Top Digital Movement in 2015 – Key for Marketers Success

With the onset of the new year, marketers have realized that the challenges and opportunities for them in 2015 have been like never before. This requires greater awareness about the latest trends in the digital world, contributing towards enhanced customer experience, customization, and multi- platform marketing techniques.
It is important to be aware of changes in consumer behavior and trends.

Consumers are embracing new technology and it affects consumer spending and redefines marketing strategy. Knowledge about the latest marketing channels and importance of enhanced connectivity helps any marketer design new and improved marketing communication.

Strategic Questions for Digital Marketers(1)

  • How do consumers spend their time across various virtual devices, platforms, and channels?
  • What is the spending pattern of consumers over these platforms and channels?
  • How do you devise ways to define the most apt marketing message for these consumers?

Top Digital Trends – Key to Success for Marketers

Brand Responsiveness:

In 2015, Smartphones have become the remote control of our lives with enhanced adoption of technology. Marketers are faced with the challenge of being responsive in terms of usability across a range of virtual devices and platforms. Brands need to be action-oriented and relevant across these touch points.

To succeed in the digital world, brands need to be responsive in terms of design that are compatible across various platforms and device types. With the changing marketing paradigm where mobility and social media are important aspects, brands need to be fast, flexible, and fluid.(2)

Being responsive enables a brand to provide a portable and customized user experience to its customers. As per the ‘Digital Marketing Outlook’ report of E-consultancy (April 16, 2014), client side marketers consider certain areas that keep them ahead of the curve. These areas include social media, data-driven optimization, mobile, integrated design, and responsive design.(3)

Customer Experience:

Many companies consider treating customer experience as a competitive advantage for themselves. This requires aligning the goal of all teams working in the organization’s realm towards jointly attaining this goal. The digital trend report of E-consultancy (2014) shows that 44 percent of business organizations view customer experience/service as a key differentiator as against 28 percent who termed product quality as a differentiator from competition.(4)

Personalization:

As per the Adobe ‘Digital Roadblock’ survey (2015), customized communication acts as the most important marketing tool and top digital concern. As per the survey, other important priority areas for marketers involved content optimization, social media involvement, viral marketing, search engine marketing, mobile optimization and mobile app engagement. Customization doesn’t function in isolation. It functions across the entire customer journey with omni-channel and multi-device communication for customized service and product offering.(5)

Mobile Presence:

Marketers need to realize that mobile has become indispensable in our lives. It touches everything, including our personal and professional realm. Whether it is listening to music, booking tickets, or ordering food, mobile has become a substantially powerful tool. Mobile has redefined our concepts of entertainment, commerce, and content. As per the Emarketer webinar, by the end of 2015, 70 percent of the entire US search would be through mobile. In a mobile focused world, context would be an important characteristic.(6)

Cross Device Targeting:

Consumers today focus on multi-screen multi-tasking. Marketers should understand this behavior and enhance sales by targeting customers across an array of devices. Use of location data, user identification, and re-engagement through mobile apps help marketers redefine their strategy.
The Measurement and Analytics Report 2014, by E-consultany has focussed on important analytics which could be used by digital businesses to assess the changing paradigm of consumer behavior.

The important attributes include:

  • Following consumer behavior across multi-channel and multi-devices
  • Customization and targeting
  • Identifying the most valuable group of consumers for business
  • Assessing customer experience as a whole
  • Recognizing the design of content engagement and response towards an advertisement/campaign

Internet of Things (IoT):

This involves the entire group of things – people, places and objects that are and will remain connected over the internet to garner data to be transferred across networks through devices and apps. The data is analyzed to understand the information. For example through IoT, businesses would be capable of closely monitoring their inventory level through a mobile app. The potential of IoT is simply massive, as very soon it will be integrated across our personal and professional space. IT has the potential to develop into a multi-dollar market.(7)

Conclusion

In 2015, the mobile and social scene will become integrated and coordinated through increased brands responsiveness, customization, customer experience, multi device targeting, and IoT. Marketers need to realize the changing landscape and devise coordinated strategies surrounding elaborate sets of consumer behavior. Marketers need to understand the synchronized effect of the top digital trends and spend accordingly to justify their overall brand value.

References
(4,5) E-consultancy. “Digital trends 2015: CX & personalisation still high priorities.” September 2014. E-consultancy.
(1,2,3,6) Elkin, Noah. “Key Digital Trends-15 Things to Know for 2015 – Webinar.” 11 December 2014. EMarketer Website. 30 January 2015
(7)Forbes. “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2015.” 2015. Forbes Website. 30 January 2015

Marketing Strategy for Success in the App Market

Developing an app is an accomplishment. With so much time and effort involved in the entire process of development, test and launch, devising an effective marketing strategy would be the last thing in the mind of a developer.

In the App market, there exists the ‘problem of abundance’. With a surge of mobile apps in various app stores, success is not guaranteed even if your newly developed app has ‘everything’ in it. This is further aggravated with the high failure rate of various nicely developed apps at the app stores. The truth is, no matter how fantastic your app is, a solid marketing strategy is what ultimately sells it. The marketing of ‘promised value’ can act as a key differential.

It is essential to create a marketing plan before the launch for promotion and brand awareness. After all nobody is going to download an app that doesn’t s have buzz around it.

What is the strategy to create the marketing buzz?

1. Promotion Before Launch: Even before the launch of the app, various promotional content should be finalized – content development, reviews by various influencers, opinion makers and bloggers and banner designing for advertising, news releases, etc. Correct medium (portals and publications) can guarantee that the promotion is targeted to the right audience. This is facilitated by making an online presence through social media networks. Demo testing with a target group spreads awareness amidst the right audience.

2. Optimizing the App: Optimizing the app to search engine by providing the correct keywords in its title and description is important so that users can locate it easily. App optimization during the development process should be an essential step for discoverability in search query at the app store. (1)

3. Releasing Unique Features Early: To grow a user base, it is essential to release early, which draws investor attention. Releasing the primary features would help early adoption – setting the stage for growing user base in the future. Enabling a social sharing facility can further lead to enhancing user base. Adoption is typically fast if a unique feature is introduced at an early stage. For example a messaging app that has the capacity to target 50 or more people at time would attract interest. (2)

4. Get Discovered – With a plethora of apps in the same market segment you are operating, at the highest frequency is essential to make your presence felt. The audience wants to know that how your app makes their task easier and that is ready to be downloaded. Create a landing page and an email subscription option for the app. Focus should be to create awareness to drive traffic to the page. A multi-channel marketing strategy such as email marketing, banner advertising, and viral marketing can help promote apps across various channels. To garner maximum visibility the marketing process should continuous.

5. Make Users Your Marketers: Attaining the top position in the chart is difficult but once achieved, users can act as the marketer for your ‘great app’. Users can use the shareable features of the app to spread brand awareness among friends. They can use the app to share content, and social media to create the buzz around the app. Relationships can be forged through the shareable aspect of the app. Social media can be used to create profiles of the targeted users who can be engaged and re-engaged through content, value description, offers, and feature capabilities. Once convinced your true marketers do the viral marketing for the app. (4)

6. Revenue Model: It is essential to develop clarity over the revenue sourcing model. The most appropriate revenue model should be chosen. The app can be a paid app or an initially free and chargeable later on. The various monetizing sources of the app that can be explored include purchase options, advertisements, subscriptions, and product/service selling.

7. User Retention and Engagement: Retaining customers can be just as difficult as acquiring them. Push notifications serve as a source of user engagement. A solid user experience is essential to engage and retain customers. Feedback on user experience through ratings and reviews on the app page/app store are definite ways to boost credibility, retain existing customers, and acquire more. Allowing people to contact directly from the app through a mail or social media can help build engagement. Any negative review about a bug, problem, crash or additional feature requirement should be sorted immediately. Successful handling of user request leaves a happy customer and leads to positive reviews. (5)

Positive reviews increases app credibility as people download apps with higher positive recommendations.

Well planned pre-launch promotion, precise optimization, releasing unique feature early, enhanced discoverability, viral marketing, and positive review through high credibility are some of the killer strategies to fight competition and top the charts in the app market.

References

(3) Dholakiya, Prateek. “3 Strategies for Winning In the Hyper-Competitive Market for Apps.” 6 February 2015. Entrepreneur.com. 19 February 2015
(1,2) Kimbrell, Gideon. “Five Killer Marketing And Distribution Strategies For Your App.” 18 July 2014. Forbes Website. 19 February 2015
(5) “Marketing your new mobile app.” 10 October 2014. Smart Insights.com. 19 February 2015
(4) “The iOS app Marketing Strategy Guide.” Apptamin.com. 19 February 2015

Objectives and Components of Internet Marketing

It is the age of the Internet and it’s only natural that advertising, marketing, promotion and sales of goods and services are done through the Internet. Such activity is broadly defined as Internet Marketing. Other terms that are used to refer to this are Online Marketing, Internet Advertising and Web Marketing. They all refer to the use of the Web to target and deliver promotional messages about products and services to customers.

Internet Marketing includes many types of areas used in marketing such as email marketing, social media marketing, web banner advertising, mobile advertising, search engine marketing etc. As any other advertising media, internet marketing involves an advertiser who provides the content for advertisements and a publisher who integrates advertisements into spaces in online content.

Basically, internet marketing does the following functions, which can be called ‘objectives':

• Communicates messages about a company’s product or services to customers online
• Conducts research into the demographics, needs and preferences of potential and existing customers
• Sells advertising space, products and services online or over the Internet.

In the highly competitive and globalized economy that the world is seeing today, internet marketing has evolved into a ‘component mix’ that companies use to increase sales; it is an inevitable part of every business’ marketing strategy. For some online companies and smaller or home based businesses, internet marketing is the only method of marketing used.

Internet Marketing Components

Among the many components of Internet marketing are:

• Setting up a web presence – create a website or portal using text, images and graphic elements to convey information on existing and upcoming services and products to customers, thus creating a one-on-one dialogue with potential buyers. Here, this online presence becomes the equivalent of printed material such as leaflets, brochures or catalogues and are an extremely viable way of establishing a business identity.

• Search Engine Marketing – through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) it is possible to improve the website or the business identity of the company online to its customers.

• Email marketing – this is a way of distributing information about products, services and exchanging information with the customer to receive feedback and suggestions. Using email marketing, mass distribution of emails is done; it is the online equivalent to direct mail advertising or marketing

• Banner advertising – this refers to placement of ads on websites for a fee; something like placing an advertising in a printed medium like a newspaper or magazine

• Blog marketing – the act of expressing opinions, comments and sharing information in a public forum through discussion; this can be achieved through hosting blogs or posting comments on other blogs and linking URLs to company products and services

• Article marketing – this involves the use of articles written in relation to a business and its activities and posted on article sites. Article marketing can bring substantial traffic to a website and promote brands to a wider audience.

• Social media marketing – this is one segment that every Internet user is aware of and the impact of which is certainly felt on all aspects of a business. Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter etc. have increasingly become extremely useful tools for online marketing.