Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marketing in 2014: A Crash Course

The field of marketing is ever changing and 2014 will be no different.  With the constantly altering digital world, many businesses are wondering, “What factors are going to influence my marketing efforts this year?”  Here we give a snapshot of the most important trends for the coming year:

Consumers demand custom content – Content marketing is a relatively new concept that that has grown in importance over the past few years. It refers to the creation and sharing of valuable, relevant and free content. This allows businesses to gain new customers and engage current customers. The key is to tailor content to your specific audience. Consumers will only give their attention to content that is relevant to them… whether it be an instructive SlideShare, an entertaining vine or and informative blog post.
  • Example: Standard Culture, the official blog of Standard Hotel, is a virtual concierge and a day-to-day cultural guide for their three locations in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. The blog encourages guest to post photos of their Standard Hotel experiences to be featured on the site, therefore allowing their audience to not only contribute to, but also feel a partnership with, to their growing brand identity. Thereby creating loyal customers and brand ambassadors. 

Visual communication drives engagement – Stemming off content marketing, in 2014 consumers are engaging with more visual content. Tools such as micro videos, animated GIF’s and info graphics are necessary to peak consumers’ interests. Visual posts on social media have a 94% increase in engagement compared to textual post. Thus, businesses will need to incorporate visual content into all aspects of their communications strategies. 
  • Example: The British online retailer ASOS has received tremendous praise for their Vine videos. In additions to creating videos of products and fashion shows, the brand also features user-generated content. Customers submit videos of their excited reactions to receiving and opening their ASOS packages in the mail, which are chosen to be featured on the brand’s Vine and Twitter. 

Facebook forces businesses to adjust strategies – Due to Facebook’s recent system changes, organic posts from business pages will no longer have a sizable reach. A few months back, Facebook initiated an algorithm change that determines which stories end up in newsfeeds to provide users with “higher quality” or largely shared content. This will lead smaller businesses to refocus their social media strategies by paying to compete or focusing on other platforms.

Mobile branding becomes vital  – Not only is it necessary for businesses to have mobile friendly websites, but apps are now becoming a competitive standard in the luxury and lifestyle industries. A recent study by Latitude shows that 1.2 billion people worldwide access the web through their mobile device. The same study concluded that 61% of consumers have a better opinion of brands that offer a positive mobile experience. This shows us that mobile optimization is becoming a critical element of marketing.

Mobile marketing is especially important to luxury brands, where tablet and smartphone usage are directly correlated to household income. 
  • Example: A luxury brand that excels at mobile branding is Tiffany & Co. The company offers a flawless mobile experience with their mobility optimized website, along with two mobile applications, including the Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring Finder app and the What Makes True Love app. An important factor in the success of Tiffany’s mobile marketing is that neither of these apps focused directly on e-commerce, but more on adding value to their brand. 

The marketing changes of 2014 will require businesses to think strategically and creatively to providing targeted audiences with visual, customized content to increase engagement and brand awareness. Businesses that utilize organic Facebook marketing in their social media strategy need to shift their efforts in order to achieve their goals and, finally, mobile marketing is becoming a crucial tool for reaching consumers and building a positive brand image.

No comments:

Post a Comment