In focus: 5 digital trends to note

With fall in full swing, the holiday season is already top-of-mind for most marketers. While it’s easy to become consumed by preparing your year-end campaigns, don’t overlook these five digital trends that can make your brand stand out from the crowd, now and during the peak holiday season.

  1. Easy (for the consumer) is always better. Consumers demand organizations adapt to their needs (especially Millennials). Focus on marketing that’s easy for the customer to digest and act upon —starting with the effortless experience. Rather than putting big data, technology or an omnichannel strategy first, use these tools to create an effortless customer experience. Consumers are loyal to brands and organizations that allow them to interact and complete transactions instantaneously, without hurdles or cumbersome processes. This could mean one-click ordering or mobile-friendly sites. One frustrating or time-wasting experience can end a relationship between a brand and a consumer. Before brands send out any type of campaign they need to ask themselves: are we making this easy and seamless for our customer?
  2. Location, location, location. Location marketing has matured beyond SMS messaging. Today it’s all about micro-location technology and thinking about more than just driving purchase behavior. Location data is and will continue to change the game in terms of understanding the routes consumers take through stores, as well as learning about purchase patterns, shopper destiny and time spent by area. Consumers are willing to change quickly to get what they’re after and, with the help of technology, brands are able to adapt faster and easier.
  3. Marketing in the now. Brands are trying to decrease communication times to increase relevancy. In the past, brands spent months developing campaigns with new technologies, but consumer demands have turned this process into mere minutes. Consumers have come to expect brands to cater to their needs in real-time through digital media. New technologies and strategies continue to evolve and push these capabilities forward. As brands become more mainstream and “in the now,” we’ll continue to see clever communications such as the recent Zappos and Kanye feud. Marketing in the now should not limited to social media or to single-channel promotions, it can be achieved via email and SMS and more.
  4. Social media gets more friends. The rise of new platforms, especially customized sites around specific interests, will continue to expand how social media is used. Brands need to start embracing content marketing on social media. Posts on social sites by brands have become less about selling products and more about selling what the brand stands for. As you think about social strategy a few things to keep mind are that images outrank words and use of video is taking off with consumers. Looking for inspiration? Here are a few new sites to watch: Twitch, Nextdoor, Sportslobster, Secret and Thumb.
  5. Paid advertising gets smarter. Spending on mobile and video ads continues to grow as these mediums become better at telling a story using data and creativity to drive results. Make sure you fully leverage image-centric sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat to continue to develop new customer engagement opportunities.

What other trends are you noticing or testing right now? Tell us in the comment below.