It feels SO good to be in 2010. 2009 was full of upheaval for many reasons, not the least of which was changes in digital marketing. So let’s kick start the New Year will a look at some powerful trends that will shape the coming year.
1. WHERE YOU ARE IS WHO YOU ARE
In the past year we have seen a powerful increase in the mainstream adoption of social media. With the increase in popularity of veteran sites like facebook and twitter, along with location-based newcomers like Foursquare and Postabon, digital marketers will be forced to rethink their advertising strategies to incorporate this new location-based variable.
2. THE CUSTOMER AS ADVERTISER
As social networking, real-time and geo trends are integrated with mobile devices that enable consumers to effortlessly produce, publish and advocate for brands, consumers will move towards a unique position where they become the de facto advertiser for much brand messaging.
3. REAL-TIME SEARCH
As Twitter and Facebook posts become indexed, real time search will become part of our daily lives. Google and Microsoft Bing are currently leading the way and digital marketers will need to adjust their strategy and creative to capture, leverage and profit from this new immediacy. For marketers its a powerful shift in focus from archives and what was to intention and what will be.
4. SELLING THE “WHY”, NOT THE “WHAT”
As consumers come to understand that they are in charge of where they put their attention, digital marketers will be left with the responsibility of providing the “why” behind where consumer choose to look. This is especially true with millennials who are very aware of their role as cultural change agents.
5. OVERCOMING OVERLOAD
Commanding consumer attention is becoming increasingly difficult due to a multiplicity of social media websites and advertisements throughout the Web, challenging digital marketers to stand out, grab attention and keep their audience interested. This is complicated by the fact that content is increasingly being dispersed across feeds and social media robbing marketers of the intended context for their content.
6. CONTEXT IS KING
Web users not only have the power to determine when and where they will receive marketing messages, but they are using that power to resist payment systems for online content. As a result, digital marketers are being forced to embed ads in engaging content that captures consumer interest and dialogue better than advertising on its own.
7. AUGMENTED REALITY
AR has already begun to demonstrate its usefulness as a location based tool. As with other recent success stories like digital music service, Spotify, AR satisfies an undeniable consumer need in a simple manner that plays into the rise of mobile community and commerce. As such, digital marketers ignore it at their peril.
8. MEASURING ENGAGEMENT
Marketers are being forced to develop a more sophisticated approach to the relevance or meaningfulness of a message to their target audience. As such, as Stowe Boyd stated, “Meaning is the new search’. Yet, measurement tools for the meaning offered, perceived or received by a brand or consumer do not exist. As a result, we can expect exploration into analytic tools that can measure and quantify meaningful impact for clients.
9. CROWDSOURCING FOR EVERYONE
Marketers are still struggling to wrap their heads around the power shift to consumers armed with social media tools. In order to minimize risk, they will increasingly reach out to consumers for strategic and creative feedback, allowing them to participate and often lead initiatives to ensure that their efforts will be well-received.
10. YOUR BRAND IN THEIR HANDS
Combine the trends of social media, real time search, location sharing services and augmented reality, and it’s easy to see how digital marketing is increasingly being exercised in partnership with consumers. With data, tools and networks being accessible everywhere, consumers can interact with each other in ways of their choosing that can make or break a brand. As such the most effective digital marketing with invite contribution and celebrate participation by consumers.
Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive. What would you add and do you agree?
Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.