What Is The Future of Digital Marketing, A Marketer’s Guide – 2012-22

Digital can be mainstream in 10 years

Youth in the larger metros and hand-held devicescould be responsible for driving this change.

Why?

  • Already a major source for news even in real-time
  • TV networks seeking online model to secure their share of the online revenue pie.
  • Online ads are not just cheaper, but efficient and can be customized and served in real-time.

Social Communities Will Be a Part of Life

Current Global Trends:

  • 57 percent of people talk to people more online than they do in real life and 78 percent of people trust consumer opinions posted online.
  • Social networking has exploded globally. Nearly 1 in 5 minutes online is spent on social networking sites.
  • What does it mean for brands: Digital media is increasingly becoming a part of life. Weave social media into everything you do to reach, engage, listen to consumers and invest in ORM.

Auction-Based Buys Will Take-over

  • The top ranking reach networks Google and Facebook operate on bidding. The display investment with Google increased by 92 per cent in the past year.
  • Real-Time-Bidding (RTB), based on audience data will become a ‘must’ for marketers due to their potential to enhance campaign performance.

Digital Media Agencies Will Buy Audiences

As it is an era of an increasingly data-driven market where consumers play a central role,traditional ad space buying model will slowly disappear, in exchange for an audience-centric model with greater efficiency to eliminate campaign waste.
This is the most outstanding trend that every marketer, publisher, agency, data mining company and technology enabler will have to watch out for.

Real Time Planning Will Take Over

Pre-campaign planning will be replaced by planning during the campaign. Instead of inventory, marketers will choose for an audience based on valuable intelligence that satisfies an advertiser’s requirement in real time.

Websites Will Be Critical

  • Branding is going to play an enormous role in the future of website marketing because consumers are seeking information when they want and not necessarily when you are pushing content.
  • Web marketers who take a strong branding and business building approach to the online platform (brands like Nike, the Mini, Adidas, Uniqlo, etc.) will flourish as opposed to those who do one off tactical initiatives on their websites.

Connectivity Will Be Independent of Devices

By 2016, it will all be about connection and what your device can do to achieve that. Media communications will be simplified owing to everything being well connected. Increased compatibility will facilitate communication across multiple platforms through which, the advertising industry will benefit tremendously.

Technology Will Drive Marketing Online

Will we be using a search engine like Google in 5 years? Will we be using desktop computers in 5 years? What will future social networks look like?
The acceleration of innovation in online technologies and the ways we can discover, consume and engage with information can be a challenge to keep up with.

Technology Will Drive Creative (& vice-versa)

  • Driven by consumer expectations who need stimulus beyond the ordinary, first movers, stand alone innovations – that deliver a WOW experience to the consumer will stand out
  • Marketers will need to look for communication opportunities that have the right mix of relevancy & surprise – To have long term ‘Top of Mind’ impact in the increasingly competitive space.

App-based Behaviour Will Drive Mobile Ads

  • With mobile internet usage and mobile search already ahead of desktop, behavioral and geo-targeting, apps will completely change the way ads are sold and consumed on mobile.
  • In the Indian context, apps can drive rural marketing where other modes of reach are limiting.

Location Based Services on the Go Advertising

  • If used right, LBS can be a boon and offer an important basic capability that enables all sorts of innovation in mobile device tools and marketing.

Branded Apps Will Be a Norm

  • Letting someone download a branded tool to enhance their experience of your brand, offers great potential for engagement, lead generation and even direct sales.
  • The App revolution is fueled by a new level of utility in content for mobile devices. The popular tagline “there’s an app for that” is based on this utility. When you can find an app to enhance just about anything you are doing, the net effect becomes transformative.

M-comm will take Over E-comm

  • Easily click a button on a device to trigger a micropayment from your own account without having to re-enter or re-confirm credit card details. M-coupons and offers will further fuel marketing efforts.
  • As the recent text-to-donate campaign for Haiti from the Red Cross showed the world, trying these payments to user’s phone bills may offer another solution.

Digital Will Go Beyond Desktops & Hand-held

  • Digital will link to outdoor, ambient and unexplored realms; all with traditional digital linkages to the Internet
  • National Geographic’s Augmented Reality (AR) Experience in malls, Lynx Falling Angels outdoor AR experience, will be unforgettable for a long time to come and looked up on the web- way beyond the time when these events actually happened.
  • For Marketers it means – Integrating digital in all your plans and capitalizing on activation opportunities where digital can add a revolutionary layer plus long term shelf life.

Consumer-centric Approach v/s Brand Approach

  • Consumer data in terms of their likes and preferences is more accurately available. These can be harnessed to deliver a communication that is relevant and meets intangible consumer needs thereby strengthening relationships. Brands need to be more humane and grounded in order to strike a chord with the audience.

Brands with Pull Strategy Are the Dark Horses of This Race over push strategy.

@bcwebwise

We build a digital architecture that is rooted in research, strategy, branding and content. Layering it with the right brand building assets and maximizing deliverables with the right reach vehicles and technology in the digital spectrum is the key. Through this approach, we strive to achieve the extraordinary and build businesses.

Facebook’s New ‘Promote Your Status Update’ Feature!

We read about it, but then today we stumbled on it on our brand page. The Facebook’s ‘Promote’ feature that has been introduced to your status updates. For as less as USD 5 you can have your status update reach out to as many as 2500 Facebook users! The feature is similar to Promote a Tweet, only here seems to work quick and fast with the click and buy views model built in to the status update bar.

Facebook's Promote Feature

Facebooks Promote Feature

The feature is sure to bring in newer types of advertisers into Facebook folds, individuals, smaller companies and even large brands with big campaigns who want to quickly reach out with an update to a larger audience rather than get into a complete campaign management program with sponsored stories, premium ads or buying Facebook fans/likes.

Our thumbs to this new feature from Facebook that allows specific messaging (your latest wall posts or status updates) to reach out to a larger audience than an average status update would, and also for the user friendly and simple mechanics. Would be good to see Facebook add features such as targeting to the Promote tool.

What Do You Need To Start An E-commerce Business: A Checklist

bcwebwise ecommerceIt is time to get online and create a cost effective sales channel, after all consumers are researching your products online and reading peer recommendations. It just makes sense to get online and enable the target customers to buy your product with a click of the mouse. So just what do you need to start an Ecommerce business. We have tried to simplify it for you here:

1. Choose a Ecommerce System/ Shopping Cart Platform:

Foremost, you need to select a technology platform for the Ecommerce to run on. You may not understand the nitty gritties of this, but an online research on the subject, reviews and recommendations will help. If you can speak to a successful Ecommerce business and get their recommendation, even better.

We highly reccomend using the Magento e-commerce system. . Magento is extremely scalable, open source, easy to use and quickly becoming the most popular shopping cart system around.

You may also want to explore being available on other popular online stores and weigh the options of your exclusive store plus being present on other online shopping networks such as: India Times Shop, Rediff Shopping, Ebay, Flipkart, etc.

2. Domain Name Registration and Web Hosting

You need to plan and book a domain name for your ecommerce site and get this registered. If you are starting a serious e-commerce business, start with the right web host to ensure that your website will be fast and reliable. The data centre that will provide you with the servers for hosting your website should be able to provide you with 24/7 support. The data centre should also have the necessary firewalls and security in place.

3. Product List/Catalogue

Identify list of products that you want to sell online. Research on products or information related to your products that are currently searched by the target customers will help in finalizing the product list. Check if competing products are currently sold online and if yes, look for information on how they are currently being sold, and how has the online sales of these products been, how are they being promoted, what is right and not about the ecommerce for these products.

4. Product Images

Having your products shown clearly on your website is extremely important to the overall look of the site as well as the conversion rate of the site. It might cost a bit more than you expect to have professional photos of your products taken it can really separate the websites that get sales from those that do not. Whether it is a fashion garment or an OTC drug, seeing the product image gives consumer’s confidence to click the buy button.

5. Product Titles & Descriptions

Appropriate titles and descriptions for your products is necessary. Copy should inform plus do the selling. Attention to doing this for each product in your catalogue is a must, as this can make or break your sale. Also from a search engine view point, this descriptive information will help in optimization of the pages for search engines helping in the product being found when someone is searching for it.

Do a competitive search of other successful ecommerce sites to study how they do it.

6. Shipping Account

When someone buys something, you have to send it to them. Make sure that you sign up for a reliable delivery service such as Fedex or DHL.

7. Packing/ Shipping Products

How you will pack the products for delivery, labeling, etc. also need to be looked into and should be the starting point. Work out the logistics and if that is not in place no matter what you do with your e-shop, it is bound to fail.

8. Security (SSL)

Your website is going to need an SSL certificate to encrypt credit card transactions. All modern web browsers will warn users that they are about to enter a site that does not follow necessary security protocols, in other words it is unlikely the customer is going to proceed visiting your page.

9. Helpline Number – Preferably Toll Free and 24/7

A toll free phone number for your customers to call if they have a problem. A 24/7 online chat system will also help.

10. Newsletter Management System

Your customer list will need to be sent regular emails relating to their transaction plus to promote other related products, seasonal/festive offers etc.

11. Establish Ecommerce Policies

Your ecommerce store should include a policies section that covers all of your policies for shipping costs, returns, exchanges and customer service inquiries. A frequently asked questions section can be implemented based on the email questions you receive most often through your toll-free number or through your customer service email. In the end, this can save time and money and also help in closing a sale online.

12. Ecommerce Team

Managing your online presence is an important task that should have dedicated staff, just as you would have for your brick and mortar store. In addition to processing orders, the website needs to be continually updated with new product offerings and inventory status of available stock. Customer service inquiries should be handled promptly and customers should be kept in the loop about the status of their order. This staff can also handle the marketing of your ecommerce site.

13. Payment Options

When the planning of ecommerce is done, simultaneously one needs to select the payment gateway that will be used. How are you geographically targeting your audience can help to address this. Ideally prefer the gateway that supports most of currency.

14. Getting Verisign

Vulnerability and Malware scan is a must on the website. Ideally go with a Verisign trusted seal, it also gives consumer confidence to see this seal on your e-commerce pages and the final transaction pages.

15. Integration with third-party software

Normally all ecommerce product section is integrated with POS or some ERP system that is used to also manage the offline sales. While designing ecommerce sections it is important to be clear about the modules from the ERP system that need to be integrated with the online database. Further how this database (particularly for product stocks) will be updated and in what frequency needs to be defined.

16. Explore Enabling Shopping On Mobile Phones

Where and when is your customer likely to look for you? If your target audience is on the go, and in India we all know that just about everyone carries a phone today, it may be wise to build a mobile friendly shopping site. Today’s digital consumer expects a seamless, personalized, online shopping experience via whatever device they choose.

17. Increasing Your Site’s accessibility

You may want to explore the option of building separate sites, or building just one site that Is device friendly by opting for a responsive design. Read more about it in our previous post. http://blog.bcwebwise.com/2012/04/19/responsive-design/

18. Market Your Site & Driving Sales

Finally, it would take investment in online marketing to create awareness about your e-store and drive the footfalls. Explore SEO, plus PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, network advertising, etc.

To finally convert the visitors to buyers, ensure that the online shopping experience is visually appealing, is seamless and smooth, friendly and usability driven at every step. So do dry runs of the page designs and flows with User-testing before you finalize the wireframe, design and the flow of the pages.

So get ready to do some real business online!