Over the last few years, the ways a company can engage with a consumer have increased exponentially. Social, local, mobile, augmented reality, QR codes, popup shops – all these new channels have come onto the scene and have disputed the way brands engage with their customers.
1. The resurgence of underground marketing:
With tighter advertising and marketing budgets and even tighter legislation, “below the radar” marketing techniques including events, exclusive parties and unique sponsorships to target niche audiences are particularly useful and effective!
2. Rise in augmented reality:
Augmented reality is a term for a live camera view of a physical real-world environment where computer generated content, such as digital objects, data or effects seem to interact or relate to the real world elements. Think Google’s futuristic goggles that can tell you everything from product ingredients to special offers, to train and public transport schedules on the side of buildings — this is futuristic marketing at its best.
3. SoLoMo and Contextual location based marketing:
SoLoMo is the “new” buzzword, taking storm in the marketing world. It’s a creative combination of marketing through Social, Local, and Mobile mediums. SoLoMo shows great potential for businesses to promote their offers locally and an easy method for customers to get highly-relevant search results specifically for their local area. SoLoMo marketing is a novel concept of providing smartphone users access to locally-focused promotions and store offerings through mobile search based on their current location. For example, if you are looking for the best coffee in Melbourne central, SoLoMo-based apps on a mobile device can provide instant results and locations of coffee shops in your vicinity. In some SoLoMo apps, you can even see if your friends are available on the same location through Google Places or Foursquare’s check-in system.
4. Multi-channel/omni-channel marketing:
Gone are the days with one singular marketing strategy for each channel. Multi-channel strategies seem to be the only option; with desktop, tablet and mobile strategies becoming key focus areas for most large business. There is, and always will be, a time for direct mail and trade shows and I believe they should still form part of multi-channel marketing strategy, but there needs to be more than just traditional at play. At the same time however, the growth, reach, scalability, cost-effectiveness and adoption of digital/social media is one that simply cannot be ignored.
5. Interactive Content Marketing:
Content marketing is no longer a marketing buzzword; it is a huge and growing area of just about every successful brand’s marketing effort. It is also looked upon very favourably by Google’s search engine. I read somewhere recently that “Content marketing is the new advertising”… and I agree. So, what is content marketing? The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines it quite well, with global application, as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. CMI serves many global brands and further shares on its website that content marketing “is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty”.
6. Video engagement:
Move over, viral video—highly engaging, enlightening, and value-added video content is taking centre stage. Video is growing in use and is still underestimated. More often it is used as a “commercial” or viral message that is disposable, but as video content continues to increase in use, it will have to be meaningful to the consumer. The emphasis on stickiness of content through its entertainment, reward, and learning qualities will become more important and a competitive differentiator.
To build trust and loyalty, brands will be uncovering smaller stories within their overarching story. While one buyer wants an eco-savvy product or service, another may want premium quality. If the same product or service can serve both audiences, they will need to find you, and will need micro-stories to relate their buyer persona to your brand. In the new media world, a 360-degree view of any company will reveal many facets for essential storytelling.
8. Visual marketing.
The use of marketing through images is only going to grow. Pinterest is a perfect example of visual marketing, think of all the hotel groups and fashion brands using this virtual pin board to advertise and promote themselves. If you’re not on Pinterest yet, then you’ve been living under a rock.
9. Goodbye E-Mail (well, not quite):
As the Facebook generation starts cementing itself in our workplace, the use of traditional communication tools such as e-mail will undoubtedly reduce. Video as a communication tool might become the standard, supported strongly by social channels. This means we will see an increase in video events, video collateral and a more collaborative workforce.
10. Marketing spend shift:
The balance of outbound marketing spend (bought media placement) will shift more to inbound spend (earned media, custom content) in shaping reputation and creating sales leads.
One last thing to consider… We must not underestimate the technology companies when it comes to trends. Just 4 years ago no-one even knew what the App Store was, yet now there are nearly 700,000 apps to download and more than 10,000 new ones submitted every month, and that’s not including Google’s platform, Android.
So, those are 10 trends I’ve spotted and heard about, any you’d add?
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