Archive for the ‘Digital Trends’ Category

A Collaborative Environment

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on December 16th, 2015

KJBlog_121615In today’s need-based society, consumer wants are at the forefront of marketing and advertising plans. But ever since the economy crashed in 2008, consumers want to buy a company’s goods or services, but don’t want to pay a lot for them. Enter the Collaborative Economy or Sharing Network, which allows individuals to share goods and services with each other. This new business phenomenon has changed the way consumers use products and services, especially automobiles and hotels, because why buy something, when you can rent it?

The Collaborative Economy, which houses companies, such as Airbnb© and Uber,™ gives individuals the ability to simply tap their phone to request, book and confirm a product or service. This economy has formed seventeen billion-dollar companies and has increased 25 percent in 2015 alone.1 It would be hard to deny the simplicity of booking your vacation with another individual instead of booking your stay online, going through a third-party vendor, or, dare I even say, calling in your reservation. Airbnb is available in over 34,000 cities and 190 countries, scoring a value of $25.5 billion.2

Gone are the days you hail a cab and wait in hopes that a car will drive by without that “occupied” light on. Uber has taken the idea of a personal driving service and the relative lower fare of a cab and combined the concept to create an in-expensive alternative that appears with a click of the “submit” button. Even with competitors edging into the mix, they are staying ahead of the game being “valued at more than $50 billion.”3

These are just a few examples of successful Collaborative Economy companies, and, it is safe to say there are plenty more out there. The landscape of product and service offerings has changed with the continued emergence and use of technology, and the rising trend of peer-to-peer offerings is just another wrench thrown into the competitive environment of organizations.






Millennials Will Shop This Holiday Season, But From Home

Posted by Jami Delperdang on December 2nd, 2015

Millennials ShoppingWith the holiday season officially kicking off last week, retail marketers everywhere are looking to engage an important generation of shoppers … Millennials. The 75 million Millennials (age 18-34) currently living in the US are expected to spend $63 billion this holiday season,1 and 77.5 percent will shop online or in retail stores over the Thanksgiving weekend.2 Furthermore, 47 percent plan to spend more this year on the holidays versus last year.3 So, how can you cash in on this potential billion dollar generation? Speak to them digitally.

Below are a few additional shopping trends for this digitally savvy group of shoppers:

They are mobile.

92 percent of Millennials will be using their smartphones to shop during the holiday season and more than half are expected to shop more on their devices than they do in physical retail stores this year.4 Provide customers with a fully-integrated mobile shopping experience; mobile web, branded app and mobile payments.

They expect an exceptional digital shopping experience.

They are heavy users of mobile web and branded mobile apps for shopping, but they demand a flawless shopping experience across channels. 81 percent of Millennial smartphone and/or tablet owners say they will abandon transactions and shop elsewhere if a mobile site or mobile app is buggy, slow or has poor performance. 5

Millennials want to find a good deal online, purchase the product in the store and scan their coupon on their phone at checkout. This integration of online mobile shopping and retail stores has lead to a new generation of shoppers who value a shopping experience that involves a number of different integrated channels.

They rely on social media and online reviews.

In terms of what influences Millennial’s holiday purchases, more than half lists word of mouth (53 percent). However, tech driven influences such as online reviews (72 percent) and social media (58 percent) illustrate this generation’s digital orientation.6

Having a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is key when looking to engage with Millennials.

They want it now.

34 percent of Millennials plan to take advantage of retailer’s same day delivery options and are willing to pay more for expedited delivery.7

The path to purchase for Millennials crosses digital, mobile, in-store and every touch point matters, Making sure your customers have the best, easier and most convenient shopping experience — no matter how they choose to shop — is the surest route to a successful holiday season.


1. PwC’s. “2015 Holiday Outlook Report.”

2. NRF.  “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

3. NRF.  “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

4. Dynatrace. “Consumer study 2015.”

5. NRF. “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

6. Influenster. ” 2015 Holiday study Influenster.”

7. NRF. “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”


Marketing Trends for 2016

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on November 17th, 2015

2016 TrendsIt’s beginning to look a lot like … that time of year when marketers discuss initiatives that worked, what could have been more effective, how marketing efforts impacted the organization and ways to improve for the new year. Many discussions will lead to 2016 marketing plans that comprise of the most effective initiatives from the current year along with new ideas and concepts. Here are three ongoing marketing trends that have made a big splash in 2015 and will continue to gain momentum throughout the new year.


Organizations are making a continuous effort to build brand awareness using digital channels to showcase user-generated content as well as turning some of their attention to building brand communities. Through forums, social media and email messages, organizations have given consumers a space to provide feedback, connect their ideas and compare product usage situations. Content has been a key ingredient in any marketing program for quite some time, and organizations are offering educational, relevant and engaging information through a variety of channels. Today’s consumers are informed, and the more information they can soak in, the better they will view the organization and its products and services.


Organizations strive to captivate their audience with innovative advertising. Implementing video into your marketing strategy can make a large impact on current and prospective customer engagement. Marketers have taken the traditional text-based ads one step further by using embedded videos in search results. With Google’s® acceptance of video-based advertisements in its search results, this new trend can soon become a norm.1


As organizations must ensure their sites are optimized for mobile devices in order to keep up with Google’s new search algorithm, mobile has never been more important. More and more people are using their smartphones for search, video and shopping among other things. This makes mobile elements, such as a responsive websites, embedded videos and other mobile capabilities an important part of any marketing strategy.

With the new year just around the corner, the time for updated marketing calendars, new budgeting spreadsheets and decisions for upcoming events has officially come. Marketers continue to search for innovative ways to entice, capture and retain customers. Utilizing content, video and optimizing mobile in your marketing strategy can help your organization keep up with current trends and stay ahead of the game.




Smart Homes Might Just Be The Future

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on July 2nd, 2015

Smart AppliancesThe debate of traditional websites vs. downloadable apps is an ongoing conversation for marketers, but the end goal remains the same… giving consumers access to the information they need, right when they need it. As we continue to compare each option and weigh the pros and cons to maximize our marketing efforts, new technologies may be monopolizing the argument for downloadable apps and making industry-wide decisions for everyone. With Google’s® recent announcement of two innovative technologies that empower specific devices with technological “smarts,” those who are on “Team Website” may have taken a hit.

Google’s Brillo operating system and Project Weave take the idea of offering consumers real-time access to information more than one step further. Brillo is a streamlined version of the Android™ mobile operating system designed for internet-connected devices such as appliances, farm equipment and vending machines.1 Imagine wanting to cook your steak a particular way and instead of reaching for your phone and looking it up on Google, just asking your stove instead. All you have to do is download the app for that specific appliance onto your device, and the convenience and ease of “smart” appliances gives consumers access to information they need, quicker than even typing it in.

Taking this innovation even another step forward comes Project Weave, a type of coded language that allows seamless and secure communication between devices.2 Imagine that when your alarm goes off, your coffee maker knows its time to start brewing. Then, 20-minutes after your coffee is done brewing, your car knows its time to start, heat up your seats and maybe even pick you up from your front door. This new innovation allows for all those things to happen. Once your appliances start communicating with one another, day-to-day life is easier. Mundane tasks are taken care of by a machine, offering consumers one of the best gifts they could have asked for — more time.

So what does this mean for websites, apps and the future of marketing? Websites may no longer be the number one place for people to visit if they can simply ask a device what they want to know. Apps linked with appliances and mobile devices might take care of all consumers’ needs and wants… in real-time. While both these innovations are in the beginning stages and have kinks to work through or features to add, the direction this technology is heading signifies a larger focus on ease for the consumer with little interaction needed on a website.





First There Were Millennials, Now There Is Generation Z

Posted by Mallory Green on June 23rd, 2015

Generation ZEach generation has come with its own label. First came the Boomers, then Generation X and most recently, Millennials, so what’s next? Many researchers are referring to this group as Generation Z, or anyone 18-and-younger, and according to AdAge, this group makes up about 2 billion people worldwide.1 With the oldest of this generation approaching their final years as teenagers and some receiving nearly $20 per week in allowance,2 Gen Z is becoming the next target audience for brands. But in an age where technology is so prevalent, what makes this generation different than Millennials, and how should marketers adjust their strategies?

First off, Gen Z didn’t come-of-age during the digital revolution like Millennials, they were born into it. Focusing on social and digital strategies is a must, and it will not likely change… ever. This generation doesn’t just have a smartphone… they most likely have a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop and iPod, and they tend to interact with each regularly. The roles these devices play in their lives are extremely significant, because they know nothing else. These are their main forms of communication — their lifelines. This generation is extremely connected. A recent study found that 73 percent were actively sending and receiving messages and/or logged on within one-hour of waking up.3 They know the scores to last night’s game, have discussed their morning plans with their friends and watched a funny video all before the rest of us have had our morning coffee.

While Millennials know their way around the “founding fathers” of social media channels, like Facebook®, Twitter® and YouTube®, Gen Z takes it further. Along with the aforementioned, they interact with Vine®, Snapchat®, Instagram® and Pinterest®. In fact, 93 percent of Gen Z said they visit YouTube at least once a day, and more than half check out the video platform multiple times a day.4 A strategically placed website banner or Facebook advertisement no longer makes the cut. To reach this group, it’s important to streamline your message across multiple social networks. Although most are using five or more social media channels, they are using each equally. To get their attention, it’s important you are visible on all of them. Successful brands create 2-minute videos on YouTube, 15-second videos on Instagram and 6-second videos on Vine, which are then posted to Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.

Similarly to Millennials, Gen Z uses the internet to gather information and make decisions. But instead of going to email first to find targeted content, they turn to social media and RSS feed apps. They believe they can do most tasks themselves with just a little research. To adhere to this mindset, it is important to offer tools that facilitate learning, whether it’s an easily digestible how-to guide or an educational video. Then, they share this new information with their friends over social media, through text messages or within a specific online community dedicated to that topic.

At first glance it may seem that Millennials and Generation Z aren’t that different. But upon further research, it is clear the level of connectedness and their preferred methods of communications is where there is juxtaposition. Their communities are online. Use these arenas for product focused promotions, educational videos and quick-read guides. Getting a jump on this group now will help you put your best foot forward as technology continues to advance with each generation.


1. Bernstein, Ruth. (21, January, 2015). “Move Over Millennials – Here Comes Gen Z.”

2. Glum, Julia. (13, January 2015). “ Marketing to Generation Z: Millennials Move Aside as Brands Shift Focus to Under-18 Customers.” International Business Times.

3. “Generation Z: A Look At The Technology And Media Habits of Today’s Teens.”

4. “Generation Z: A Look At The Technology And Media Habits of Today’s Teens.”