We welcomed 2012 with a lot of debate and speculation on what the online world was going to look like in the coming years. A quarter of a year down, I would like to revisit the discussion and point out some of the trends that are slowly crawling their way up and should be taken seriously by marketers.
This can essentially be split into two parts: one covering the overall situation of online/internet marketing and a second that spotting trends into social marketing.In this part, I am going to cover the broad emerging trends in digital marketing.
Loyalty based mobile products
I am not going to give statistics here on how the number of users logging on to the Internet from their mobile phones is increasing. Instead let’s focus on how loyalty coupons and sweepstakes on mobile are getting accepted and that is mostly due to relevance.
Here is an example: you are a fan of Shrek the musical. You are already on the fan page. You happen to be near the theater that plays Shrek and, thanks to your phone, you realize there is a special ‘meet the stars’ event. You decide to drop by, get tickets due to your loyalty status, click and share pictures online.
If you receive geo targeted ads-offers and are instantly going to update/provide reviews of having redeemed something on social world, or get customer support to solve your problem real-time then there you go! Your mobile ecology is complete. You, the marketer, and the business concerned are happy!
Let’s talk video
Video content as well as marketing will see a lot of little changes. To point some, if you use a lot of video content online, you will notice that some pre-rolls now let you choose which one of their ad offerings you want to see. Also brands will start to integrate videos in their social communication, online games, etc.
Video content being watched both online and on the mobile will continue to accelerate. These are not big changes from a user perspective. But it will affect business in video such as planning and buying agencies, tracking/analytics firms, and video affiliate channels.
Integration of traditional and digital
Experts at futurON have repeatedly expressed concern and stressed on the need for a world where traditional and digital marketing are integrated.If you wish to read more on this, you can read Andrew Gardner or Arshya Lakshman.
Earlier in the year, Marketing Week did an article on Marketing Buzzwords that might make it to the boardroom in 2012. This article introduced a word called “tradigital”
So what are we expecting out of this union?
Mostly, agencies need to realize the strength of each medium and use them in tandem to plan integrated campaigns. The product offerings are now multi-channel and so the campaigns need to be the same. This may, however, require account managing teams to be multi-talented and understand details across traditional and new media channels.
For instance, you saw a TV ad and decided to make a trip to Barbados. Later that evening, you jump into a tube and see a poster advertising cheap flight tickets on offer. You can use the QR code and look at the ad online later.
This is an important year for eCommerce as some of its verticals like Mobile Commerce & Social Commerce are coming of age.
Social networking websites have long been named powerhouses of consumer information and yet failed to provide big commercial results. Due to this existing gap in market a new set of specialist services have emerged that help study online consumer behavior. For example, Wildfire, which is a Facebook preferred developer works closely with them, to provide technology solutions like coupons & sweepstakes builder app, social media analytics platform that can be customized etc.
With technology & analytic support as well as some amount of creativity, brands will now be able to start producing sales via social & mobile platforms.
One more eCommerce trend of Group buying will see a continual growth. This doesn’t come as a big surprise does it? Our futurist Aishwarya Rao already pointed out in December that if marketers aren’t already including group buying in their plans, maybe they should. Since, we’ve already covered this, I won’t get into much details.
I would however like to add, that over time we should be able to see niche websites within this sector as well. For now Groupon, Living Social & kgbdeals and other smaller websites are all offering same things, holidays, adventures, one off entertainment sessions, hobby lessons etc. Over a period, with more and more websites rolling the same product, we should be able to see specialized niche group buying websites.
Starting this year, we will hear of applications that change the way businesses function.
Here’s an example. Currently, you look at your phone to search for a restaurant and maybe check reviews. Last month Venturebeat reported that it had made an application called bynow, which is still in beta. Reportedly, the application can find restaurants in your vicinity, allow you to make a reservation, order, as well as pay via clicks and swipes. The restaurants that adapt, apparently, will have the same level of technological sophistication whereby orders will be accepted via a phone, straight into the kitchen.
You will soon come across more weird and interesting stories. While some might not work, others will become a way of life before you have time to think.
We will be back soon with more on Social Media Trends. Meanwhile if you think we’ve missed out on something you would’ve liked to see here, do let us know.
Photo credits: Qreate&Track, Marr International Digital Marketing, Technocrat, Starlink