Getting it right in 2014: 5 trends to master (part 2)

The ways consumers engage with brands will continue to evolve in 2014. In last week’s post I shared two of the top five trends marketers should master this year. Below are the remaining three:

3. Mobile Gets Verbal & Location Targeting Rules. Almost overnight consumers stopped clicking and began swiping; stopped typing and began talking to their mobile devices. With Siri, Google and dashboards that read messages to consumers, marketers need to start thinking beyond responsive design and email layout and begin planning for how these new technologies will impact the consumer experience. As we continue to plan for the next mobile email generation, we need to take behavioral changes into consideration and how they will affect the overall communication stream.

With iBeacon becoming standard and geo-fencing becoming more sophisticated, micro geo-targeted communication is also becoming more popular. When consumers browse aisles, triggers and promotions can be sent via email based on their exact location within a store.

Additionally, mobile is now wearable. With the simple command, “I want this,” Google’s wearable computer snaps a photo of an item the wearer wants. Google automatically calls up similar items through ShopStyle’s API. Consumers can use the app to find a store nearby that has the product or similar items in stock.

To stay top-of-mind, marketers must be where consumers are and take advantage of the always-on marketing environment made possible by mobile. With mobile evolving so quickly, marketers can’t afford to sit back and wait for a trend to take hold.

4. Content is STILL King. Content marketing isn’t new, but it’s gaining incredible steam. Marketers need to become stronger story-tellers and provide value and interest to the consumer. By ensuring they are sending targeted and relevant content, marketers are taking the necessary steps to stay in a consumer’s inner circle while building on their loyalty relationship. Marketers must remember that modern marketing is about two-way conversations and content marketing lends itself to this tactic.

5. Data, Data, Data. Niche and persona marketing has been surfacing for years. However, with new technology and focus we expect to see it boom this year. Brands must understand the various niches, groups and communities that make up their consumer base and then tailor communications based on their behaviors, demographics and interests.

The focus must be on the consumer. With shorter attention spans, consumers today change channels when commercials appear and turn a blind eye to online ads. The traditional way of marketing is taboo and personalized, compelling content is in. Anything else is unacceptable to the consumer.

In 2014, identity will be everything. Consumers know brands have their digital fingerprint and expect them to use that data to benefit them. They expect a customized Amazon experience from all brands and expect their individuality to be acknowledged and respected.

By keeping these trends top of mind marketers will have the opportunity to start the New Year off right and create a profitable and successful 2014. What trends are you looking forward to most? Comment and tell us.

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