JWTIntelligence has released its top ten predictions for 2013, each of which is worth reviewing and considering not just because all may be relevant to your business, but because all ten trends are connected in this increasingly complex social business marketplace. Consider for a moment how each of the following ten trends are related to one another:
1. Play as a Competitive Advantage
2. The Super Stress Era
3. Intelligent Objects
4. Predictive Personalization
5. Mobile Fingerprint
6. Sensory Explosion
7. Everything is Retail
8. Peer Power
9. Going Private in Public
10. Health & Happiness
While some trends reflect an open-armed embrace of new technology (numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8) and others a reaction to it (numbers 2, 6, 9, 10), one stands out as the most disruptive to those hoping to market brands, products and services in 2013 – predictive personalization.
Real-time technologies have thrown companies and marketers that built their businesses around traditional technology into a tailspin as the size that served as a demonstration of their success now works against them due to the inertia it causes. The predictive web compounds this problem.
Predictive personalization operates on two levels. Based on the increasing data customers share about their buying habits through social media, it’s become possible to predict with a high degree of accuracy what products or services would be of interest to a consumer. The simplest example of this is the highly-targeted Facebook ads.
On a group level, the predictive web also draws conclusions about collective behavior based on decentralized and self-organizing systems. In this capacity each consumers serves as a node in the network informing predictions around what an interest group or demographic may do.
The challenges this presents to marketers are obvious from effective listening and response at scale, to the integration of predictions into product lines and marketing within ever-tighter time frames, to the broader challenge of scaling intimacy as every one of your customers expect personalized attention, sales, and service.
Fortunately marketers can enlist a suite of tools that simplify this process but perhaps the greatest stumbling block to succeeding in this new marketplace is the marketer itself. While technology is dispassionate about change, marketers continue to be deeply resistant and unsettled by its pace and scale, in contrast to consumers whose appetite for new and personalized experiences continues to expand.
The marketers that will win the future will be those with skills sets that balance emotional storytelling and technological curiosity, malleable infrastructure and nimble minds, customer empathy and attentive listening.
The predictive web will cause more than a shift in the marketplace. It is building a new market based on a different time frame, set of priorities and modes of customer engagement. As uncertain as the future looks, one thing is clear. Marketers that don’t move in lock step with technology will disappear underfoot.
For the full report visit: JWTIntelligence.com
Many people are wondering who will win the advertising war between TV and social media. It seems like TV is as popular as ever and yet so many people have their eyes glued to their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts? So who will win? Which has more impact on sales and customer engagement ? Where should you put your advertising dollars?
The truth is that neither will win as they are very quickly merging to create what is called Social TV. Here are three ways that the TV and social media are merging and what it means for your business.
First, more televisions, Pay TV channels and mobile apps are providing smaller, second screens within the larger picture that allow you to make comments on what you are watching and to share these with friends. These second screens are important because they also allow you to buy what you see on the show and then share that purchase with friends and peers across social channels.
Second, more advertisers are starting to create their own shows much like there was in the 1950’s and 60’s and that’s partly because the cost of creating a high quality video shows is so low. For instance, McDonald’s just announced it will be creating its own content that integrates advertising that will then be shared across social channels.
Third, since viewers are how sharing what they buy across their own social media channels, there’s a new opportunity to not only make sales through second screens but also to have existing customers brings in new customers. This can be accelerated by making offers that customers can extend to their network that benefit them, their friends and your business.
So here are 3 keys ways that every small business owner can take advantage of Social TV to build their business:
1. Use product placement to allow customers to buy your products inside a program, webisode or branded content.
2. Leverage the cost efficiencies of digital content to make your own online program that features your products and services.
3. Create a social shopping experience that lets customers share what they bought with their own friends, family and colleagues.
This way no matter who wins the battle for customer eyeballs and advertising dollars between the studios, networks, Pay TV providers, Google, Apple, Hulu or a host of new players, you’ll stay touch in with your customers and leverage how they like to buy and share their purchases to build your business.
As we prepare to downshift our minds for the holidays I thought it might be fun to create a snapshot of what brands that succeed in 2013 will look like. It may help to orientate our minds as they do a lot of important unconscious work over the holiday break. Its so rare these days that we actually allow ourselves sufficient time to integrate the firehouse of information we each receive every day. Treat it as a checklist and ask yourself, on a scale of 1-10, how well your brand embodies each of these ten characteristics.
1. DEFINED: Before you dismiss this characteristic as obvious, most companies send their marketing dollars broadcasting their schizophrenia. And since an undefined brand is unsharable, this oversight is deadly in an increaisngly social and mobile marketplace.
2. INTEGRATED: Even the best defined brands fail without sufficient leadership, employee and consumer buy-off of the brand positioning. Yet too many companies rush to market before ensuring their workforce represents a unified marketing front that establishes why their company is meaningful to its customers lives.
3. HUMAN: The phrase ‘brand personality’ has been bandied about in marketing circles for years, but now that companies are in a real-time dialogue with their customers, it’s taken on a whole new level of importance. Corporate speak is out, and human, fallible, and apologetic communication is in.
4. COMMUNITY-FOCUSED: It’s so easy within a company to think that your marketing is all about you, especially when increased competition makes it harder to meet your sales objectives. But today’s consumers reward social responsibility so the fastest way to profit is through the well-being of the community.
5. ATTENTIVE: This applies both in the sense that the brand leads with listening to coustomers (rather than speaking), and then diligiently follows up on the needs they have identified. Only then will customers be inspired to use their own social channels to talk about your brand.
6. FALLIBLE: This means more than apologizing for making a bad product or sharing an insensitive tweet. It means recognizing that your customers are now partners in creating the company’s future and suspending the need to constantly be in total control and “right.”
7. CO-CREATIVE: By extension of relinquishing some of the control of a brand and sharing it with it customers, companies must invite customers to co-create the products, services and marketing that will determine their future business success.
8. MOBILE: If Black Friday and Cyber-Monday are any guide, the success of your business in the future will be determined by your ability to market through smartphones, and with web and social media time on smartphones rising even higher, the opportunities increase every day.
9. CURIOUS: Social technologies and consumer behavior are moving targets and so, as overwhelming as the market may already seem, every company must develop a fascination with what is reshaping sales and maintain that curiosity.
10. GLOCAL: Appropriately defined, every brand should represent some core human value relevant to their category. That gives them the ability to scale across geographies, media and channels to connect on both a local and global level. To ignore this is to miss the opportunity to scale through the web, social media and smartphones exponentially.
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