It’s that time of the year where we summarize the past 12 months and try to forecast the main trends for 2014. So here are my predictions:
Existing channels vs. emerging channels
- Viva la email: customers still love email and marketers will yield strong conversions with the channel.
- SEO (search engine optimization) still remains strong with the website being the main hub of the digital strategy.
- Google rules.
- Mobile explosion with more HTML5 mobile sites vs. Apps.
- Video gaining traction with Vine making in roads to the digital world.
Existing channels will still do the heavy lifting to drive traffic and eventually convert into business. Marketers around the world will be familiar with operational or executional aspects of the channels and customers will know what to expect from these channels. Google will rule the world and its social platform Google Plus will gain traction and impact search results on Google. Video that targets yet another sense is due to grow in 2014. Mobile commerce becomes a reality with payment solutions providing nearly seamless mobile shopping experience.
Complete customer journey (simplified)
- Automation of the marketing processes.
- Customer retention and engagement automation.
- The Internet of things will drive seamless and personalized customer journey.
- Data is King, Information (making sense of it) is the Emperor.
The year of data is here. This year the buzzword was big data (but don’t make your big data strategy like teenage sex) devices and systems will start to talk with one another and customer behavior across the digital world will allow marketers to understand their customers better, automate their digital engagement, and execute with improved automated customer journey. A seamless automated customer journey will most likely be in 2015. Data visualization will allow marketers to transform data into information about our clients.
- Content discovery and personalization will become a mainstream strategy.
- Marrying content and commerce.
- Retargeting will become a common conversion tool for marketers on the web and social as well.
- Predictive marketing solutions will become accessible.
- Prediction revenues attribution across channels.
- RTB (real time bidding) is a reality.
- Mobile apps: data collection and personalization as a channel.
Automating marketing engagement across channels entails much more content. But relevant content. Customers demand more from brands. They demand real time personalized interactions. The Amazon/Pandora/Netflix level of engagement and recommendations will become more accessible. Brands will start providing content in the right context that increases conversion and engage customer via content discovery across channels (think fab or lyst style). Churning customers will be retargeted across their journey on the web with real time bidding technologies. All of this will be done in a simplified and automated manner.
In the digital connected world we’re living in today, short term changes are measured sometime by days or weeks, mid term trends by months, and long term is sometimes as short as a year.
Back to the future? I believe this is happening right here, right now.
Happy holidays! Time to disconnect a little from the digital world and have real engagement and interactions with friends and family.
Retailers understand the importance and potential of omnichannel marketing, but implementing it is the hard part.
QR codes might seem old school in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, but in China, they have transformed communications app WeChat into a world-leading example of mobile social commerce.