide convenience. Anything even resembling inconvenience, therefore, makes for an unpopular app.
Google team members took time to stress the importance of building a solid app from the ground up, ensuring every layer is optimized to provide the smoothest possible user experience.
How fluid the use of an app is reflects significantly on a brand’s customer relations as a whole. With even the most beautiful, well-thought-out app, lag can be a killer. Users simply go away.
That goes for load speed on mobile websites, as well. It’s estimated that for every one-second delay in mobile page load, conversions can fall by as much as 20%.
In an effort to improve app service platform-wide, Google has researched and published new benchmarks for mobile page speed and offers a project called AMP that helps brands accelerate their app functions.
Read our previous post to see how these benchmarks relate specifically to the travel industry.
Online/Offline Worlds are Blending
As marketers strive to understand the path to purchase of consumers, the amount of data collected and methods for processing it have revealed connections between online and offline actions.
By measuring store visits, purchases, devices used, timestamps, and other readily available data, businesses can better understand when users want a product, when they shop for these products, when they choose to buy and what methods they use.
For the hospitality world, this technology could, for example, aid hotel teams differentiating between a person who habitually browses a given vacation destinations versus one that is actively planning a trip, and allow them to best tailor their message or offer to secure a booking.
Increased Expectations for Advertisements
Not long ago, targeting a consumer based on search and browser history was a neat tactic. Today, it’s something consumers not only expect, but want.
People have gotten used to tailored messages and ads. They like the personalized experience. Fortunately, Google has marketing teams covered here, too, specifically with the Double-Click Bid Manager. According to team Google, the program makes use of advances in machine learning and automation to streamline campaign planning.
Think of it as a digital marketing assistant, using its advanced analysis abilities to examine past campaigns and recommend inventory and targeting based on previous performance and current goals.
Altogether, this comes as great news for brands. Customers are becoming more responsive to mobile marketing strategies and, in fact, long to be more accurately marketed to. The predictive marketing that has already been implemented has been a hit because – yes – they often want fries with that, and will be delighted if your site can offer them options and discounts to complete their desired experiences.
On top of this increased desire (and expectation), technology is rising to the challenge allowing even relatively low-tech businesses to make the most of this hunger for mobile services.
While these trends are indicative of a fluid, evolving marketing landscape, by understanding the shifts and what might be on the horizon, hotel marketing teams can lead rather than lag in the digital space, work productively with their trusted digital advertising partners, and position their property to meet the expectations of travelers both today and in the future.