Marketing is an industry that demands attention to change yearly. In fact, the best agencies must modify their strategies almost daily. Continually testing approach and making improvements, then once a winning strategy is finally used to success, the rules change, and the process starts all over again. Here we look at some of the emerging trends in marketing.

The first thing to look at is what has everyone buzzing. Augmented reality, or VR marketing. The possible applications for VR in marketing are just being explored, but the most straightforward applications are already seen on Facebook apps. People are starting to use VR cameras to show banquet rooms, auto repair shops, and there are even hospitals and restaurants giving full virtual tours of their properties, making an actual visit of the property possible without leaving your couch. The marketing potential for this medium is just being explored and has a lot of possibilities.

User-generated content and  ‘influencing’ is also seeing a sharp rise in use and shows no way of slowing down shortly. People trust users more than the brands. Reviews and testimonials have always been powerful marketing tools, but in the days of social media, with people like the Kardashians now making a substantial part of their income by just taking a photo and mentioning the brand of eyeliner they are using.

Chatbots are another thing just beginning to be taken to another level in use. If appropriately used, chatbots can provide many valuable questions and filter through customer requests, and even sending customer needs to the proper departments without even needing to look at them. However, chatbots must be appropriately used, as some are seeing chatbots as a sales tool, this has shown to turn off customers when they get daily retargeting requests from a business. When used correctly, the customer experience can be streamlined and made more efficient for a higher customer satisfaction experience.

However, two robust strategies are going to be the most important to the future of your company, and they are also the most neglected. Content marketing and customer service.

Content marketing puts your name out there and gives you a helpful, guiding voice in the community. Content is needed in today’s marketing as people today do not naturally fall for a typical push selling strategy. Two important things to remember in content marketing going forward is video is king, and the shorter the better. Short, easy to digest content is only going to grow. You need to become a trusted brand, and the way to be a trusted brand is to provide a service to your community, not just a product or service to sell. Content marketing strategy is one area that is never changing but always growing in marketing:

Content is king.

Finally, during the economic downturn, many companies made many cuts to their bottom lines, and an unfortunate casualty to this was customer service levels. Many companies got lucky as lower customer service was almost universal across the board. However, service is making a comeback, people are starting to realize that they can take their business elsewhere, and this is particularly key for local businesses. Studies show that people are even willing to pay more money for local services if they feel their needs are being addressed. Along with customer service, remember, high service levels point to many of the above trends in marketing. Providing helpful content, being responsive and speedy in addressing needs through technology like chatbots, and the most potent tool of all, the customer testimony.