As digital marketing becomes the leading differentiation strategy for creating exceptional online experiences and enhancing those offline, the gap between the physical and virtual worlds is shrinking at full pelt!
Seen from the prism of brands, the future holds promise as well as premonitions. This is the brave new world in which there can be no secrets. The emerging trends have been out there for all to see because in the virtual world, insights unravel real-time. Nonetheless, in the interest of documentation, here’s a quick enlistment:-
- The future will be integrated: Integrating social networking with social commerce and geo targeting technologies will be a no brainer considering that all these networks are already fairly active in silos. As a result of this, there will be a paradigm shift from social media ROI to social media revenue generation. There will be an integration of social media, e-commerce and m-commerce ecosystem.
- The Marketer’s JD will be redefined: So the new age brand managers would not be sitting in isolated cabins mashing up the data provided by management consultants to come up with linguistically titillating insights any longer. Nor would the PR factory merely line up outside the doors of elusive journalists. The new members of their inner circles would be none other than their own customers, employees, vendors. Organizations will increasingly need to bring about structural changes which ensure customer and other stakeholders to be genuinely satisfied and engaged with their brands.
- Group Buying and Social Commerce: This would be stimulated by the rise of mobile comparison shopping, mobile coupons, geo tracking offers. While Mobile apps would help to personalize and touch phones facilitate easy purchase, social commerce would help ensure loyalty and engagement. Group buying to avail price benefits, shop and share apps, and community recommendations to make future purchases will be the order of the day. Moving forward, technology will facilitate a scenario where buyers will define what, where, how and when they want to purchase a particular product or service.
- Online Video Ad Spending: With improved broadband penetration and speeds, this is one section that will surely ride the wave. Sites like Youtube.com are ripe with content and users and happen to be among the most underutilized marketing tools right now. 2012 might well be the banner year for video. Innovative technologies which will enable the users to communicate through short video messages will allow more dynamic sharing. Another interesting development would be technologies enabling video shopping which allow users to click on, share and purchase items without leaving the video page.
- All in the Game: Gartner predicts that in less than three years more than 70 % of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gaming application. Gaming will enable audiences to reach out to their audiences through stories and visuals like never before. This wave will only be stimulated by the growth in smart phones, tablets and streaming devices.
Overall 2012 will be the year of monetization through digital media. While investments in digital media will continue to galore, this will also be the year when marketers can start reaping the benefits of the investments that have been made into this hitherto futuristic media so far.