Innovation is a constant where the internet is concerned, and trends come and go on a near-daily basis.
Take Vine, for example. Twitter's social video platform enjoyed a few years of big success before being shut down in January 2017. Although it helped evolve the state of video content online, with its future uncertain and competition fierce, Vine simply couldn't keep its footing.
It can be hard to separate marketing technology trends from fads, but there are certain criteria that can help you figure out which new technology is worth your time.
A Simple User Experience
One consistent thread that separates marketing technology trends from fads is the complexity of adoption. You may have found the latest, greatest user experience tucked away in a new online destination, but if customers have to jump through too many hoops to make use of that experience, most of them simply won't.
According to Commerce Brain, user experiences need to be simple, easy to navigate and easy to understand. If customers don't realize the benefit of a certain technology, they're unlikely to adopt it en masse. This is the struggle that augmented reality (AR) has faced for years. While it promises a unique, engaging experience, the purpose can be hard to comprehend. Even though mobile apps have made it easy to adopt this technology, there are only a handful of instances where AR has really been effective as a marketing tool. Great technology doesn't have to defend itself to customers.
Sustained Growth and a Dedicated User Base
Few full-blown trends happen overnight. In most cases, new technologies and social trends are the product of a slow, sustained build that demonstrates a viable opportunity for marketers.
Snapchat, for instance, spent years as a small social network far behind the maturity of giants like Facebook and Twitter — but its potential is obvious because its active user base is so engaged with the technology. As the platform continues to grow, the commitment of those, typically younger, core users remains unchanged. Marketers recognize Snapchat has a strong social experience that is continuing to retain popularity among teens and young adults. Many have experimented with a social strategy for this platform. It will certainly be a platform to keep an eye on as they continue to develop advertising capabilities.
Marketers may want to innovate, but practical considerations (namely, the cost of that innovation) can put a damper on those desires. Developers of these emerging technologies understand that to secure mainstream adoption, they need to move the price points down to a more affordable level.
Virtual reality (VR) has held promise for years as a marketing channel, but it remained a fad technology for a long time because the price point was so high. Now, as VR headsets are starting to reach mainstream customers, its legitimacy as a tech trend is clear. Harvard Business Review recognized a similar trend with artificial intelligence — while AI-powered tech had been limited to enterprise businesses in the past, today's AI solutions are now being made available to mid-sized and even small businesses.
Experimentation is a necessary part of marketing. Just make sure you prioritize the technologies that are most likely to make a difference in the long run. If you have questions about a certain trend, or are looking for expert guidance, reach out to a marketing professional for recommendations customized for your business. Local Solutions has marketing experts across the US that are happy to help. Contact us today!