Successful marketing is always about what the consumer needs and wants to hear.  If it’s not immediately relevant or interesting, then all it is, is annoying.  That’s why there’s such widespread use of ad-blocker browser extensions.

Ad blockers were estimated to cost publishers, get this, nearly $22 billion in lost revenue in 2015. And that dollar figure will continue to climb.  Ad blocking has increased by 41 percent in the last year, with more than 198 million active ad-block users in the world.  This obviously causes a major problem for today’s marketers.  In order to remain relevant, you need to adapt to growing technology trends and the way consumers prefer to receive information. Look over these eye-opening trends that you can use to your advantage in the coming months.

  1. Virtual reality

Technology is always evolving.  We are on the horizon of virtual reality.  Facebook recently spent $2 billion buying out the Oculus Rift.  The savvy company knows a good investment when it sees one.  It can see that the Oculus Rift is going to have a major impact on the way companies engage individual consumers.

Think about the current demand for personalization among consumers and how that can be implemented with a 3D virtual experience. You could literally provide your customers with a 360-degree immersive story through visual content.  Virtual tours, one-on-one engagement and interactive and immersive commercials are just a few ways marketing will likely shift in the near future via the use of virtual reality.  It will be an entirely new industry to tap into.

  1. New age of search meets social media

Google has been the juggernaut of the search market for a long time now, followed closely by Yahoo! and Bing.  We’re now seeing that Facebook is making continued advancements to step outside of the social bubble and create a more expansive service to rival those search giants. By expanding its search functionality, Facebook is able to tie in other components, which include call-to-action buttons and payment messaging.

Mix that with the existing ability users have to follow groups, join social discussions and engage brands while chatting with friends on Facebook, and you can see why the social site is quickly positioning itself to be an all-in-one platform for the web.

  1. Embrace fast paced advertising

Brands frequently embrace evergreen content, or content that will last for an extended period of time and continue to generate traffic. This year, we’re seeing a growing trend in the opposite direction: simple, brief content shared in real time. Platforms like Periscope and Snapchat are pushing a “less is more” concept, where we communicate with the end user for a shorter and briefer span of time.

In a world where your target audience is on the go and strapped for time, these kinds of marketing tactics are exactly what users are looking for.

  1. Marketing automation

There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to platforms, and using marketing automation platforms will make it easier for you to segment your customers for improved email scheduling while tracking them through your sales funnel and monitoring social performance.

Automation isn’t new, but it’s become more necessary and more relevant, especially with the focus shifting to writing 10 times the amount of content that is 10 times better than what your competitors are putting out. The bulk of your time this year is going to be spent competing hardcore for the waning attention of your audience. You can expect that content creation to take up vast time resources, so you and automation are going to become best buddies.

  1. Location-based marketing growth

The best way to create an interactive experience with your customers is to deliver content and target the user directly at or near the point of engagement.  That can happen as a customer nears a retail location or other designated physical location such as a tradeshow or special event. Using Bluetooth technology, you can use push notifications to nearby devices, attracting the attention of your target audience.

Analysts estimate that beacons, acting as hubs, will be deployed all over airports and transit stations to easily send out notifications on departures, delays and passenger assignments. This provides serious insight for marketers into ways they can promote engagement, not only with their brand, but among customers during B2B and B2C events.

  1. Better relationship marketing

Relationship marketing is a strategy more businesses are picking up on in order to generate more customer loyalty, as well as improved long-term engagement.  In recent years, many brands used social media to improve that level of engagement.

Smartphone adoption continues to grow, with an estimated 2 billion consumers worldwide expected to own smartphones this year. A consumer with a 24/7 connection to the web provides the means to directly connect with that individual. Every smartphone is an opportunity to connect with a prospect.

Through mobile technology and applications, you can build a stronger loyalty program and foster long-term engagement based around an emotional customer connection, not just a connection via a product.

You have more data than ever before to fuel that outreach, and that’s what’s going to help you make the switch from mass-targeted content and interruptive marketing to solid relationships built on trust.

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