Connecting You with the Latest Marketing Tips and Trends.
In fashion, trends come and go. But for marketers, the opportunities inspired by trends come…and grow. How else can we explain the explosion of consumers packing smartphones, or the fact that despite Facebook’s domination over “the social networks”, new ones are still emerging and helping brands make an impact (see: Instagram and Pinterest)? For the past two years, Blogging Out Loud has shared its observations on topics ranging from the power of celebrity endorsements and the relevance of coupons to the future of augmented reality. With this — Blogging Out Loud’s 100th blog post — my Vertical Marketing Network coworkers and I reflected on what was hot then, what’s trending now and the marketing tools that will continue to burn well into our future.
Then: Pass the scissors
Now: Point and click
Future: Scan my smartphone
Yes, coupons still count, but be assured: these aren’t your granny’s coupons. A new report from Inmar says that despite a decline in distribution, coupon redemption is up; redemption increased 6.1% in 2011. Leading this current trend is Internet print-at-home coupons, but we predict, with more consumers using smartphones, that the future of coupons is in the palms of our hands and the tips of our fingers.
Then: Email blasts
Future: All mobile, all the time
Did you get the memo? Mobile is more than living up to its promise. Pew Internet says nearly 90% of U.S. adults have mobile phones and as many as 55% use them to go online. ComScore estimates 110 million consumers carry smartphones, and Deloite estimates the effect of smartphones on in-store sales is expected to increase from 5% today to 19% by 2016. That’s $689 billion. We predict that mobile-friendly websites will no longer be an after-thought, but a driver of digital connectivity.
Then: Valpak co-op mail
Now: Brand pages
Future: Brand-owned apps
Facebook may have done it first, but social networking heavyweights such as Twitter and YouTube and newcomers such as Pinterest have proven brand pages, which engage consumers in informative and entertaining ways, aren’t just the wave of the future, they might soon be a thing of the past, as savvy brands blur the lines between technology and products. Out My Window, the online private photo sharing service just launching from Warner Bros., will certainly allow motion picture and television studios to push their content and assets on its own platform.
Then: Copy testing, in-depth interviewing, tracking studies and ethnography
Now: Informational source overload
Future: C2C (consumer-to-consumer)
Research — as we’ve known it — is dead (well almost). The Internet has not only morphed the ways in which marketers give and receive information, it’s shifted the ways consumers seek out news and reviews on brands and their products. The future of research, by many accounts, rests in the hands of the consumer, who is increasingly going online to share opinions. Knowing this, savvy brands will best prepare themselves for a future that incorporates a different kind of demographic: the one that’s online.
Now: In-store exclusives
Future: AR gets real
“Retailers continue to try to differentiate themselves through exclusive product offerings, promotions and in-store shopping experiences,” says Vertical Marketing Network’s Vice President of Trend Spotting Danielle Conte. Offering product and promotion exclusives to retailers is morphing into the next phase of retailtainment. A few weeks ago, Wal-Mart and The Amazing Spider-Man teamed up to deliver an in-store exclusive that used augmented reality at the point-of-sale and encouraged shoppers to interact. We predict the interactivity trend is set to explode.