2014 will be highlighted by three key trends: budget shift to mobile spend, focus on seamless customer experience and relationship driven marketing.
1. Major Budget Shifts to Mobile
Mobile experience is no longer an option for retailers, it’s a necessity. The bottom line is this: advertisers should know where the customer is, and without a doubt, the customer is on their smartphone. They are researching your products, checking out your competition and engaging with social media content. ”By 2017, nearly two-thirds of the global population will access the Internet using their mobile devices -- about 2.3 billion (IBM).” Mobile is overflowing with possibilities and 2014 will be the year to seize them.
2. Omnichannel Fusion
With the increased use of smartphones, customers want their experience in-store and online to be seamless. Retailers will need to embrace the omnichannel component because the customer will expect it to be in place. A number of puzzles will need to be solved: including how to tie the physical data with the online data to provide personalized experience, as well as investing appropriate resources to build the infrastructure to support it.
3. Relationship Driven Marketing
Social media has given consumers a strong voice, and although brands realize they need to be using that platform, few have figured out how to do it right. 2014 will push retailers to invest more in relationship driven marketing and providing value through quality content. Brands will invest in timely customer service on social media and other direct channels, along with quality and entertaining content. To do this, they will spend more time trying to understand the unique features of each social network to increase ROI for their brand.
Watch for Pinterest and Twitter to make breakthroughs by being an extension of traditional marketing campaigns. Also, the abundance of data will need to be harnessed to help retailers build the right relationships with the right customers.
With 2013 almost behind us what do you think is ahead?