It’s December, and 2013 is fast coming to a close. If you haven’t started thinking about 2014, it’s time. Next year is going to be another big one for digital marketing, with big, fast changes in the way people use and interact with the Internet.
But don’t fret, we have you covered:
#1. Converging Boundaries
The web is no longer a separate entity. It is ubiquitous—existing in every pore of our daily lives—from the moment we wake up to the moment we close our eyes and enter the world of dreams it is there. The digital world and the physical world are converging. Customers, users, people expect a seamless uniformity between the services offered online and those offered in the physical world. This convergence is creating a surge of new user experiences: In-store shopping buddies on your mobile device, digital coupons that are beamed directly to the user when they walk in the store, augmented reality tools that direct users around real-life experiences, wearable tech that keeps track of your heart rate, and so much more. In 2014, it’s time to focus on integrating your brand’s digital experiences with the third dimension.
#2. Great Digital Experiences
It is not enough to simply have a digital experience. It must be great. Users are coming to expect a high-level engagement with the companies they choose to interact with. Your website, app, social media channels, ads, and every digital touchpoint must be great. Your users have had a taste, and now they want more. Take care of your digital properties and users will help take care of you.
#3. You Are What You Actually Do
What your brand truly-deeply stands for—and not what is said—will be the deciding factor for increased loyalty and sales. Your customer is increasingly turning toward the values and beliefs of your company. Social responsibility is a big deal. Show your customers a triple bottom line and show them how much you care. Follow through on your ideas/ideals and wear your heart on your sleeve.
#4. Social Media Is No Longer the New Kid on the Block
Social media is not an optional acquaintance or a one-night stand—social media is here, and she is not going away. If your company is not already engaged, you should be. Nearly ¼ of the global population is using social media. They are looking for you on social media. They expect you to be there and to interact with them. Social media is no longer a novelty, it is a powerful tool for communicating with you audience.
#5. Embrace Mobile Now
For 18-35-year-olds mobile is #1. They are checking their email, reading blog posts, seeing what the weather is like, searching for a place to have dinner, trying to find a better price on the product they are thinking about buying—all day, every day. And sales on Cyber Monday via smartphones and tablets set a new record in 2013 . But mobile shopping and e-commerce is not just a special event. Not hardly. For advertisers, mobile is the only advertising medium available continuously throughout the day. If you are not giving your mobile experience as much focus (or more) than your other advertising mediums in 2014, you are missing out.
What do you think is the next breakthrough change? What are you doing to embrace it? We’re listening.
And stay tuned for our next installment in this two-part series: “5 More Digital Trends for 2014.”