This guest post is written by Nick Rojas.
The basic tenets of marketing will always remain consistent, but changes do regularly occur in the industry. As technology and audience behaviors evolve, marketers need to stay up to speed with current trends as well as prepare for what the future will likely bring. This can be a difficult task but the organizations that don’t advance along with the industry will be the first to fail.
What are the growing trends marketers should keep their eyes on for the second half of 2015?
1. MOBILE READY CONTENT
63% of adult mobile phone owners use their phones to access the Internet and 34% of mobile phone Internet users only go online using their cell phone, according to the January 2014 Mobile Technology Fact Sheet. In addition, 87% of connected device sales by the year 2017 will consist of smartphones and tablets. Marketers need to optimize their content for the mobile experience – not just making adjustments for different types of devices, but also accounting for users will interact with the content. Going forward marketers would be wise to employ the principles of responsive design when creating new pieces of content to create a stronger mobile experience.
It would also be advantageous for many brands to develop a mobile app to augment the overall mobile strategy, as apps make up 86% of time spent on mobile devices for the average US consumer. Apps also have the added benefit of being able to market to customers that have already expressed some interest in the brand. Supplemental content can also be created to specifically target this segment of customers.
2. AD TARGETING
Ad targeting is becoming more sophisticated, as evidenced by the growing popularity of using browser cookies to track the websites that a user visits. When the visitor leaves a website, the products that they viewed will be shown to them again in ads on other sites. In 2013 Facebook bought the Atlas network. Atlas uses the data it collects from people on Facebook to then serve them advertisements on other websites, all based on what Facebook already knows about its users. Facebook previously used personal data to serve targeted ads within Facebook itself but the acquisition of Atlas now allows them to use this personal data on behalf of third-party apps and websites.
As newer, younger customers enter the market brands need to make a shift from “global” thinking to “personal” thinking. Millennials prefer more genuine connections with brands and their younger counterparts are the same – in Mr. Youth’s “Class of 2015” study more than 5000 incoming freshmen in 2011 stated that they wanted to buy products and create connections with brands that helped to express themselves as individuals. Marketers need to learn to communicate with customers on an individual, personalized level. In the future, customers will not want to be “sold” to – they will want to receive authentic communications from brands they have a relationship with.
Marketers looking to make the most of Q3 and Q4 2015, whether it is taking advantage of emerging trends or improving existing strategies, should start now in order to see results and lay a solid foundation for 2016.
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.