Marketing Revolutions 2013 Edition

The digital media race is on. Some of the biggest companies in the world have spent the last few years honing their products in efforts to outsell their competitors, and as a result, the consumers have gotten much more than they could have asked for. Because of the developments in every area of communication, whether digital or analog, has drastically improved, and most significantly in the last 18 months.
The following is a list of 6 of the most notable trends in marketing and communication that have been developed or more widely applied, or will become commonplace within the next cycle of product releases.
1. The digital wallet
Google has called it the Google Wallet; Apple uses Passbook. The idea behind the digital wallet is that we will no longer need to keep all kinds of identification, credit or debit cards, gift cards, plane tickets or loyalty cards with us at all times to get by. By simply syncing your smartphone with your bank account, adding the relevant application from Starbucks or participating airlines, this technology will allow you to pay for (almost) anything you buy by simply scanning or using the NFC (Near field communication) chip in your smartphone to communicate with purchase points, keeping every valuable card or access detail you need in one place so that you don’t have to worry about any of it. While this technology is still in development, it shows promise for the future.
2. The emergence of big data management
IBM studies have shown that 3 quintillion (that is 3 followed by 18 zeros) bytes of data are produced every day. As this number increases rapidly, we will need to find more effective ways of storing the data – more effective than hard drives and ordinary servers that we have traditionally used.
Cloud computing is a step in the right direction, giving us access to storage space without bulking up our offices or work spaces at arguably cheaper prices. This kind of storage is also more reliable over a longer period of time (when was the last time you spilt coffee on your iCloud account?), and gives us much more effective ways of reassessing the data we have. As time goes on, we will be able to use stored data to understand competitors, customer habits and the markets in a much shorter time than we have been able to before.
3. More intricate social media
Many companies have found social media as the most effective marketing technique due to its explosive growth, interactivity and instant feedback. However, some of the most notable uses of social media marketing will come in the form of something mores significant than ‘Likes’ on Facebook. Analytics, loyalty programs and transactional marketing have all become integral ways of promoting a company on Facebook Twitter and other notable social networks. However, there will come a point (and it has already shown signs of becoming more common) where new ‘Likes’ will be less important than interaction and actual results from social media.
4. Bigger mobile integration
Mobile web browsing has picked up a significant chunk of the total Internet browsing space in the last few years, with the introduction of tablets, smartphones and cheaper, faster data plans. As a result, companies have, and will continue to need to develop internal talent for app development, website integration with mobile platforms and looking at new ways of catering to the mobile market as people move away from the desktop browsing culture of the past.
5. Real time interaction and customer marketing
With location based services on mobile devices and GPS-enabled cellphones and computers becoming increasingly more accurate, marketing campaigns have begun focusing on allowing users to broadcast when they visit certain places to their friends. This lets the social media user to tell their friends where they are and what they are doing, and also gives the company they are visiting or buying from exposure for free. Come campaigns even allow users who ‘check-in’ at certain places enough times, or at certain times of the day to earn discounts or special prizes. Foursquare allows huge opportunities to companies wanting to get their locations trending on networks by enabling promotions and discount vouchers to be accessed directly from their mobile applications or website profiles.
6. Internal competition and directed marketing
Traditional marketing teams usually consist of a number of individuals working together on brainstorming projects, coming up with campaigns and promoting them to their targeted audiences. However, as markets become more fragmented and individual marketing becomes the norm, marketing teams are being broken down and changed into multi-faceted entities.
Many successful companies allow internal groups of employees to compete for funds with different ideas that would cater to a different market or would satisfy a different need within the company’s framework. These competing groups will then be pushed to create the best possible campaign in order to get their group chosen to lead the next strategy into fruition. Not only does this encourage critical thinking within a company, it also allows more focused market targeting based on smaller more specific socio-economic groups or individuals, and gives companies the opportunity to cover more ground more effectively.
Written by: Wesley Geyer
Creative writer for ATKA SA