1. Digital First
We’re already seeing this shift happening. Companies are now giving digital marketing channels precedence over traditional media. And, this is a shift that will most likely continue throughout next year. Although an integrated marketing approach remains the key, digital comes first, both in strategy and in budget. A brand’s audience is increasingly found online and the focus will be to meet the needs of its online-savvy audience and influencers.
2. Social Media: Integrate & Decentralize
Social media will be decentralized, where everyone in the company has access to a company’s social networks. It won’t be controlled by a single unit, rather becoming a tool for conversation, not just marketing or PR handle. Social Media is now about people, not logos, so empower employees and enable them to be the different faces of the company, each with a good understanding of the company’s values.
Today, if Facebook users could be created as one territory, they would make for the 3rd largest country at 500 million. Factor in social media in any digital communication campaign, both from an inbound and outbound campaign perspective.
3. Search-optimized content
Having a solid content marketing strategy and quality content will be more important than ever. Businesses that are still relying on static, corporate-brochure-type websites will be left in the dust. With Google rolling out “Search Plus Your World,” this become more imperative.
4. Mobile: the future of online
Mobile aligns with the three behavioral trends dominating our lives. It offers convenience, context and fun. For an integrated marketing approach, mobile is the platform that can make ‘gamification’, interactivity and engagement happen. It might be a good idea to start with mobile version of your website or an app that can engage your customers.
5. Content is king, but context is president
We saw a shift the B2B and B2C to a B2P (business-to-people) mindset. The trend is now shifting towards P2P (people-to-people).
Companies need embrace a brand as a dynamic collaboration between the company, community, and influencers. This is justified because a customer is not just buying the products or services, but also buying the people who represent the company. It is vital to maintain and nurture the company’s network of influencers and customers, because people trust other people, not logos, brands, or corporations.
6. The opt-in principle
Outbound communication has to be based on opt-in, or response rates will remain stagnate. The irritation factor will predominate for sure. The key is to treat potential and existing customers with respect, as there would hardly be a person who does not get irritated with interrupt type communication. This could be an advertisement in-between a TV show, an SMS during a busy hour, or spam e-mails clogging your inbox or unwanted inserts in your daily newspaper.