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2015 – The Year of the Connected Customer6 min read

6 min read

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][text_output]Being a marketing manager these days certainly isn’t an easy job. Everything is constantly evolving and as each day passes, more tools are being created to reach out to customers. The Internet is expected to hit 3 billion users in 2015, that’s a huge audience to try and dissect and market to. Brands need to be able to not only approach customers from every angle but in a way that makes sense on all platforms and channels that your customers want to use. 1-groupM

People expect to be able to consume information wherever they are and through whatever device they are using, whether that’s a laptop, mobile, tablet or wearable device. GroupM, estimated that next year would see digital ad spend increase 12.7 per cent to £8.06bn. The real question is not how much will marketers be spending next year, but what will they be spending their money on and how will they appeal to the connected customers of 2015?

A blended reality2-econsultancy

The gap between online and offline is becoming much smaller. Sometimes connected customers are unable to distinguish between the two. It appears people like to switch back and forth between online and offline. A recent Multichannel Retail Survey found that ‘40% of consumers said it was ‘very important’ to have purchase choices both offline and online.’

From 3-teradatanow on online and offline will be forever connected. People can’t seem to go a few minutes without being touched by some form of advertising, whether that’s digital or direct. This gives marketers the opportunity to stay continuously connected with their audience, promoting the need for real time analysis and data collection in order to respond to emerging trends. According to ‘78% of marketers report feeling pressure to become more data driven.’ The challenge is how to stay connected in a meaningful way rather than bombarding customers with unwanted sales tactics.

Content is King, again

We are all becoming tired of this phrase being repeated over and over but it’s time to accept it’s here to stay. Content is more than just king, it should be the backbone of every marketing strategy. It is crucial for every marketing platform, and with only a few moments to catch the attention of connected customers, it needs to be outstanding. With the ever increasing digital ‘noise’ brands need to find a way to make their content stand out. According to Smart Insights, content marketing is the most commercially important digital marketing trend for 2015.

Marketing channels will blend seamlessly into a connected marketing ecosystem, with each channel having a direct influence on another. Expect total integration of all marketing activities in 2015. Content is important for every channel, the way things are worded is crucial in a world filled with billions of messages. 4-MediaNovak

Connected customers effortlessly jump from one channel to another, within a few minutes they might have checked social media, clicked on a link, performed a search in Google and clicked on a PPC ad. They may have passed an offline advert and then gone online to look up a product. On the flip side, it can easily happen the other way around. ‘72% of UK mobile users go to an apparel store after being exposed to a related mobile ad (Media Novak).’

Extreme segmentation is also expected to be a big tactic in 2015, as marketers try to find out who exactly their customers are, what type of content they like to consume and which channels they use to consume it. In such a competitive marketplace, brands need to find connected customers that have a strong enough need and desire for their products. Instead of segmenting customers into groups, we will see a greater shift to talking to the individual customer and building an experience around their needs.

Brands as storytellers and publishers

Businesses can no longer get away with dull corporate jargon and uninspiring filler copy. Today’s connected customer expects more from the brands that they use and follow. One thing that is constantly being talked about and praised is the impact of storytelling, it does so much more than simply convey information, it elicits an emotional response that builds a foundation for a longer lasting relationship. 5-RobertMcKee Stories make brands memorable, real and strengthens the relationship brands have with their customers. Stories are certainly nothing new, we have grown up being told stories from a young age. People are used to being delivered all sorts of information via stories and the connected customer is no different, stories just need to be able to be told across all platforms.

In 2015 expect brands to take on the role of storytellers as well as publishers in their own right. This is already being done but next year it will be on a larger scale, a healthy chunk of marketing budgets will be spent on delivering ground-breaking content.

Mobile domination

6-codarcMobile usage has soared in the last few years but many marketers suspect 2015 will see mobile overtake desktop as the primary search device. All content should be viewable on mobile devices as this is mostly where information gets consumed, and most importantly, shared. According to a British research firm Coda Research Consultancy, U.S. mobile data traffic will grow at a rate of 117% through 2015.

The speed in which people can access information on their mobile phones is set to get even faster. We already have 4G networks and plans for 5G are already underway. This means people will expect to buy products and consume content in seconds. People were initially reluctant to make purchases on mobiles but this fear is gradually being forgotten. They want to be able to browse shops in reality and shop online on their mobiles simultaneously.

The connected shopper is reachable most of the time these days. Accessing the internet throughout their daily routine, when they wake up, while they are commuting, during breaks at work and in their leisure time. Not only that, customers may move between devices and between online and in-store in one single transaction, picking up user-generated content and reviews along the way. The most important message for brands is to stop thinking about devices and platforms and start mapping out your customer experiences to reveal where your biggest opportunities may lie.[/text_output][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][visibility type=”hidden-desktop”][gap size=”20px”][/visibility][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”ups-sidebar-2″][/vc_column][/vc_row]