As we enter the last Quarter (Q4) of 2014, wise business owners/marketing teams are starting to plan and lay out their Digital Marketing budget and strategies for the coming year 2015. Many would look back at what transpired during 2014, identifying which strategies worked and what did not in their digital marketing efforts. Apparently, recycling the same strategies which could have worked well in 2014 might not be the same for 2015. This is due to the rapid change in digital marketing trends that are influenced by online marketplace and proliferation of various channels, gadgets and devices where people retrieve information while on the go.
As more and more businesses grow more adept and more mature in digital marketing strategies, experts predict 2015 to be a very interesting year for interactive digital marketing. According to MNC’s research, experience and market sensitivity, these top 5 predicted digital marketing trends and strategies can help your brand, product or service get much more marketing mileage and reach even more targeted audiences – all potential customers in the upcoming year 2015 and beyond.
They are related to social customer relations management (Social CRM), targeted messaging, effective content management, mobile marketing, and social integration.
1. Authentic Engagement Builds Trust (Social CRM)
For any business, trust plays an important role in building customer growth and brand loyalty. In the last decade, it has become especially important for businesses and brands to invest in effective strategies that help build trust and loyalty among online customers. According to a study by MotiveQuest and Northwestern University, 53% of changes in online and offline sales can be attributed to changes in the number of people advocating for a brand online.
One of the ways you can build trust online in 2015 is by authentically engaging with your online communities on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Before you enter into the New Year, think about setting aside time to develop a realistic, consistent, and authentic engagement plan that you can follow and use for all the online communities you plan to participate in.
“Marketing Departments will fall out of love with social media and responsibility for the medium will shift even further into other corners of the organization, such as PR and Customer Service. Of course, Facebook and Twitter still own too much of consumer time for marketers to ignore them, but a focus on paid media will increasingly eclipse earned media in marketing strategies. The drivers for this transition have been in place for years, from marketer frustration with low engagement rates on Facebook brand pages to hashtag campaigns that backfire to desperate social stunts like fake account hacks to auto-responder embarrassments.
The best value brands can provide in social is to listen, co-create with customers, integrate social into the product experience, furnish customer service, educate and evolve for the growth of the sharing economy, and in most cases, these are responsibilities that fall outside the marketing department.” (“Augie Ray, a former Forrester analyst and Voice of Customer professional. Source : Forbes”)
2. Targeted Messaging
“We are going to see a huge increase in at location-based marketing. With the rapid proliferation of devices, and the explosion of the Internet of Things, people will be carrying, utilizing, and depending on their devices more than ever. As part of the increased dependency, there is an increased expectation of services and personalization.” (“Nancy Bhagat, Vice President of Marketing Strategy at Intel”.
3. Content Driven Management
“The social, mobile web has digitized information and allowed us all to connect with anyone, anywhere. When we need information, we can find it instantly. But digital disruption is about more than just information. As brands, we need to kill promotional marketing messages and start providing customer-centric information that is helpful to our target customers.” (“Michael Brenner, Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP”. Source: Forbes)
4. Mobile Marketing
“Smartphones and tablets have effectively become the center—and integrating components—of consumers’ multiplatform lives. In that sense, though, mobile is more than “the new desktop.” It has a role with far greater significance than simply serving as a substitute computing device. This shift is reflected in quantitative terms—in the amount of time consumers spend on their mobile devices on a daily basis—and qualitatively in the way these devices have effectively become the remote control for consumers’ lives and work.
This shift has also affected the path to purchase in dramatic ways. As a result, marketers need to try and continually engage prospective buyers to consider their brand, product or store, whether the purchase ultimately takes place in a digital or physical venue.” (“Noah Elkin, Principal Analyst, eMarketer”. Source : Forbes)
5. Social Integration Is What Your Customers Expect
Social integration was important to online consumers in 2014, and it will continue to be important for them going into the New Year. When a prospective or returning customer visits a website, they expect to be able to find options that allow them to easily interact and share information with their social communities—without having to leave the site to do so. Examples of social integration on websites include links to social media pages created and managed by the business, social media share buttons (like, tweet, +1, share, etc.), and the ability to login or comment using a Facebook, Twitter, or Google account.
If you don’t yet have any of these options on your business website, it’s worth spending time adding them before the New Year. Doing so will help you keep your current social-savvy customers happy, and also give you more credibility when it comes time to convert a prospective buyer visiting your site for the first time.
“Competition in the digital space continues to grow as marketers seek out real-time opportunities and intensify their speed of interacting in “the moment.” The key disruptive digital trends we’ve seen successfully join the forces of mobile and social together to reach audiences at the heart of their digital usage. Images and videos have become the go-to viral tactic, and will continue to expand as brands can use visuals to interact with their consumers and the newest group of influencers–visual influencers.
Recently announced, Instagram is joining the playing field, alongside other messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp, to compete for the main communication channel for consumers to share personable moments. Social networks are hungry for challenges and eager to disrupt the current trends to start a new innovation.” (“Suzanne Fanning, President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)”. Source : Forbes)