Future Trends in Digital Marketing

The future of digital marketing is equally as exciting as uncertain. The digital age that we live in has affected no industry like it has with that of marketing. Digital marketing has emerged as the new avenue for which we as consumers are presented with messages about brands and products. Marketers have moved away from traditional methods such as print advertising, relying heavily on television ads and even the very basics of social media to reach out to consumers. Although these practices are still used and are not obsolete in the world of marketing, the digital age has an ever-revolving turnstile from which new techniques and trends emerge and disappear. There are some that never really come to fruition but others have presented themselves as viable options for companies and brands to reach out to their target markets. The overlying constant that the majority of these new trends possess is that they usually make use of or tie the practice in with social media. Two digital trends that have emerged and show potential to be part of the future digital marketing norm are wearable technologies and real-time marketing.

Wearable Technologies

Wearable technologies are essentially clothing or accessories incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies.
Everyone is aware by now of different wearable technologies such as Google Glass, Apple iWatch and Nike FuelBand. They are the technologies of the future that although now may pose doubts in the minds of consumers who may question the use for and long-term success of such products, but in reality have presented marketers with the opportunity to reach consumers on a whole new level. Some wearable technologies that consumers may not be as aware of that show vast marketing potential is that of programmable clothing and a technology known as Oculus Rift.

An example of programmable clothing is the ‘Twitter Dress’ –, Nicole Scherzinger wore at EE’s 4G launch event in 2012. The dress, made of silk was covered in crystals and 2,000 LED lights that showcased a live-feed of tweets. People were invited to tweet using the hashtag ‘tweetthedress’ @EE. The creation came from the same company that designed the ‘Programmable T-shirt’ which has over 1,000 LED lights, with built-in micro-cameras, microphone and speakers, that can be programmed using a smartphone, enabling the user to post Facebook status, images, tweets etc. This programmable clothing offers massive opportunities for marketers and advertising by integrating social media. It could go as far as brands such as for example, Coca-Cola programming t-shirts to play their latest viral video or television ad, or showcase their newest print ad that is also on a billboard. It almost ties in older methods of getting messages out through visual means such as print but in a digital way. A juxtaposition of sorts, but could it be coined post-modern traditionalism? The obvious choice for what sectors would most likely be the early adopters of this technology is that of retail.
Facebook’s ‘Oculus Rift’ primarily to be used as a new gaming platform but has massive potential to serve as a new avenue of creating ‘brand experiences’.
Examples of some brands that have used Oculus Rift include TopShop who created a ‘Virtual Catwalk’ by allowing customers on Oxford Circus in London to use the devices to watch a live fashion show.
O2 the sponsors of the England Rugby team
Tesco have dabbled with Oculus Rift to explore potential e-commerce opportunities.
According to ABI Research, due to the relative ease of compatibility with smartphones and other devices such as tablets, the wearable technologies market will spike to 485 million annual device shipments by 2018.

Real-time Marketing

Real-time marketing occurs when companies strategically structure their advertisements to reflect a current event or craze, resulting in their product or service becoming more appealing to consumers. Today’s consumers are all about instant gratification, so by tailoring a relevant marketing message to consumers in a time of need, they are more likely to buy a product or service because they will recognize the immediate utility that they can receive from it. Real time marketing is hugely effective when done well.

Effective real-time marketing stays relevant to companies’ marketing strategies, audiences and to their products.
A great example of real-time marketing done well was that of Oreo, when a power outage occurred during the 2013 SuperBowl. Oreo were quick to post an ad highlighting the blackout while marketing their products simultaneously by tweeting an ad that read “Power Out? No problem” with a starkly-lit image of a solitary Oreo and the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The message caught on almost immediately, getting nearly 15,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook. Coverage and engagement like that during the SuperBowl is invaluable to a brand when other companies are paying millions upon millions for advertising time as it is the most watched televised event of the year. Oreo bypassed the need to put out a highly expensive tv ad and instead utilised social media instead.

Real-time marketing has Evolves into collective intelligence – collaboration which grows into mass marketing – people are going to want to adopt this/come up with their own as a result and help spread brand/product awareness for free on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Negatives- Too quick? Difficult to execute effectively Has to be on the spot and spot on or else it will get lost among the many posts/tweets if it involves a trending topic – if there is any delay it.
It will seem dated and like the brand is jumping on the band-wagon of everyone’s conversations.
Also, RTM can be used as a method of enhancing customer service.
Good RTM content adds value, whether it is just pure entertainment, or delivering something that customers want at the time they want it.



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