A lot has been said on various blogs about what the future holds for digital marketing. One of the biggest issues that has emerged towards the back end of 2009 was the use of social media as a mainstream business tool. The importance of twitter was illustrated in the recent US elections and in the Iranian protests of late last year. As for Facebook, well, it is the biggest and fastest growing social network in the world with over 350 million subscribers already.
We believe that 2010 will bring the emergence of new channels. Existing channels will be refined and refocused. Consumers will demand greater profiling and appropriate content built around their needs. The understanding of the demand for content rich and appropriate technology interfaces will intensify. The pace of social acceptance of technology is set to accelerate, but not necessary our understanding or sophistication as a consumer. Apple has set a standard and an approach which signals the future, and that is through the use of easy, plug and play technology which is intuitive but delivers a highly personalised experience. This sets out a number of challenges for business. To start with, it is not an option whether to have an integrated brand and marketing strategy, it is an imperative for survival. Make sure you understand the on and offline experience, develop a comprehensive strategy and make sure it is resourced in a sustainable method (this can be in-house or externally on a contract basis, it’s down to you but make sure you own the strategy). Develop simple propositions; consumers of marketing messages are becoming less tolerant of waiting or investing their own time in understanding your pitch.
The fight for front of mind awareness is increasingly difficult to establish and maintain. The ability to develop and maintain this level of understanding and breadth of knowledge will be beyond all except for the very largest organisations. The marketing departments will need to change the way they develop relationships with third party suppliers in order to make sure they are getting the right kind of strategic input into the planning process.