Global Digital Marketing Trends – May 2021

What can we learn from external marketing trends this month?

Top 5 digital marketing trends from outside pharma and life sciences.

Top Trends…

1. Artificial Intelligence

The dominance of artificial intelligence (AI) is sure to be at the heart of global business and industry and it is already being used by big business marketers across the globe. AI can analyse consumer behaviour and search patterns and use data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how customers find their products and services.

An example of AI application is chatbots. Mastercard created a Facebook messenger bot – which uses natural language processing software to decipher what customers want and responding as if it were a real person to automate handling payments.

Artificial intelligence will soon be the driving force behind many services, and it is already being implemented in:

  • Basic communications
  • Content creation
  • E-commerce transactions
  • Email personalisation
  • Product recommendations

Whilst we see it already in the industry, (for example to drive insights in clinical trial design) it’s still a new phenomenon – especially in the world of communications. If you can start to think about using AI to drive digital customer experiences, you’ll be way ahead of the curve.

2. Chatbots

Chatbots continue to be an important part of digital marketing in 2021. The AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors.

Surveys show that chatbots currently power 85% of customer services and the top benefits include the 24-hour service, instant responses to enquiries and answering simple/frequently asked questions quickly. Brands successfully using chatbot technology include Hello Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Staples, The Wall Street Journal and Pizza Hut amongst others. Read more here and discover the 10 Best Chatbots being deployed in 2021.

Whilst chatbots are especially tricky in the supply chain (due to longer sales life cycles and given how tricky it is to give a prospective customer a simple answer to a complex question) it can be used to be more efficient. Whether it’s to answer simpler questions on your website or encourage visitors to get in touch, it’s a tactic worth while exploring.

3. Personalisation

 If you want to stand out in 2021, you need to personalise your marketing – and that means content, customised online experiences, emails and more…

  • 63% of consumers state they are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts
  • 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalised content and experiences
  • 90% claim they find personalisation appealing

 Great examples of the power of personalisation include Netflix and Amazon, with their tailored recommended products or movie titles.

Other companies successfully using personalisation include:

EasyJet launched a data-driven email campaign that uses customers’ travel history with the airline to build personalised stories, which then suggest where they might like to travel next. About 12.5 million unique emails have been sent, which had a 25% higher click-through rate than non-personalised emails.

Cadbury’s chocolate created a personalised video campaign that matches a Dairy Milk flavour with users based on data from their Facebook profile, including age, interest, and location. The campaign generated a 65% click-through rate and a 33.6% conversion rate, proving that the personal touch works.

Starbucks uses a gamified mobile app that draws on data including purchase history and location to get as personal as possible, allowing customers to customise their drinks, and it encourages further use with its rewards system – which skyrocketed their revenue to $2.56 billion.

Whilst product personalisation is much easier than the world of B2B service providers, there really isn’t any excuse not to personalise content anymore. Whether it’s investing in new email automation platforms to personalise interaction journeys or simply creating content that speaks to the various stakeholders amongst your key customers, the time investment is worth the effort.

4. Video Marketing

Video marketing is one of, if not the most important marketing trend today and is a trend that is set to stay.

  • 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video
  • 72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate
  • 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions
  • 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video

If your site includes video, it’s 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to text. Why? Because people find video content more compelling, so Google pushes pages that include videos higher in the rankings. The power of video marketing is no different in the contract services space, as users are making more decisions online, it’s a great way to showcase your services, expertise and people in a non-static way.

5. Voice Search & Smart Speakers

The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2021.

  • 50% of all searches will be via voice by 2020
  • 55% of all American homes will own a smart speaker by 2022
  • 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines
  • Voice shopping is set to jump to $40 billion in 2022, up from $2 billion today
  • Global smart speaker shipmentshave almost trebled since 2018

Voice search plays an important role in providing all the relevant information that people are searching for through audio content. AI is getting smarter and the number of errors made by voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google has reduced greatly. We get it. This one is slightly harder in the pharma and biotech industry – “Alexa, find me a small molecule contract manufacturer in North America that can handle highly potent manufacturing.” Unlikely. But, you never know how these trends make their way into the sector.

So, there you have it. Five trends we’ve paused to consider this month that can be applied to our own sector.

We’ll keep you posted next month as the global marketing landscape continues to evolve.

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