Happy Lunar New Year! This is the Year of the Fire Monkey. Those born during fire monkey years are known for being ambitious and adventurous, so why not follow their lead and start off 2016 by shaking up your digital marketing strategy? Here are three key trends to help you keep your brand efforts relevant and fresh.
The Age of the Customer
Forrester has declared that we have officially entered The Age of the Customer. With 84% of adults in the U.S. now using the Internet, digital literacy is at an all-time high. Customers have become much savvier at finding the information they need about a product or a brand, and they have high expectations when it comes to digital content and experience. Brands that fail to cater to the empowered consumer can expect to lose market share to competitors. In other words, don’t be that guy at the party that only knows how to talk about himself.
Customer intelligence should be at the heart of any brand’s marketing strategy. Brands should be providing the information customers want and need at all stages of the buyer’s journey. They also need to be truly invested in delivering the best digital experiences possible, no matter the device.
Think Mobile and Beyond
Mobile continues to be a big deal in 2016. Last year, Google announced that searches on mobile surpassed those performed on desktop. Many people rely on their phones to provide directions, decide on a restaurant, answer disputes, and organize their lives. According to a Bank of America survey on consumer mobile behavior, 71% of respondents either slept with or near their mobile devices. There is even a condition to describe the anxiety that manifests from being away from your phone: nomophobia.
To say that brands need to think about mobile is a given, but mobile strategy should not just consist of being “optimized for mobile.” Mobile strategy should not be about the device, but rather about the people who use it. One way to approach mobile is through mastery of the “micro-moment”, those times where a customer turns to his or her device to troubleshoot a problem, look for an explanation, or find inspiration to perform an action such as share, buy, or do. According to a Google study, 90% of consumers move between more than one device before completing their goal, whether it is purchasing an item or planning a trip. By offering the right content for those micro-moments, brands can establish a connection with a customer being bombarded with distractions at almost every waking moment.
Be the Expert in Your Industry
A survey conducted by Moz revealed that nearly 55% of respondents saw online reviews as being an important part of the decision-making process. Polyvore, which offers a curated shopping experience, boasts a higher conversion rate and higher average order total than Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites combined. Having too many choices can be overwhelming, which explains why consumers are looking for help when making a purchase.
Brands should not only be focused on providing customers with what they ask for, they should also be positioning themselves as experts in their industry to help guide customers through difficult choices.
They should consider how best to provide the advice that customers are looking for (and will trust), whether through on-site product reviews, look books that demonstrate how to wear this seasons trends, or other forms of high quality content.
Pantone, the global authority on color systems for designers and artists, has chosen these two shades as their Pantone Color of the Year. They are meant to be a color representation of what’s going on in the world. According to Pantone, this year’s choice reflects “societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information.”