Each January, experts from every industry publish blog posts and articles that list their predictions of what’s going to happen over the next 12 months and how those changes will affect the industry.
This is not one of those posts – and not just because it’s May. We all know that marketing has shifted from offline to online, from analog to digital, and that marketing has become more personal.
Based on my research, there are 3 big changes that are already here but will continue to affect marketing over the next few years as they become more widespread.
1. Web and mobile sites will use responsive design to focus on the user experience
Responsive design means designing your website, tablet site, and smartphone site from one platform to keep the user experience consistent while taking advantage of each platform’s unique features.
Think about how you access the Web on each device. You navigate websites from a computer with a cursor, but you move around tablet sites by tapping and swiping. On your smartphone, you navigate a mobile site by tapping on a small screen.
What this means for you: With the explosion of tablet and smartphone use, especially when accessing email and the Web, it is critical that you have mobile and tablet sites that provide a great user experience.
2. Marketing will go beyond real-time
Ever hear of an Anticipatory Computer Engine? It will allow your smartphone to offer you relevant news, information, and recommendations based on where you are, what you’re doing, and what you’re talking about.
A San Francisco-based company called Expect Labs is developing a MindMeld iPad app, which will capture ambient audio, visual, and location-based information to interpret “meaning and intent from multiple different streams of sensor data.”
What this means for you: Yes, it’s kind of creepy, but think of it this way: one day, we will no longer have to search for information. The information we want will come to us, and, conversely, the information you are sharing online about your service will be delivered automatically to someone who is just sort of thinking about it.
3. Data will drive marketing
Analyzing and using big data for a variety of purposes will continue, but for now, there are quite a few tools at the small business owner’s disposal:
- Ad retargeting: Ads that appear in your browser after you leave a website without taking action (maybe you put 5 items in your Gap shopping cart but left the site without buying them).
- Predictive recommendations: Tailored recommendations based on products you have looked at or purchased (after you buy a book at Amazon.com, you always get recommendations for other books).
- Location-based social and mobile marketing: Mobile ads that appear from local retailers and merchants depending on your location (an offer from the pizza place you are about to walk by at 6pm).
What this means for you: Understanding someone’s behavior and interests helps you deliver tailored offers and messages when they are most receptive. In other words, you are marketing to people who are already qualified leads.
Are you already using some of the above technology? How has it improved your marketing?
Image courtesy of civilsociety.co.uk