Digital marketing is the future. The internet is the new marketplace, and websites, social media, and emails act as the new storefronts in a digitalized world accessible 24x7 via our phones and computers. In such a landscape, digital marketing is continuously evolving and creating new and innovative ways for businesses and brands to make their mark.
As an expert in social media and online marketing, Faisal Sharaf, a renowned marketing consultant in the Kingdom of Bahrain, has taught various courses worldwide covering all aspects of digital marketing and how it can be used to scale a business online. Sharaf is a keen advocate of the power of digital marketing and was eager to share with us his insights about its future.
Q: Hello Faisal, digital marketing has already proved to be a massive game-changer. What more do you think it has to offer?
A: It’s a cliché, but the sky really is the limit. Digital marketing now owns the internet, and no serious business would ignore it. Its reach is unquantifiable, and it can access potential clients and customers round the clock. Integrating technology into digital marketing allows businesses to identify and reach their target audience in the most cost-effective way imaginable. The data gained can then be analyzed to determine influence, identify the buying patterns of existing and potential customers, and then refine and enhance its marketing plan. Big players such as Google and Amazon are already exploring the boundaries of what’s possible and where they lead, small businesses, and entrepreneurs follow. It’s only a matter of time before AI and automation will be the norm for everyone.
Q: You’re a firm believer in the ethos that if you don’t stay on top of digital marketing trends, you quickly get left behind. Are AI and automation set to be the biggest trends for some time into the future?
A: I would say so. They’re quickly becoming dominant in the industry where product recommendations and email personalization are key. Some studies suggest that by 2030 artificial intelligence will increase global GDP by up to 14%, so you can see its importance in digital marketing. I don’t know how any business can sustain a competitive edge without AI.
Q: In your expert opinion, what other trends would you advise businesses to stay on top of in the coming years?
A: I think micro-influencers will become more and more critical in terms of marketing. As we all know, influencer marketing is enormous, but many small businesses struggle to market this way, and so using medium-sized influencers with a following of around 30,000 is the perfect answer to their needs. Of course, vlogging will become increasingly relevant because of its immediate, personal, and direct effect on the audience. Chatbots and personalization will also continue to play their part, but one of the most intriguing developments which have got the whole industry talking is neuromarketing.
Q: Neuromarketing is a lesser-known term. Could you explain it in more detail?
A: Neuromarketing will become a viable tool for digital marketers in the future. To put it simply, neuromarketing will analyze measurements of an individual’s brain activity and use the data to determine what content engages them and what content leaves them cold. The algorithms involved are pretty complex, but the desired outcome is one that has dominated marketing for decades, and that’s how to tailor marketing strategies and content to optimize effectiveness.