At the beginning of every year, Nabler comes up with some exciting trends to watch for in the upcoming year and how the online businesses should prepare themselves to capitalize these wonderful opportunities and improvise their macro indicators. So, here are the top 5 trends to look for in the year 2014 from a digital analytics perspective:
1) Mobile Devices
There is no denial of the booming growth of mobile devices claiming their share in the marketing scenario. According to a report by Gartner, Smartphones sales grew by 36% worldwide in the last quarter of 2013. Another report attributes 40% of the traffic and 20% of Black Friday sales in the US to mobile devices. There is clearly a tremendous opportunity that cannot be undermined. Compared to 2010 smartphone users were up by nearly four times in 2012 standing at 29.5 million, and by 2014 that number is expected to reach 47.1 million. With the mobile market surging, mobile applications are also gaining increasing attention. According to a study, smartphone users spent 85% of their internet time using apps in 2013. In the next level, with mobile apps and the concept of geo tagging, companies can promote themselves locally. When a user accesses a map application, the retailers within a range would show-up in the location with customized messages. When a mobile user redeems a mobile coupon, it enables the retailers to record the GPS location as well as aggregate their buying behavior over digital devices.
Take Away: All these emerging technologies have put an immense pressure on analyzing mobile user behavior in order to ensure greater personalization and relevancy of marketing messages. Marketers must focus on making websites and marketing more mobile responsive, and developing user-friendly mobile applications, because mobile is the next big thing and it’s only growing. Marketers need to pay great attention to real-time Mobile Analytics to tame this tide and ride it.
2) Social Media
Visual-based content has been agreed by experts to be of prime importance. A study says that photos make up 93% of the most engaging posts in Facebook, bolstering the fact that to gain attention companies need to create more visual content. Two of the leading social media platforms of this year could be Twitter and Google Plus. Twitter is expected to dominate as it is giving high priority to visual content with the launch of Twitter cards, leading to the next level of engagement. On the other hand the buzz is Google Plus, a newbie compared to Facebook, is expected to surpass its prime competitor by 2016. Marketers are considering Google Plus more than ever and making their presence felt especially for the SEO advantage that Google gives to Google Plus traffic.
Take Away: Digital marketers can make their social media presence felt with more visual content to engage and stand out from the crowd. They must target Google Plus from an SEO perspective. Marketers will look for comprehensive Social Media Analytics solutions and services to get precise insights into user behavior.
3) Big Data
With so much technology available and data of petabyte proportions floating around – companies are making all the efforts to collect the data, but unfortunately, they are not utilizing it to its complete potential. 2014 will witness more data driven decision making with investments into platforms like Hadoop, opening up a whole gamut of services like predictive analytics, dashboarding, and recommendations. One classic example of how big data can be used is that of the supermarket giant Tesco, which uses, among other data, weather information to predict the sales of related products. According to IBM, the world is generating more than 2.5 billion gigabytes of data every single day and 80% of it is unstructured. By 2015, the market of data analytics is expected to reach USD 187bn.
Take Away: Marketers must tap into Big Data to obtain the next level of insights and deliver customer centric marketing. Big Data Analytics is something all the major digital players would invest into.
4) Content Marketing
Having a tailored and personalized marketing approach significantly boosts response rates, improves brand perceptions, and increases sales. It makes the customers feel that you are exclusively addressing to them. Mathew Woodward became one of Technorati Top 100 Blogs in less than a year by creating extremely targeted content for specific online communities. The interesting story he shares is – once you are locked on the right content you don’t require any paid marketing, SEO, or link building but all you need is pure ‘human interactions’. Among various benefits, the major impact reported was improved repurchases, thereby improving customer loyalty. At the end of the day optimal personalization maximizes returns. And it is evident that businesses are taking it seriously because the demand for Big Data is on a steep rise and the end objective is to use it to segment the customer base more smartly.
Take Away: It’s time to stop trying to please all customers and getting suboptimal ROI, rather focus on them separately, focus on the time and place, tap the best returns from each, analyze what content they would prefer and market accordingly. Utilize Content Testing and Optimization techniques to identify what works and what doesn’t.
5) Real-Time Marketing
Real-time marketing is bigger than ever; users no longer have the patience of waiting for hours to get responses. According to a study by www.emarketer.com, the major benefits from real-time marketing are more precise and effective marketing, improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, improved cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and timely delivery of value. Today, many companies have started responding to customer complaints and dissatisfaction on social media almost instantly. Very recently, a real-time move by the US’s best-selling cookie Oreo during a blackout in a Super Bowl match is a classic example. The social media team of Oreo quickly tweeted “Power Out? No problem”, with a solitary image of Oreo partially in the dark with the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark,” and this got a whopping 15,000 retweets and 20,000 Facebook “likes”. Clearly, real-time is in and gaining lots of attention.
Take Away: Don’t wait; be quick and efficient. Customers appreciate it and feel like they are a part of your company; this results in improved customer loyalty. Analytics tools can help you in setting automated alerts and responses to actions your users take in the digital world. This is opening up new ways for real-time marketing.