By Louise Marsland, Publishing Editor: TREND.
We have been talking about mobile for a long time, particularly in Africa. We’ve called it the always-on device, the fourth screen, and so on.
Globally it’s now being termed the ‘second screen’, as consumers are watching television and movies with their mobiles, interacting on the content they are watching with other fans; and constantly updating their status on social media networks, chatting and instant messaging, while working or pretty much doing everything else.
- So mobile is at the top of my list of trends again as consumers and brands integrate social media and mobile apps for mobile phones and other devices such as tablets, which will integrate more into our leisure and work space as pricing comes down and more devices enter the market.
- Social media is on my list of annual trends again too, as the focus moves from social media as another marketing channel to actually integrating social media into business and brands throughout organisational structures, including customer service, socialising enterprise and ‘living social’. Brands are demanding ROI on social media and the focus will very much be on monetising social going forward.
- Content marketing is growing massively – in fact it is the only other media channel, along with digital media, that is growing in product and audience. We have seen custom publishing in South Africa move into the far more sophisticated content marketing channel, with local custom publishers transforming into agencies with account managers replacing publishers to manage brand media and customer interaction. Much of the focus for content marketers going forward will be on digital, with some print magazines moving online onto tablet or digimag formats.
- ‘Gamification’ is a massive marketing channel that keeps on growing as more brands integrate into games which are becoming as sophisticated as Hollywood blockbusters as technology improves, with celebrity endorsements and trailers directed by Oscar-winning movie directors.
- Harnessing customer innovation through traditional marketing channels and social media is one of the best ways to encourage brand engagement and customer loyalty. Brands like Nike do it so well through Nike+ at nikeplus.nike.com where people are encouraged to set goals, track their exercise or sporting progress and share it with friends, etc.; Starbucks with mystarbucksidea.com crowdsources ideas for new flavours from customers and provides feedback; and some of the car manufacturers are starting to crowdsource design ideas from fans, like BMW did for its 5-series.
- Asset management is another trend I’m tracking in my recent research, whereby brands are starting to use social media platforms that they do not own, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, as mechanisms to engage with their fans on the platforms of their choice, before encouraging them to visit the more sophisticated brand properties that brands have spent a lot of money on, to trade or engage deeper with more niche communities. It is important for brands to ‘own’ their own platforms to house consumer data and not outsource everything to social media channels and agencies that may not be around forever in their current form.
*These trends were first published in the Ornico & TREND. 2013 TREND. Annual. Ornico partnered with TREND. to launch its TREND. Annual to clients this year, giving a comprehensive 2013 futurecast for brands and marketers.
Ornico & TREND. 2013 TREND. Annual PDF – 4meg
Source: Louise Marsland is the Publishing Editor of TREND. She has been a journalist and editor for 25 years and has been Editor of industry publications such as AdVantage, Bizcommunity.com and Marketing Mix. Currently, she also edits the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page in The New Age newspaper.