You don’t have to hire a futurist. Just read Mashable’s intelligent predictions for 2020 which include:
- Virtual retail avatars
- Intelligent agents and credit cards embedded in our mobile devices
- Everything’s on the cloud
- We’re using digital jewelry and video visors
- Finally, cellphone service will stop sucking.
#1: move your consumer-facing content to a mobile platform and make it searchable and intelligent: the smart consumer is going to have a pre-read agent scanning your content and offers which better be good or they won’t even get looked at by the consumer.
More than 1/3 of consumers no longer look to the Sunday paper for coupon values.
That’s according to online couponer CheapSally’s latest infographic which says that 47% of online consumers in the U.S. used coupons last year. Now that finding codes online has become mainstream, consumers can more conveniently find offers from the categories, brands and retailers they want by just going online.
#2: move coupons from paper to digital and run experiments with ideas that might have seemed far-fetched ten years ago. The cost of learning from trial and error gets much less expensive and the results are faster in the digital world.
Keep your eyes on NFC for the future of painless locative marketing.
Near Field Communication (NFC) lets you activate credit card, loyalty marketing and locative perks just by tapping your phone to a retail sensor. The question is whether or not mobile phone manufacturers and retailers will create the critical mass for it to go mainstream. In the meantime, LG’s new smartphones will now adapt to the setting they’re in to perform relevant functions (example: you’re in your car, so it turns on GPS).
#3: get ready for a future in which a retail sensor automatically turns on the consumer’s coupon and loyalty apps as soon as they walk into the store.
Think of Pinterest as a platform for shopping, bonding, collaboration and inspiration.
Pinterest has rapidly become the third largest traffic generator on the Web. Like Instagram, it’s simple and richly visual. And forward brands and retailers, as Ad Week reports, are already making good use of it. But perhaps the most inspiring piece you can read on Pinterest is on the HBR blog where social media guru Alexandra Samuel boils it down to: shopping, bonding, collaboration and inspiration.
#4: Got a hot team project going on? Try building a visual inspiration board on Pinterest. It’s easy and it gets everyone’s feet wet in this new medium. From there, you can figure out how it might be useful to your fans if you create a brand board for them.
The Facebook backlash begins in earnest.
For the first time since it went mainstream, there is a small decline in the number of Millennials using Facebook. Read this young adult Millennial’s reasons to leave Facebook (time waster, TMI, awkward social situations) and this disturbing article on apps enabling predatory stalking, and you start to see how this trend is developing.
#5: For every trend, there is a counter trend: watch for more influencers to trim their use of social media and start enjoying more digital privacy. Engage with them on a more intimate, exclusive basis. “What happens here, stays here” has never sounded more appealing.
Two future-proofing brand tools: content strategy and social media conductors.
When you read your favorite magazine or watch your favorite TV channel, you’re interacting with content that emerged from a careful strategy and was typically planned out months in advance. Are you doing the same for your brand? If so, kudos. If not, let’s get started. Organic’s Marita Scarfi makes the point in Forbes that there is much opportunity buried in the social media about your brand. Is your company responding intelligently to it all and assigning responsibility for follow up whether in customer service, insights or sales opportunities?
#6: build content strategy into your brand pyramid/onion/grid thing. And if you can’t hire a social media conductor, figure out who’s kind of already doing this and give them formal recognition and responsibility.