Although the New Year celebrations may seem like a distant memory already, we’ve taken a few moments of contemplation to look back at the cultural landscape over the last 12 months, in order to shed some light on what this means for digital marketeers in the year ahead.
2013 – the year that Andy Murray won Wimbledon, the world was gripped by Royal Baby fever and the Oxford English dictionary crowned ‘selfie’ as word of the year, a common theme across all of these events, along with the more tragic acts of war and natural disaster, is that media power really is in the hands of the people.
Amateur news gatherers are snapping, filming, tweeting and sharing in real time at a faster pace than ever before. This immediate consumption of content of course has huge benefits, but it begs the question – where is this all heading? The ever-increasing pace and volume of live media means that consumers are perhaps spending too much time sifting through blogs and tweets and newsreels – in both their personal lives and professional lives.
Our diminishing attention spans and appetite for in-the-moment imagery and video over written word pushes SME’s and big brands alike into looking for new answers to the age old marketing question: How do we continue to cut through the jungle of content and leave a marked impression on our audiences?
With the subjects of timing and impact in mind, here’s our list of top communication trends for marketing folk, to help you navigate your way through the coming months.
For digital marketeers in 2014, it’s all about…
This is all about creating agile marketing plans. It may feel more reassuring to present colleagues with a full calendar of fixed campaigns, but in this increasingly fast-paced world, being able to change your direction when your current approach feels tired or conditions suddenly take a U-turn, is vital. This means equipping yourself with not only a bird’s eye view of your industry, but also understanding how to use innovative tools in a way that will resonate with your audience.
Authentic brand engagement
Audiences know and expect authentic interaction with the brands that they do business with, the online context being as equally important as traditional interactions. There is an ever-growing expectation that digital communications are taken as seriously as your core operation. This means dedicating budget and resource into planning your content strategy – from creating an on-going series of brand-building media, through to practical activities such as deploying resource to manage your company Twitter account – and of course aligning all of these touch points with your brand story.
What’s here to stay?
Responsive web design
It’s 2014 and this marketing must-have isn’t going anywhere. With more and more customers engaging with your brand via tablets and Smartphones, investing in a responsive website is vital in creating a great first impression and enabling a comfortable user experience for the always-mobile marketplace.
And what’s on the way out?
The business App market has matured rapidly in the past 12-18 months. If you’re thinking about creating an App for the first time, first of all, take a step back and consider the ‘so what’ factor. Whether you’re demonstrating complex processes to customers, or looking for new ways to engage colleagues, the purpose, as well as the execution, needs to be considered objectively and from the eyes of the end user.
We couldn’t move for these little nuggets of something-or-other over the last couple of years, but the Infographic craze is well and truly over. There’s nothing wrong with them in principle – this really is just another case of a perfectly-fine way of getting your message across reaching saturation point.
With this last point in mind, it is fair to say that audiences are always ready for the next big thing – however short-lived it may be. A marketing strategy that allows for this and is as agile as the marketplace, will bring you a step closer to success in your communications.