1. Customer revolution
Despite all the data-mining and more sophisticated output, the ‘digital revolution’ should still just be seen as enabler for creating more loyal customer base, not as the answer. The companies should focus on delivering better customer experience across the channels, as easy it would be to get overwhelmed by the endless possibilities of different smart content solutions. As Ashley Friedlein from Econsultancy reminds us “We are seeing a reversal of the asymmetry of power between companies and customers; increasingly customers know more than the companies who sell to them.”
2. Always-on commerce
eMarketer’s Key Digital Trends for 2014 –report defines the term: “’Always-on commerce’ is a subtle but significant evolution from ‘everywhere commerce,’ brought on by consumers’ ubiquitous connectivity”. It describes the modern consumer lifestyle, in which people are always in the consideration phase for something – “shopping state of mind”. Smartphones are obviously key enablers in the trend, as commerce can be done anywhere with just a few taps or clicks. Smart content platforms like Kiosked are on the other hand drivers in aggregating brands, publishers and web-stores into one, unified ecosystem.
3. Internet of things
According to Quartz, the long talked about Internet of Things should finally be the “next big thing” to invest in 2014. What will be different this year is that the big players in the hardware market (Qualcomm, Intel and Texas Instruments) are finally able to provide affordable “pretty much anything” connected to the internet via Bluetooth Low Energy standard. Since the variety of “things” connected will be bigger and finally cheap enough to use, there finally will be countless more ways to join and utilize the internet.
According to the IDC Retail Insights Release, one way to deliver more holistic personalized customer experience is to strongly engage to omni-channel customer relationship fueled by mobile internet of things. This gives customers more freedom to complete the purchasing process with their own terms, and companies to gather data and tailor the experience across multiple platforms.
Despite the increasing amount of big data and metrics driven from that, there will be demand for personalized, individual customer data. Companies, especially in retail, will develop products and services by the data provided by wearable smart items, resulting to more sophisticated predictive personalization where companies can respond to customer’s needs with suggestions even before they arise. Individual customers will use the data they collected about themselves for example for monitoring their health.
6. Visual marketing
Once the content is becoming more and more important in both engaging the customers and providing them personalized experience, one feature in content creating will rise above others in 2014: the visual content. Ifran Ahmad from Social Media Today claims that at the moment Pinterest boards create more revenue than Facebook posts and Tweets, and that visual information can reach 65% versus the 10% of text-based. He also sets a good example of power of visual content by providing an infographic of 33 Amazing Digital Marketing Facts and Statistics.
7. Rise of the content creators and managers
Since campaign-based marketing has turned into story telling via multiple channels, it takes new people to produce all that content and to oversee the consistency of it. So say hello to the brand journalists and directors of content. Even though strong writing skills will be needed from the whole marketing team to execute custom content on multiple platforms, to understand what kind of non-product-related stories appeal to the target group a more journalistic approach is needed. To manage the content, a content strategy for multiple platforms needs to be created and implemented.