The marketing industry was one of many that took a knock during the pandemic as many companies scaled back on marketing and PR departments in light of reduced profits.

However, this trend is changing, and industry insiders are expecting a big turnaround in the fortunes of the marketing sector going forward. This is already happening, with a more than 9% increase in marketing jobs in 2020 – a sign of good things to come.

What this means, though, is that those in the marketing industry or looking to break into the sector need to be at the forefront of any new trends and opportunities.

Marketing has changed, and it is not just those who can string a few words together or those with artistic natures or who have a design degree that gets the lucrative marketing jobs. Instead, there are technologies to conquer, and the sector is professionalizing, so upskilling is essential. 

This article outlines some of the latest innovations, trends, and opportunities in the marketing sector for those looking to maximize the current growth rate and leverage new opportunities.

Why marketing still matters

Even the most business-savvy salesperson might not always know exactly how to speak to their customers in a way that makes them want to relate to the brand and company immediately.

This is the power of marketing, and unless you can know exactly what to say to market your business right now, in the exact words that will make people sit up and notice your business without any preparation, you need marketing help. 

Whether you are a business looking to expand or a marketer looking for the next career move, it is important to understand how marketing is currently growing and the direction in which it is traveling.

First, however, you have to believe in the power of marketing and know that it is more than just having a nice Facebook page and a cool website. 

Professionalizing your marketing department

With the rapid advancement of technology across all aspects of both our private and professional lives, sending out a few emails or developing a slick YouTube video is no longer enough to call yourself or your marketing department professional.

Many marketing personnel recognize that they need to gain knowledge to market across platforms and niche markets and integrate marketing communications. 

If you want to take your marketing career to the next level, it is worth considering a marketing degree that allows you to confidently lead marketing initiatives in today’s tech-savvy, information-dependent world.

Modern marketing has evolved to rely on technology, data, analysis, and understanding trends. This includes making sure you are skilled in communication, analysis, adaptability, and the latest technologies.

Taking your career further can also include a high degree to give you the edge in terms of critical thinking, research, and analytical skills.

Tried but tested marketing trends

Social media marketing is no longer something new, but it still relies on understanding the latest trends in social media technology, use, and optimization. It also means knowing which the right platform is to reach your target audience.

For example, if you are looking for a professional audience, LinkedIn is the best platform for your content. With over 750 million members, LinkedIn provides an excellent space to target both individual professionals and businesses.

You may have heard that Facebook has rebranded, but that doesn’t detract from its massive user base, which currently stands at close to 3 billion users.

In addition, it is many built-in tools for marketers to take advantage of and some bespoke offerings that any professional marketer will know how to adapt to the Facebook audience.

The key message with social media is that you have to tailor your message to each platform because they will all attract different kinds of audiences, have different tools for engagement with audiences, and offer businesses different opportunities to reach their goals.

As a professional marketer, one of your key roles is knowing those differences and leveraging them to make sure your client reaches maximum engagement with their clients.

Content is king has led to the rise and continued popularity of content marketing. If you do not know what this is, the name speaks for itself. Content marketing is a marketing strategy that prioritizes the creating and sharing of content that is relevant and consistent.

By focusing on content and not just products, companies can grow customer engagement and loyalty and ensure that they are speaking to their customers rather than just shouting at them in a world full of noise. 

The content you choose should not be automated; it should not be focused entirely on your products but should be engaging, informative, or educational and should stand out from the crowd.

One of the key values of good content and an effective content marketing strategy is that it will lead to word-of-mouth recommendations and loyal clients spreading the word about your value as a brand.

If you haven’t already considered it, you may want to follow the example of companies that are consistently splitting their marketing budgets between traditional and content marketing.

The future is digital marketing

As businesses and individuals become more connected, mobile and digital, so does the need for professional marketing campaigns to draw on and tap into these changing trends. Here are some of the biggest digital marketing trends that are innovating the sector.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just about video games and robots but is increasingly impacting the marketing industry.

AI allows marketers to analyze consumer behavior and search patterns and use this data to better understand consumers, products, services, and the relationship between these. 

Research shows that the AI market is expected to grow by about 50% in the US in 2021 and tapping into those possibilities means using the technology to understand what customers want and giving it to them like a real person would.

Voice searches are becoming more popular, and while it is not necessarily something new, the way it is being used by marketers is.

Voice searches are usually more conversational than typed searches and more use more natural language. This means that digital marketers will need to reevaluate the keywords they use in their marketing strategy. 

SEO traditionally relies on short keywords, but the rise of voice searches means that this will need to change to make use of long-tail keywords and direct answers to common questions.

As a marketer, you need to start thinking about more than just single words, but consider tone, phrasing, language, and talking patterns to develop a successful marketing strategy for the digital now.

It also means drawing on or developing technology that allows customers to convert voice searches into purchases.

Social commerce is the marriage of ecommerce and social media and a growing trend across many social media platforms. For example, over 130 million of Instagram’s 1 billion users engage with shopping posts monthly. 

The ability to use your social media platform as a user and a buyer makes engaging with content and shopping seamless.

This is convenient for users who can make purchases without leaving the social media app and an advantage for businesses that reduce the risk of purchase abandonment because their clients do not have to switch to a different website or app.

A good marketing strategy will use both organic and paid social commerce strategies to turn posts into profits. Organic marketing means growing and generating traffic to your business naturally over time.

This will make use of hashtags, blogs, product reviews, and user-generated content to build a customer base and increase customer loyalty.

A paid strategy makes use of targeted paid adverts that reach out directly to your specific audience while not necessarily looking like an advert. Another paid strategy is using an influencer campaign that draws on an individual’s popularity to build brand visibility and loyalty. 

Immersive technologies use technology to enhance the customer experience and make engagement with brands more personal.

For example, the COVID pandemic made the switch to online engagement with services and goods all the more prominent and has meant that customers want a bespoke experience if they are shopping online.

This is mirrored in research that shows that 80% of immersive technology insiders say that investment in immersive technology will increase in 2021.

As a marketing professional, this means knowing what kinds of experiences your customers are looking for and how best to use technology to showcase the services or goods you are offering.

In addition, it is an excellent opportunity to have a bit of fun with your customers and stand out from the crowd if it is done well.

The basic rules of marketing have not changed since the industry was developed, but there is a need for marketers to understand the current context, consider the need to professionalize and adapt to new technologies that are pushing the sector to new heights. Those that are not willing to learn and innovate will be left behind.

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