For marketers, innovation can bring about impressive opportunities (like the rise of social media), or throw up obstacles that force them to redirect and rewrite the gameplan (like ad blockers).
The World Wide Web went live in 1991. Smartphones began their rise to prominence in the mid 90’s. Social media in late 1997. Blogging sites in 1999. Facebook in 2006. Snapchat? 2011. Instagram Ads launched just last year.
Here are five tech innovations I’d love to see next. Fully Integrated Sales and Social
At the moment, social media and sales work together like friends in adjacent cubicles. They can communicate, but they’re still separated by a wall.
It’s not a bad arrangement. Marketers can advertise on popular platforms like Facebook and Snapchat. Social media ad spend grows by billions each year .
It’s a method that works, but the current system requires users to click through to a landing page or ecommerce portal before they can buy or download. The path might be social platform > landing page > product page > shopping cart > confirmation.
That’s a lot of time to lose their interest, have them change their mind, or get frustrated with connections and Wi-Fi.
But imagine the ad or post allowed for instant purchase or download. Like Amazon’s 1-Click Checkout, a fully integrated partnership between social media and marketers would see those 2-5 required clicks disappear. Users could have a product or lead magnet with a single touch. No one has time for multiple clicks!
Over half of people following brands on social media do so to to view their products, while 31 percent use the platforms to browse for things to buy. Let’s make it easy for them.
And marketers would automatically receive data on who, where, when, how, and what.
Come on, Zuckerberg. Get them into the same cubicle.
Improved Beacon Technology
You walk into Starbucks and immediately receive a note promoting their new pumpkin spice macchiato. It’s like magic. That’s beacon tech doing its thing.
Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons are tiny transmitters that push messages and information out to nearby devices. Opportunities to use them include discounts, flash sales, greetings, and related content. Because of the timeliness and relevancy, these notifications have a 53 percent open rate , according to Beintoo.
It’s a method that’s gaining traction. Rite Aid recently announced a beacon rollout to its 4,500 US stores .
The issue with the current tech is trifold:
The beacons require a special app to listen for it.
Communication is one-way: information is pushed out, but beacons can’t receive data.
Accuracy is not always that great.
But imagine that these tiny transmitters could talk with, instead of at, people — that messages could freely pass back and forth, and that the beacons used intelligent chatbots to make suggestions, provide coupons for mentioned or nearby products, and answer questions.
Improved accuracy would allow notices based on exactly where: by the jeans display, in the children’s section, or in front of the sale rack. Imagine the upsell and pairing possibilities.
Marketers could collect detailed data from visitors to track movement and time spent in certain areas for future, personalized ads, and content.
Beacons that are smart, two-way, accurate to within a foot, and able to communicate with the phone instead of an app would be game changers in proximity-based marketing.