As the result of the 2016 US Election looms large, I thought it would be appropriate to look at some of the digital trends that have appeared in this election run that may affect how we communicate digitally with consumers in the future.
In previous US elections, campaign sites would have a section for each demographic, where users would log on and find the most appropriate section for them. For example, there would be sections for senior citizens, army veterans, college students etc. However, this election we have seen these demographic sections disappear from the campaign websites. This is down to behavioural targeting. We are now able to use people’s digital activity to show who they follow on social media or the content they look at online to decipher what demographic they belong to. This ensures that the appropriate content reaches them without the user having to allocate themselves to a demographic on the campaign websites. Moving forward, this will become an important part of communicating with different audiences as we may see less and less black and white sections on websites. With the ability to identify each user, there is no need to provide specific sections on sites as we will be able to guide each user automatically to the content that is suitable for them.
Bots and Artificial Intelligence
In previous elections, the media has dissected big events in elections by pulling together a panel of experts to dissect the major issues and to decide who won or lost the latest debate. However, whilst these panels still exist on the News channels, the use of Bots and AI has allowed the most relevant content to be pulled from the internet. This allows both parties to gain quantitative insight through qualitative means. So rather than relying on a panel of six people, opinions and polls can be pulled from users on social media and from blog posts.
AI is saving the time normally taken to sift through the many opinions, and this will make market research easier and more efficient moving forward. Instead of the traditional market research surveys or focus groups, market research can now be conducted by looking at consumers’ broader tastes (music, films etc.). By using this information market research can now become automated and save market researches time and money. They are able to use the consumers’ tastes to predict how they will interact with a new product, without inviting consumers to interact with the product itself.
Unsurprisingly social media has played a massive part in this election. The difference from this election to the one in 2012 is that it has now become the place for breaking news during the election, rather than a place for various messages to be amplified. For the first time people are ranking social media ahead of the campaign websites as the source for information. Social media has become the hub of information rather than just another spoke in the wheel.
In summary, the 2016 US election will have a lasting effect on the future of digital marketing communications as the way in which audiences form their opinions, as well as reinforcing the increasingly important role of social media as a key hub of information.04.11.16 Archive