It was the year of the iBeacon in 2014, and for sure, the clever radio transmitter will continue keeping us busy this year as well, but one of the major themes in 2015 is clearly the personalization of mobile marketing, in addition to the Internet of Things and comprehensive content strategies.
Consumer demands have changed significantly in our increasingly networked world, not only due to the new digital touchpoints in the customer journey that require individual marketing activities. The digital marketing utterly involves unique opportunities for more revenue, reach, and customer loyalty.
From personalization to hyper-personalization
Undeniably, users’ demands for customized corporate communications is constantly increasing. They want to be addressed in a specific and personalized way with content that is of interest and relevant to them at a specific time on the right channel. The trend is clearly going towards a hyper-personalization and away from untargeted distribution of universal information and offers. This results in a more human and authentic dialogue, which has nothing to do with the spreading of bromidic and offensive advertising messages.
In fact, the increasing use of personalization tools and customer intelligence mailings is getting even more interesting this year for companies. Segmented mass mailings still prevail, which only play different advertising messages to different audiences, but it is clear by now that the online dialogue marketing can be more than just that: The tip of the day are messages and dialogs that are individualized for each user along the entire customer lifecycle. Hence, the automation of marketing is becoming one of the main key factors behind highly personalized dialogues (more on this next month).
From niche to mainstream
The fact that mobile commerce will be the new rule in the shopping business in the medium term is obvious, since more and more people use smartphones, tablets and phablets for online shopping. In doing so, they want to experience good usability and a positive shopping experience. Hence, the optimization of the online store for mobile devices, or the realization of a shopping app, will be a major task for traders in the current year, as Gartner discussed just this week at its customer seminar in Singapore.
Even mobile search will change dramatically and bring some surprises. In particular, local businesses and marketers in small and medium businesses still have a lot of potential in mobile marketing, which they should not disregard. Instead, they should commit themselves to the famous SoLoMo principle, since the local search on mobile devices is still a rough diamond that just needs some polish. Not to mention that Google has become a real “mobile-first” company over the past year, which demands mobile friendliness as a prerequisite for a higher ranking within the mobile search results pages.
From trend to marketing basics
Marketing managers seize the opportunity to stick in the minds of their customers through the use of good stories. So far, only very few companies succeed in preparing emotional, personal and entertaining content strategically for their target groups. Be at the forefront and find your individual content strategy that not only convinces your customers, but also inspires them in the long term when thinking of your brand. Fact is that this year brands will prove even more to be independent publishers that no longer primarily apply their own services and products, but also skillfully spread news, insights and expertise through their channels. At the same time, it is important to make use of high quality and engaging content, as customers are demanding and want to benefit individually.
Richer content with background information is on the rise, while short blogposts with little statements lose out. The need for enterprise content is rising steadily and who wants to be successful has to stand out from the crowd and offer unique content. Actually, high quality content is not necessarily complex content but distinguishes by being individually of interest to the respective users. This could be e.g. discount vouchers tailored to the client's interests, personalized entertainment offers, or interest-related news articles.
No success without reason: CEOs have to grant their social media departments more budget to ensure good video strategies and a stronger focus on new social networks. Besides, a good measurability must be possible to lift content marketing at a professional level in the organization. Therefore, this year’s motto for marketers is "all or nothing" and their credo is “less buzzwords, more relevance".
Multi-device strategies gain momentum
A successful cross-channel customer journey is considered the supreme discipline in digital marketing. If the customer is looking at a flight connection in his smartphone app, all devices known by him can be synchronized in real time, based on the information. If he is at home and sitting on his couch, the same data is automatically displayed to him on his tablet, and on his desktop PC he sees additional information about the weather at the destination and travel tips.
Perfecting a multi-device strategy will definitely be a hot topic this year and beyond. A multi-device strategy means offering the same context across all channels and update it in the best case in real time.
In most cases, newsletter or websites are already optimized for viewing on tablets or smartphones. However, a good multi-device strategy can more than just that. The final goal is to integrate new devices, such as wearables, smart TVs or connected cars in the marketing strategy and to present the company optimally via all devices. Each touchpoint provides opportunities to generate leads and chances for an intensive dialogue marketing. And although the smart TV market is still in its infancy, it provides already great advertising potential for brands and companies from all sectors.
Keep in mind that the omnichannel commerce is a crucial foundation in order to implement a multi-device strategy. The term omnichannel commerce is an evolution of the multichannel sales, in which all existing sales channels are served parallel. The customer of today has countless options to get his/her desired product or service, therefore bundle all sales and communication channels to be able to use them all at the same time.
A diversification of all traffic channels is necessary to reach the customer at the right touchpoints and this will be an exciting challenge for marketing departments this year. It will be critical, not to focus just on one or a few channels, but to prepare and spread quality content manifold.
Finally, yet importantly, the Internet of Things will conquer marketing. Whether digitization, networking or sensors, the Internet of Things not only takes our daily lives by storm, but also the marketing departments. However, it is important to develop not only hardware and sensors, but partnerships that form a useful ecosystem. Whoever wants to be successful in business should not rely on technically isolated applications, but open up to the larger platforms.
By Daniela La Marca