It’s those in the top tier of marketers already maximising these tools to the greatest extent that are planning to spend an even greater amount, in further evidence of their efficacy and return on investment.
This is a key finding of the Creating Connections report, a survey of more than 300 marketing decision makers across a broad cross-section of industries and a combination of business-to-business and business-to-consumer focused entities.
Content marketing leapt to prominence during the first year of the pandemic – even as revenues were hit – as the need to digitally connect and market more effectively with customers became critical. Not only were businesses and consumers all engrossed in digital communications, but the need to do more with less and to be able to pivot quickly became crucial.
Product launches needed to be rethought and marketing events required reimagining. Businesses and consumers were in tandem receiving a tsunami of digital communications and these circumstances meant that cadence and appropriateness of marketing content needed a rethink.
More than a year later, customer preferences for remote interactions have remained and the marketing focus has moved dramatically toward online channels and their effectiveness.
Micro-influencers and AI gaining traction
The survey showed that more than a third of the participants were either using, or planning in the next 12 months to use:
- the targeting of high impact micro audiences (micro-influencers),
- production assistant software,
- the optimisation of formats for voice search, and
- ‘hyper-personalisation’ leveraging AI.
And whilst 9 per cent of marketers surveyed said they were currently using AI software to create written content, a further 21 per cent said they planned to use it in the following year.
With marketers now more digitally focused and increasingly active across channels, technology is helping to drive production efficiencies, achieve scale and to get cut-through with audiences.
But while leaders are poised to pull further ahead in the technology race, most of the market remains in the earlier adoption stages. That means it’s certainly not too late to evaluate where emerging technologies and methods can add value to the delivery of marketing programs.