2014 is in the books, but marketers are feeling the year’s ripples as it continues to define marketing in 2015. Mobile is yet again at the forefront of innovation and the focus of strategy, causing marketers to shift and adapt their marketing efforts, but what will rule this year?
- Customer Experience – Über King
Consumer demands are ever increasing, wanting 24/7 service, personalisation and an omni-channel experience – in today’s market, social media and a saturated market has given consumers power.
A customer interaction on one channel, will define the next interaction on another channel – adapting, optimising and refining this cross-channel approach will be crucial in 2015 to achieve a better customer experience and staying relevant to your target audience.
To do this, brands, marketers and businesses will increase investment in analytics to understand the customer journey across multiple channels. They will seek to identify how to best maximise the experience and results from multiple digital, mobile and social channels across various platforms.
To create a sticky customer experience that drives customer loyalty and revenue, brands, marketers and businesses must strive to centralise customer data, enabling them to create a more personal relationship with customers across all marketing channels, and at every stage of the customer journey. Achieving this will take time and great effort, but it will be worth it – Consider the results from the Forrester Customer Experience Index. According to Forrester, customer-centric companies gained 43% in performance compared to a 33.9% decrease for companies who have neglected customer experience.
So, how does your customer experience stack up against your competition?
Since the launch of the first, bulky and rather basic cell phones in 1973, the world continues to become increasingly mobile and smarter, revolutionising how we do things: From cell phones to smart phones to faster, cheaper networks and connections. Cheaper smart phones and hyper connected people are driving the inevitable rise of the Apps.
In UK alone, over 50% of the population own a Smartphone. A figure set to rise worldwide by 2019 to some 3.4 billion users, that is 50% of the world’s population will own a Smartphone. Consequentially, App usage is skyrocketing with over 2 million of them already in Google & ITunes Stores. This represents a phenomenal hike of 320% in revenue from 2011 to 2014. A trend, set to continue reaching some 76.30 billion USD revenue by 2017: almost the equivalent of ¼ of Switzerland’s GDP.
By 2019 a mere 20% of the world’s population will remain unconnected! And according to the GSMA (Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association), by 2020, smart phones will account for 2 thirds of all mobile connections around the globe.
So there you have it. It looks good, but if we uncover the facts, the reality today is quite different.
Up to 90% of apps are used ONCE then discarded or deleted altogether. Consumers use as few as 6.5 apps over a 30-day period. For ASDA, the UK retailer, a major concern is to accelerate audience reach and app download (MMA London Nov 2014)!
It is now time to be part of the App world. It is now time to make your App an integral part of your customers daily routine. Think Consumer experience and privacy. Think hyper-connected and savvy Consumer. Think how you can get the Consumer to your APP – make it easy, relevant and safe. Make it enjoyable and you’re half way there.
However, your App will still need to be promoted! There are many available options. But why not explore Smarter options via mobile channels (Smart App Push, SmartMessage)?
Programmatic adoption will accelerate
The roots of the ‘programmatic revolution’ have taken hold, and adoption will accelerate in 2015 with brand marketers enjoying better control and greater efficiency. This is driven by the ability to seamlessly target cross-device, giving a single view of the customer, increasing brands’ efficiency and providing a better user experience.
As a result of the Internet of Things, we will increasingly see richer streams of user behaviour data. Everything from watches to fridges will become internet enabled, marketers will be able to understand users’ behaviour more than ever and deliver targeted advertising at scale.
More brand budgets start to be traded programmatically
Marketers will start to use publisher first party data across the whole of the programmatic marketplace. Publishers are prepping to launch their own plays in 2015, which will lead to a new phase in the programmatic world. We will also start to see greater buying of rising star formats, rich media, and takeovers. As more brand budgets start to be traded programmatically, these will be increasingly important for buyers to achieve standout.
We break down the barriers to wider adoption of Content marketing solutions
Brands understand that they need to shift more focus to content marketing, given its explosive growth this year. Challenges remain around contextualising content, effective distribution, as well as maximizing earned media potential – but these will be overcome as brands finesse their understanding on this space.
Quality content cannot be ignored. While a lot of the big players are already doing a stunning job – in 2015 a greater number will – the Christmas ad war between focus on creating humanised and appealing content based on themes that satisfy a consumer need.
Native is the only way to go on mobile
There is no sign of the juggernaut of mobile advertising slowing down in 2015, and brands will continue to innovate in the way they communicate with consumers. Yahoo’s own research has found smartphone users are 2.2 times more likely to agree that ‘If content is engaging then I don’t care it is an advert’. This is great news for brands as there is a real willingness from consumers to engage with branded content within their mobile feeds. This trend is set for further rapid growth next year.
The optimum way to digest information on a mobile is through a stream of content so we will see a further fine-tuning of this practice. In a stream brands can serve advertising in a contextually relevant way by matching the quality, tone and style of the editorial but also the format. In 2015 more and more brands will start to get the mix and the blend right – further driving engagement through a positive consumer experience.
There is a clear alignment between content marketing and native advertising. Mobile advertising growth is only set to head in one direction, and we can envisage a real surge in these types of digital advertising in the first half of 2015.
Country Commercial Director Yahoo UK
Yesterday, I walked 3,844 steps. How do I know this? I didn’t count my steps and I didn’t hire someone to follow and count my every move. I know I took 3,844 steps because an app on my smartphone tracks the number of steps I take without me having to do anything.
Market research apps powered by advances in technology are creating a whole new world of data that market researchers should be very excited about. It is now easier to not only get more data from participants, but also data that is more accurate.
Clearing the path to better data
For a person to engage in any activity, three things have to align:
- They know what to do
- They have the motivation to do it
- They know how to do it
When seeking to collect data from participants, researchers have always faced obstacles, whether limitations of time, participant memory, or another barrier. Yet, many of the obstacles researchers have faced are now disappearing thanks to mobile apps. It’s now easier for participants to know what to do, how to do it, and with less willpower required.
Collect more data with less effort
I was able to track the number of steps I took without having to do anything except open the app. As smartphones become more sophisticated, it will become easier for researchers to collect more and more passive data that would have previously been very difficult, if not impossible, to collect.
Even when the collection process isn’t passive, less effort is now required of participants to submit daily activities, feedback and opinions. Instead of filling out and mailing a form or entering information online at the end of the day or week, participants can open an app and instantly submit feedback. The less willpower that’s required to submit data will only increase engagement rates for research, but also increases recorded occasions and increases accuracy due to a reduction in memory bias.