2012’s five biggest digital trends
November 8, 2011 2:30 by Reuters
MOBILE SHOPPING IS ON THE RISE. Is your site mobile-optimised? Have you considered what mobile applications are on your roadmap? Consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than ever to research products, comparison shop, read and create reviews, find discounts, locate stores, and share brand and product information, without ever sitting at a computer. How are you grabbing your brand’s share of the mobile shopper’s wallet?
Speaking of shopping on the go, consumers are not just “checking-in,” they are also checking out discounts at their favorite stores with unique apps. Loyalty marketing and geo-location are becoming mainstream and will only continue to converge and grow. Think about going beyond the check-in and reward consumers for connecting with your brand by offering VIP discounts and events via geo-location apps for your most loyal customers.
CROWDSOURCING AND GROUP BUYING ARE CONVERGING. Group buying is growing up. Known for connecting consumers to online daily deals from local small businesses, Groupon has now become a testing ground for major retailers such as Gap and The Body Shop. These retailers are integrating group buying into Facebook and Twitter to crowd source exactly which products shoppers want to buy – and to reward them for participating. Not to mention the possible game changer, Facebook Deals, is testing now in several key markets.
We’ve also heard from review-based companies, such as Yelp, that consumers are looking
at reviews prior to purchasing deals online.
Look for integration of the two very soon and think about how your business may be affected by this.
SOCIAL GAMES ARE BECOMING SERIOUS BUSINESS FOR MARKETERS. Have you seen brand mentions embedded within social games? CityVille, FarmVille, Mafia Wars and MyTown are among the most popular online games and many are played on mobile phones.
Just like any kind of social engagement, when evaluating your gaming strategy think beyond the banner ad and more about how your brand becomes an integral part of the game, one that users can connect with and benefit from in the setting of the game, endearing them to your brand.
THE MULTICULTURAL MARKETING REVOLUTION. Non-resident Indians and Pakistanis make up more than 50 per cent of the UAE’s population – the single largest ethnic group in the UAE, according to available statistics.
And according to rough estimates from Star TV Middle East, South Asians – expats from
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal – represent 67 per cent of the UAE’s population.
We’ve heard the multicultural revolution has been brewing for nearly two decades now. Many will argue that it happened years ago and is just hitting mainstream marketers now. The multicultural revolution represents a major shift for marketers who have for the most part targeted the same core consumer for as long as most of us can remember.
It’s time to meet a new core demographic, the South Asian expatriates. They are a 67 percent component of the UAE population, and it is imperative for marketers to understand what makes them different.
A Merrill Lynch wealth report estimates 33,000 Indian expatriates in the UAE are millionaires – more than 50 per cent of the millionaires living in the UAE. White-collar professionals account for more than 65 per cent of the Indian community.
Data tells us the UAE demographics are shifting dramatically, and in ways experts did not
necessarily expect. Now, more than ever, core consumer targets are differentiated and unique, forcing marketers to create laser-focused strategies to ensure success. Are you prepared?
CUSTOMER SERVICE HAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO REMAIN A CORE FOCUS. How are you providing customer support today? If you answered strictly via your call center or in-store, you may want to re-think your strategy. As consumers spend more and more time online, specifically within social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, they feel inclined to share their needs, issues and problems, and are actively seeking support via these outlets.
Forrester Research defines today’s customer service in three categories – facilitating, resolving and redirecting. Facilitating is seen as helping customers assist each other (think WalMart’s customer Q&A exchange), resolving is getting customer service issues resolved within social media channels (think Groupon or Twitter), and redirecting is moving the customer issue from social media to another channel for follow-up and resolution. All of these avenues are providing brands a reduced number of calls to contact centers, improved issue resolution time and increased levels of customer satisfaction.
This article is originally published in Communicate ME. Link to original story here.