Posted by Kavita Jaswal on December 16th, 2015
In 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.
Posted by Rob Ropars on December 23rd, 2013
It’s that time of year again. ‘Tis the season for lists of top trends for the coming year. Rather than just give you my list of top five or 10 trends according to me, I wanted to cut through the noise. I have spent time reviewing many of the lists out there, and it seems to me we can make things easier to digest by focusing on the commonalities across the spectrum of experts.
As I looked from list to list, blog post to blog post, it became obvious immediately that there was a lot of overlap. It was also clear that the old adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” holds true. What the crystal balls are predicting for 2014 is essentially what they saw in the vapor for 2013. It’s probably also what they’ll see in the tealeaves for 2015.
In other words, if you’ve been doing marketing and/or customer support/account management for more than a few years you know what’s important. The key to our marketing/sales efforts remains providing customers what they want, when they want it and where they want it.
What’s changing is the number of delivery channels and customers’ ability to control interactions with us. Never in history have customers, whether B2B or B2C, been more empowered to research, compare and share their interests/purchases with their friends, families and colleagues.
Overall it boils down to three main areas of focus: Content, Social Media and Customers. Top level, that’s it. On the base level, each has its own challenges and “must haves” in order to succeed.
- More, more, more. You need to be establishing a flow of new, enticing content for your site, emails, etc. This requires internal/external copywriters, but you’ll benefit from increased value to customers/prospects and an SEO boost for your site.
- Mobile-friendly. Like it or not, the vast majority of people are accessing anything/everything on a smartphone or tablet. Chances are, that’s how you’re reading this blog post. So the content needs to be responsive-design focused for maximum enjoyment.
- Video. It continues to drive engagement and viral activity. Twitter’s Vine video service is surging in popularity, but you’ve only got six seconds to capture/engage with viewers: focus is essential.
- Images. Brands selling products need to leverage sites like Pinterest. That’s one of the ways prospects are filtering/searching for what they want.
- Less is more. More content yes, but keep it simple, clean and to the point. They’re not only on a mobile device, they’re BUSY.
- Diversify. Brands need to be actively set up and using all the flavors of social media out there, from Twitter to LinkedIn, to Facebook to Vine and Pinterest as noted above.
- Listen. Sleigh bells aren’t the only things you should be listening for. You’re customers and prospects are promoting, criticizing, inquiring and researching you. Are you hearing them? Are you answering?
- Cultivate. Social sharing is one of the critical aspects to brand advocacy and by the end of 2014 should outpace inbound links. You must engage, cultivate and inspire positive chatter about you.
- Following their crumbs. Brands utilizing Ad Retargeting and other methods to follow customers’ movements online increase their reach beyond their marketing and website. Follow their cookies and keep up with them.
- They’re empowered. They are savvy and focused on value. And they know what they want, how to research it and coming to you later and later in the buying process.
- Highly engaged. Using multiple channels and relying on social interactions more than ever. They’re out there and you’d better be also. And whether they’re happy or upset they’ve got a hundred ways to broadcast how they feel.
- Emotional and needy. It’s all about their needs. They are looking for top-level service front and center at all times and using their preferred channel to engage and buy.
- Mobile and active. They’re moving constantly, distracted, busy and you’re competing for the landscape of the device in their hands. Are you optimized and adapting to this reality?
- Where are they now? Can you tell when they’re in your store and speak to them in real-time using location-based marketing tools? Do you know who’s searching for your products/location, but not finding you because you’re not local search optimized?
Brands that will survive and thrive in the years ahead will be proactively listening, engaging across channels and rewarding brand advocates. The big winners will be those able to listen, understand and deliver on demand by harnessing multiple data streams and communication channels… in real-time.
As we wrap up 2013, I hope everyone had a successful and productive year. Looking ahead, let’s ensure we’re providing the best value and service to current and future clients.
Here’s to an amazing 2014 for all!
The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014
Retail Trends and Predictions for 2014
Experts Outline Key Digital Content Trends for 2014
Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends of 2014
Three Digital Marketing Trends for 2014 and Beyond
Five Hard Truths about Content Marketing for 2014