Gartner has highlighted the top strategic technology trends that organizations need to explore in 2019.
The evolution of game-changing technologies is leveling the playing field in many industries. The adoption of these technologies is on the rise, giving cognizance to forward-thinkers in various industries to reimagine what’s possible.
2020 will see an increase in technology-driven organizations, as more businesses embark on the digital transformation journey. With artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) poised to usher in a new way of doing business, traditional business processes will soon cease to exist.
Advancements in natural language processing and sentiment analysis will revolutionize the service industry as we know it. And it won’t be long before the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a standard in every industry.
There are five major tech trends for 2019 that are already starting to cause a paradigm shift in marketing. If you want to keep up with the competition, you must familiarize yourself with them.
Top 5 Technology Trends for Businesses in 2020
1. The Implementation of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is not a thing of the future anymore. It is here now and it’s actually being used everywhere. Unlike how popular literature portrays it, though, AI isn’t all about robots. AI, in marketing, for example, is used to analyze, predict, and process astonishing amounts of data (e.g., customers’ data) with an infallible rate of accuracy.
With the use of AI as a tech trend for 2018 and beyond, you won’t need to spend your time creating ads that might or might not attract customers. AI will create them in concordance with the profiles of your customers and make them in such a way that it will be unobtrusive and more importantly, effective.
Ad targeting, too, will be much more efficient, since AI will go through and analyze your customer’s data (e.g., demographics, purchase history), and present recommendations to customers that are related to their interests and preferences.
This predictive behavior by AI will produce highly targeted ads that have proven effective for companies, e.g., Amazon. Humans will never be capable of that.
Moreover, you can also use AI to generate content for your websites for marketing purposes. Last year alone, an excess of 1 billion of articles and other forms of content were written by an AI software called WordSmith.
When it comes to making websites, artificial intelligence is also creating a huge impact. Unlike before, when website creation required a web designer, thousands of dollars, and several weeks of work, it only takes a few minutes nowadays.
With Bookmark website builder, for example, you can create a website for your company without any pre-existing knowledge of design. It does not take months, but minutes, and it is personalized to your industry.
The future is indeed now, and AI is already making a lot of furor in marketing.
2. Machine Learning (ML)
Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence that provides machines with the ability to automatically learn and progressively improve their performance, without human intervention or programming.
The power of ML lies in self-teaching algorithms, which automatically study and analyze large amounts of data in order to identify patterns and make predictions or decisions. Systems can learn automatically from experience, and provide improved results as time goes on.
Machine Learning will have a major impact on an organization’s efficiency and profitability and will enable businesses to predict customer behavior, make product recommendations, automate business processes, and detect fraud. With the real-time insights gained from using ML, businesses will have a better chance of identifying profitable opportunities and avoiding unknown risks, thus gaining an advantage over their competition.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
The concept of The Internet of Things refers to the capability of any device that can be turned on and off to connect to either the internet, to another device, or to both at the same time. Of course, this means that in the future, any device could be connected to the internet.
In time, everything will collect, process, and exchange digital data, even your toaster (but not your toast). This will eventually become such a huge trend that everything around us could be called a “smart world.”
Today, you’re doing this from your smartphone, laptop or PC, tablet, and so on. In just a couple of years, everything could be interactive. You’ll be able to connect your alarm, for example, to your coffee maker, so that once your alarm sounds, your coffee will start brewing.
In time, the Internet of Things will produce a giant network of connected things and people, so that the relationship will be people-people, people-things, and things-things.
This will have a huge implication not only on marketing but also on the daily lives of people.
As a marketing example, say you go to the mall and pass by a store in which you see a gorgeous jacket.
As you approach the store, the music in your headphones suddenly stops and you get a voice message that lets you know the same jacket could be bought cheaper in another store. That’s futuristic marketing right there. That’s how the Internet of Things and its adjacent space will work.
It might not be as widely used now, but it will definitely be in the future.
The birth of chatbots and virtual assistants was made possible by Artificial Intelligence. Google’s Home, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri all make use of AI-based algorithms.
A chatbot is a computer program designed to convincingly imitate human conversations. Chatbots can help improve customer service, streamline the shopping process, personalize communication, improve response rates and automate repetitive tasks.
The chatbots we interact with today are built to perform simple tasks, but with the help of machine learning technologies, chatbots will be capable of more contextually relevant interactions.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer relationships will be managed without human interaction.
5. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another technology that is automating jobs. Based on AI and ML, RPA uses software to automate human activities that are manual, rule-based and repetitive. RPA robots work by mimicking human actions and interacting with software applications to perform time-consuming tasks, such as data entry, transaction processing or responding to simple customer queries.
RPA is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and will gain popularity in the years to come. This will drive a new wave of productivity and will help improve accuracy, efficiency and reduce costs across industries.
Manufacturing firms have been using robots on their assembly lines for many years, but as their capabilities advance, technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will give Robotic Process Automation the ability to provide many more benefits to industries across the globe.
As much as these technologies seem too futuristic, it will only take a few years before they become mainstream. Technology is constantly evolving, and it does so at a very fast pace.
As marketers, what we need to do is to prepare ourselves for these technologies. They’re here to stay, and if we want to keep ahead of our competition, we should make sure to understand how they work and use them to our advantage.