What’s Trending: Managing the Virtual Insanity in Marketing

January 12, 2018

Girl on Bicycle Wearing VR Goggles

Future’s made of virtual insanity now

Always seem to, be governed by this love we have

For useless, twisting, our new technology

Oh, now there is no sound for we all live underground

If the lyrics above don’t seem familiar, maybe this visual will help jog your memory: picture a man in a giant black hat dancing around on a moving conveyor belt floor in a small white room.

Somehow it has already been more than 20 years since Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” took the world by storm, scoring big at the 1997 MTV Music Video Awards and earning the group a Grammy as well, but its underlying message remains as relevant as ever.

With CES 2018 taking place in Las Vegas this week, marketers and business execs everywhere are contemplating the rapidly evolving tech frontier, and in particular, virtual reality appears to be top of mind. A new report projects that sales of VR/AR headsets will reach 4.9 million in 2018 -- a 25 percent increase from 2017.

At a time where uncovering new paths to audience engagement is a widespread priority, VR cannot be ignored. But is this simply a useless, twisting technology, or will marketers be able to overcome its inherent barriers and turn it into a practical channel for reaching customers?

No need to take cover underground. Read on for insights on the future of virtual reality and marketing technology at large, as well as ideas for clever content distribution, irresistible videos, and more.

What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most This Week:

1. What Needs to Come First for VR to Take Off, Mass Hardware Adoption or Compelling Content?

It’s a chicken-or-the-egg dilemma, writes Marty Swant. Although his piece doesn’t necessarily have a distinct marketing angle, he provides a great snapshot of where the technology currently stands and why it has yet to truly break through.

2. Here are the Top 7 Tech Trends to Watch in 2018, According to CES

5G, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and more: Amanda Zantal-Wiener checks in from CES to highlight seven key marketing technology trends that have emerged at the conference.

3. Understanding the Role of Technology in Marketing

With technology advancing at lightning speed, four out of five executives feel overwhelmed and underprepared for the challenges of the next five years. Matthew Stevens offers some helpful clarity by surfacing five important areas of focus.

4. Simple Strategies to Skyrocket Website Conversions

How can you turn more of your website visitors into paying customers? Jennifer Bourn walks us through some reliable methods for doing so in the slides below. We’d humbly suggest using LinkedIn Website Demographics and Website Retargeting as additional measures to capitalize on your site’s traffic.

5. Why Marketing Technology is Sucking the Life out of the Marketing Profession

Not everyone is keen on the impact of marketing technology, at least in the ways it is frequently being utilized. Mark Schaefer lays out a bold claim in the title of his recent post on LinkedIn and backs it up with sound logic. “We are implementing strategies and tactics based on what statistically is supposed to work,” he argues, “instead of what customers really want.”

6. The CMO, Martech and ‘Marchitecture’: Messaging that Matters to Customers

Incidentally, this piece from Jim Yu at Martech Today presents a possible answer for companies wrestling with concerns similar to Mr. Schaefer’s. Yu explores the concept of marchitecture, defined as “Marketing and product marketing programs built around presenting how marketing technology infrastructures fit together and benefit the customer.”

7. 10 Ways to Make Videos Your Customers Can’t Resist

It is increasingly evident that video will be one of the foremost content priorities for marketers in 2018. To that end, Marcia Riefer Johnston lists 10 ideas for magnetic video marketing, with plenty of examples.

8. The Power of Me: The Impact of Personalization on Marketing Performance

If you need more evidence to support the essentiality of personalization in your marketing campaigns, this SlideShare via Epsilon Marketing breaks down the numbers by industry:

9. Content Marketing Evolution: 5 Major Content Marketing Trends for 2018

Longform content, influencer ecosystems, and strange new formats are among the key developments Joshua Nite foresees in the content world this year.

10. 5 Content Distribution Strategies for 2018

How can you get more run out of the quality content you create? Try some of these promotional channels and tactics, courtesy of Sherry Bonelli, for increased visibility.

We’ll continue to make sense out of the insanity -- virtual and otherwise -- all year, so make sure you subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing blog.

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