There are some clear trends developing you need to be aware of, understand, and then incorporate into your marketing strategies.
Attention Economy. People see more than 34 billions bits of information daily according to a report by the University of California, San Diego. The figure equals to reading two books a day. We are moving to the attention economy where people’s attention is treated as a scarce commodity.
That’s a lot of information to process and more and more people are starting to tune out. Currently there is too much content on too many platforms, says Maggie Leifer McGary, a digital content strategist based in Washington D.C. That said she believes that images/video will continue to gain as a preferred content source for users.
Businesses will have to work smarter truly understanding their product and audiences within the attention economy. Jennifer Stauss Windrum, founder of the social business, Sock Monkeys Against Cancer (SMAC) echoes McCary’s thoughts and adds that organizations need to make their messages visual and shareable in our highly “Pinterest-ized” social media world.
Mobile. It is making the list for a second year and for a good reason. It continues to dominate, as a business must. People are moving away from desktops to smart phones and tablets in greater numbers. Mobile is important to your marketing.
According to research published by The Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than 90 percent of Americans own cellphones and 57 percent of all Americans go online using their mobile phone. With smart phones now outnumbering their less intelligent ancestors and cell providers offering a multitude of data plans, the mobile revolution has arrived.
Organizations need to move from just mobile optimization of their digital properties to responsive and adaptive designs, which are designs that fluidly change and respond to fit any screen or device size. Geoff Livingston, founder of Tenacity5 Media shares that thanks to diverse mobile media properties, business can now deploy customized campaigns to attract customers on the go.
Kami Watson Huyse, CEO of Zoetica, concurs adding that customers expect real time information based on location and relevance. This will require organizations to think more in terms of one-to-one personalization. Mobile can provide this to them.
Predictive Tools. We are moving away from the simple analytic tools, which only give the basic information. The tools are become more predictive, which means various techniques from statistics; modeling, machine learning, and data mining can analyze historical and present day information to make predictions about unknown events in the future.
Lani Rosales, Chief Operating Officer at AGBeat where business meets web, explains the era of simple tools no longer excites and the world is looking to discover what to do with all of their data, so predictive technologies will gain traction in 2014. She believes that all of the current tools we are using can not only play better together, but also produce more meaningful results.
The trends of the attention economy, mobile, and predictive tools feed into a positive customer experience. Customer service should always be a cornerstone for public-facing organizations. Social media is becoming a more subtle extension of things where some brands understand it is a slog of real business says Howie Goldfarb, CEO of Blue Star Strategic Marketing. Organizations need to continue to improve customer service and communications on social channels.
The New Year will be about effectively understanding then reaching your customers. Reaching them where they are, not where you want them to be with information in a format they want. And providing them with the best customer service on all communication channels. Here’s to a great 2014!
This column was originally published in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday, December 30, 2013.
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