4 future digital marketing insights

Need a bit of inspiration?

Whether your customers are engaging with your brand through traditional media, online or in store, they are more than likely to have a mobile device in hand. Mobile devices have significantly helped bridge the divide between brands and customers. With that opportunity comes the challenge of really personalising these experiences and importantly keeping up-to-speed with best practice in targeted, digital marketing.

Check out four of the latest marketing and media insights for some ideas for digital inspiration.

1) Utilise ‘The Internet of everything’

Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020. Devices will connect and communicate at increasing speeds and we’re talking so much more than just smartphone and tablets. Internet fridges, interactive billboards, televisions, vending machines, personal media devices, cars and even buildings are already talking to us through mobile connectivity. In the not-too-distant future they’ll be talking to each other as well, and fast.

Your business can improve on its brand by taking advantage of this growth in device connectivity. A recent example of this would be Red Tomato Pizza’s (Cannes Lions Winning) V.I.P. Fridge Magnet. The small pizzeria chain boosted sales by handing out fridge magnets that were connected with the owner’s phone and can automatically order their favourite pizza with just a press of the button.

But can ideas like this deliver more than brand improvements and go as far as delivering real revenue returns? It’s great for your bottom line too. Connected devices can help to cut cost leakage and create operational efficiencies. TIP: think about which things can be connected together and why in your business. Which things are already connected today?

2) Embrace hyper-connected applications

As connected devices grow so to do the mobile and web applications built for them. Why does this matter? Well take social profiles like Facebook and Beamly. They hold a wealth of information, real-time media habits and purchase preferences for things we do every day, shopping, travelling and consuming media. Binge watching favourite TV shows and movies on Netflix and connecting web browsers to TVs through Google Chrome are a few examples of these changes.

At first glance it looks like this hyper-connectivity will create a world where our mobiles buzz all the time and hassle us by urging us to buy more things. In retrospect, we might see something a bit different. The meshing of profile data, with connected devices and digital objects through trusted infrastructures (e.g. Google) should act as a filter through which irrelevant material will be blocked.

This raises some challenges for businesses. There will be no room for spam but lots of room, even preference for, relevant and contextual customer communications. So how can marketing become a personalized service rather than an irritating interruption?

3) Make it mobile

In a world where devices and applications are hyper-connected, it follows that the smartphone will evolve into a digital hub. We are already seeing mobiles being used for things like train ticket barriers, bus stops, parking meters, televisions, magazines, points of sale, packaging, outdoor billboards, household devices – fridges, stereos, heating and lighting systems and cars.

But what about as a portal for viewing media too? One example might be when we can automatically download a free film to our mobile from a digital billboard. People will get used to ‘picking things up’ from locations, with their mobile device.

Businesses can make the most of these habits by engaging with their customers at the right point in the purchasing journey, whether that is the online research stage or at the checkout point.

4) Engage cleverly with the always connected consumer.

The new hyper connected consumer will have more power and control than previous consumers that relied on traditional media i.e. within five years we will see audiences that are used to manually controlling their experiences via their mobile device and web platform and application preferences.

Consumers are already able to send media to other devices instantly. The mobile has already become the ultimate remote control. A top of the range Mercedes Benz comes with a mobile app to control the ignition, windows and all sorts of other functions. The app also comes with a feature that allows the driver to view the vehicle’s current location on a map with just a touch of a button, which is convenient if you forget where you parked your car.

In some cars it is already possible to pick up a video on your mobile and play it on the dashboard.  In a future of connected media we might be able to pick up a video guide for making sushi from the fish counter at the supermarket, then take it home and then ‘fling’ it to the screen in the kitchen with a swish of the hand.

Putting this into practice with your business

Today’s businesses need to understand the way people engage with their smartphone and other connected devices as well as how they consume information and media entertainment.

The bottom line is this. In the future there will be many more connected things, and we are already living in an increasingly connected business environment. Now is the time to plan a digital personality for your business and start to work out how it might be able to help your customers when the world’s connected media infrastructure is established.