MarketingModo is a strong believer in data-based marketing and this month we would like to share some exciting trends to watch for and to show how businesses with an online presence should prepare themselves to capitalize on these opportunities. So, here are the top 5 digital analytics trends to look for :
1) Mobile Devices At this point, there is no denying the booming growth of mobile devices and their claiming an increasing share in marketing. A recent report shows that smartphones sales grew by 36% worldwide in the first quarter of 2014. Another report attributes 40% of site traffic and 20% of Black Friday sales in the United States to mobile devices. There is clearly a huge opportunity. Compared this to 2010 when smartphone users were up by nearly four times, in 2012 standing at 29.5 million, and by 2015 that number is expected to reach 56.3 million. With the mobile market surging, mobile applications are also gaining attention. According to a study on smartphone user behavior, it was discovered that smartphone users spent about 85% of their internet time using apps in 2013. With mobile apps and the concept of geo-tagging, companies can promote themselves locally much more efficiently. When a smartphone user accesses a map app, all the retailers within a range would show-up in the location with customized messaging. Additionally, when a mobile user redeems a mobile coupon, it allows the retailers to record the GPS location as well as aggregate their buying behavior over digital devices.
What This Means: The rise of the mobile market has put an immense pressure on analyzing mobile user behavior. This allows marketers to ensure greater personalization and relevancy of marketing messages. Marketers must focus on making websites and other marketing channels such as email more mobile responsive, and developing user-friendly mobile applications, because mobile is the next big thing and it’s only growing.
2) Social Media Just look at the popularity of sites such as Pinterest and you can quickly see how important visual-based content is. A recent study showed that photos make up roughly 93% of the most engaging posts in Facebook, bolstering the fact that to gain attention, companies need to create more visual content. Three of the top social media platforms for visual content distribution are Facebook, Pinterest and Google Plus. Facebook is the established giant and has far more engagement than the other two networks for the time being though that is expected to change by 2016. On the other hand, Pinterest is all about visual content and many brands and business have had great success in uploading original content to their boards and distributing it via the Pinterest community. There is also some buzz on Google Plus. 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.
What This Means: Digital marketers can give their social media presence more impact and reach with visual content to engage and stand out from the crowd. They must also target Google Plus for its SEO benefits.
3) Big Data With so much technology being utilized and data of massive proportions available – companies are making every effort they can to collect data, but unfortunately, most are not utilizing it to its full potential. We will see more data driven decision making with investments into marketing data platforms. One great example of how big data is being used is that of the supermarket giant Tesco, which uses weather information to predict the sales of related products. On cool days they are able to predict sales of soups while on warm, summer days they are able to accurately predict sales of ice and hotdogs. Pretty amazing stuff. 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.
What This Means: Marketers must tap into Big Data right now to obtain the next level of insights and deliver customer centric marketing. Big Data Analytics is something all the major digital players are already investing in.
4) Targeting It is well known among marketers that having a tailored,personalized and relevant marketing approach significantly boosts performance metrics and increases sales. It makes the customers feel that you are exclusively addressing to them. It puts the human aspect back into marketing. Once someone is locked on the right content businesses don’t really need any paid marketing, SEO, or link building at all. All you need is pure ‘human interactions’. Among various benefits, one of the most important was improved repurchases, thereby improving customer loyalty. At the end of the day, 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 intelligently.
What This Means: It’s time to stop trying to please all customers and end up being everything to everybody. This only results in suboptimal ROI. It is much better to focus on each customer group 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 because users no longer have the patience of waiting for hours to get responses. It is the 21st century after all. Real-time marketing is a more precise and effective type of marketing that improves customer satisfaction and loyalty, improves cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and timely delivers value to the customer. Today, many companies respond to customer complaints and dissatisfaction on social media almost instantly. This is just the beginning. A good example of a real-time marketing move was done by Oreo during a blackout during a Super Bowl match. 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.” This action alone received over 15,000 retweets and 20,000 Facebook “likes”. Clearly, real-time is in.
What This Means: Don’t wait; be quick and efficient. Your customers will 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.