Digital marketing in Jamaica still has a ways to go before becoming mainstream. In fact, many persons regularly use the term social media marketing to describe it. However, more and more persons are recognizing the many opportunities that are available through this medium and are starting to take advantage of them.

Digital marketing is recognized as an important part of any marketing strategy if a business wants to reach its customers where they are. According to emarketer.com, “In 2019, worldwide digital ad spending will rise by 17.6% to $333.25 billion. That means that, for the first time, digital will account for roughly half of the global ad market” While digital ads don’t encompass the entirety of what digital marketing is, it is a good indication of how a sector of digital marketing is growing.

While Jamaica has some catching up to do as it relates to digital marketing, the rest of the world is pressing forward.

What has been observed recently are some of the areas towards which digital marketing is trending. Here is a brief look at a few of these trends.

Data Mining

Last year, at the Global Digital Marketing Conference hosted in Kingston, Jamaica, CEO of Trend Media Eileen Corrigan while presenting on the topic Reaching The Right Audience with Programmatic compared data mining to big oil. What this means is that there is an enormous opportunity there for companies to accumulate and analyze data giving themselves a leg up on the competition. Not only that, they gain the ability to personalize experiences for customers.

Jas Saran in an article for Forbes Magazine puts it this way,
“Gone are the days when marketing decisions were guided by intuition and experience. Important marketing decisions are now determined by big data. This refers to the study and application of big, complex datasets, which cannot be processed by traditional data-processing applications”.

While not everyone may be able to start with extensive data insights, Google Analytics allows everyone with a website the ability to begin data collection and analysis. Data collection comes with its own set of cautionary measures. One has to tread carefully and always receive explicit permission to gather and use an individual’s data.

Artificial Intelligence

Having insights from data is great but it is taken to another level when Artificial Intelligence(AI) is applied. AI systems have the ability to analyze and make decisions about what is relevant to different individuals. Artificial intelligence is key to customer personalization. It analyzes and makes recommendations on what is the next suitable option for customers.

These systems are used all over the world. Many news agencies use AI to generate headlines, and to create and curate content. How is this helping them? It gives them a higher open rate due to how specific they can get to the interest of the reader.

Artificial intelligence implemented through digital ads to predict the behaviour of a targeted audience is familiar to most digital marketers. Algorithms determine the likelihood of each individual to fulfil the request of the advertiser and connect the two.

The use of Chatbots

Chatbots are considered a part AI but it is certainly worth a stand-alone conversation. An article on Medium.com says, “Chatbots makes the process of automating responses to business prospects’ frequently asked questions even easier by providing them with ways to search for product or service they are looking for. Chatbots have the ability to answer open questions. These bots use natural learning processing and machine learning to find the correct responses”.

Many brands have implemented chatbots to respond automatically to questions by their customers. Chatbots are always readily available and can answer the most asked customer queries.

Voice Search

From finding a song to play, to searching for recipes, to asking for help with homework, voice search is increasing in popularity. With the advent of devices such as, Ok, Google, Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri/iPhone, and Microsoft Cortana, voice search is becoming increasingly popular.

Voice search trends

According to Google, 41% of adults (and 55% of teens) use voice search daily. In that same study, 73% of teens and 62% of adults say voice search makes them more efficient. This is a trend in digital marketing that is only picking up steam and should be on the radar of every digital marketing professional.

Messenger Marketing

Messenger marketing is another digital marketing trend that is taking off. Manychat.com describes it as, “the act of leveraging mobile, chat platforms to facilitate conversations and commerce with prospects and customers”.

Digital marketing trends

Image Credit: Adweek.com

Studies say many customers actually prefer to send a message versus making a call to a business. Messenger provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to communicate with customers this way. With an open rate of 80-90% as revealed by a Business Insider study, it is obviously a powerful tool.

There will always be new ways and means of doing digital marketing. This is just a taste of the trends that are currently in existence.

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