7 Top Digital Trends to Watch

Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to access the internet for deals, product information and social media engagement. Mobile can be defined as any device that can be taken with you–smart phones, tablets and laptops. By 2015 more people will connect online by mobile devices than desktop PCs. Marketing campaigns and tactics targeted to these devices such as texting campaigns, QR codes, apps and mobile internet sites are quickly becoming required tools for businesses. The mobile advertising industry is expected to be worth more than $1.56 billion by 2013.

Social + Search
Online searches are now linked to social engagement. Online profiles and content on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn) must be optimized for search. This practice is commonly referred to as SMO (social media optimization). Content and profiles should be optimized using keyword search terms.  Integrating social profiles with search terms, enhances search engine optimization (or SEO), which is the process of getting content indexed categorized, ranked and found. The combination of social and search allows a person or brand to own their “Universal Search,” which is the search engine’s first page results displaying the local, organic, paid, website, social profile, news and industry blogs. For marketing purposes, this positioning is crucial, as most people only review the first page of search results.

Rich Media Advertisements
Rich media ads are the latest generation of online advertising. These ads expand when users click or roll over them, and offer extensive possibilities for interactive content, such as HD video or the ability to click to make a phone call. Companies can track where users came from, how many users expanded the ad and clicked on additional content, or performed any other activities. Ads are doing more than they ever have in the past. As advertising dollars are shifted to online, these ads are increasingly linked to purchasing and conversions. Behavioral targeting will allow for relevant ads to be served to users based on locale, interest or even weather conditions.

Applications (or apps) are providing smartphone users with valuable tools. There has been much speculation as to whether apps will mean an end to the internet. One in four adults in the US now uses apps. 2011 will be the best year for apps to increase productivity and reach with so many new offerings that assist us in our daily lives and will indicate a seismic shift in how companies market themselves. Apps are here to stay.

Recent research proves that mobile users are more active shoppers as one in five make purchases from their phone.

The cell phone can now be an electronic wallet. With the continued development of near field communication (NFC), a chip or a radio frequency ID tag in a smartphone, will allow users to exchange data within a short range through wireless technology. This technology will allow for:

• contactless payment

• redemption of coupons with a swipe of a smart phone

• storing and redeeming loyalty card information for retailers

• the ability to print a photo or receipt with just a touch from your phone to a printer

Interactive TV
Since digital video recorders have become a staple of American homes,  many marketers speculated that the 30 second television ad would be abandoned. But ads that are easily understood when they are fast forwarded, and that allow viewers to click a button to receive more information from the advertiser, will be increasingly broadcast in the coming year. Consumers are more accepting of this new trend as they seek digital interactivity.

Social Deals
In a study by IBM, the majority of consumers say the top reasons they interact with companies via social media sites are to receive discounts and make purchases. Businesses are seeing the advantages of reaching customers through digitally broadcast daily discounts and deals. Sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial are the most well known, but these and other regional sites are fueling our awareness of great deals, and doing it in a social way.  Participants must  be willing to take as much as a 50% reduction on the price of a product or service and be able to fulfill a large number of redemptions within a specified time period.


Research and stat sources:

Sheila Kloefkorn – KEO Marketing, Mashable, AgencySide, Advertising Age

2010 Distmo Report on App Store Statistics, Hilary Bressler, Morgan Stanley

All brand, product or service, names appearing herein are trademarks or service marks of their respective holders.

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