In 2014, consumers will be more dependent on smart applications than ever, and the success of brands will depend on their ability to advertise effectively on digital devices. Users are currently ahead of marketers in their omni-channel behavior. Mobile usage has skyrocketed, while proportionally, advertising mobile spends have not kept up with usage rates: For leaders there is a tremendous opportunity at hand with Artificial intelligence (AI), opening new possibilities for marketers to create more complex and targeted digital campaigns, and will be crucial in the coming year for marketers to reach and entice potential customers cutting across all channels.
Advertisers are ever-aware that consumers are becoming more and more discerning. Mobile devices and digital mediums, however, have offered marketers the opportunity to keep up with these changes. The capabilities of applications and cutting-edge platforms are continuing to expand – analyzing digital content while harnessing ambient data such as temperature, location, user movements, schedule, user habits and engagement. By leveraging these large amounts of consumer data, marketers are presented with the opportunity to create more advanced and targeted marketing campaigns.
Below I’ve outlined 3 key trends that marketers should keep in mind in 2014 in order to make the most of the ever-changing advertising landscape: and ultimately take advantage of the opportunity to surpass the competition by creating truly loyal, happy customers. Marketers that ignore these trends and do not focus on the marketing opportunity that mobile data presents will find themselves lost in the shuffle, and will ultimately miss out on connecting with their customers on a all levels.
Quantified self goes social: social tracking and personalized advertising
As consumers, we’ve all certainly become aware of the trend of quantified self via notifications across our social networks. More and more users are sharing via Facebook the details of their workouts from their Fitbits, or what they have purchased from apps on their phones. It’s no longer a trend merely for early adopters; it’s beginning to catch on with the wider population.
What we may not realize always is that this offers a massive amount of relevant data for marketers. Brands can take advantage of this data that consumers are willingly sharing via social networks to offer highly targeted and personalized products and services. For example, by utilizing shared data from a Fitbit, a marketer has the insight to know about particular end-users physical activity preferences. If they practice yoga three times a week, they will be presented with ads for yoga gear or apparel, while if they prefer jogging, they will be more likely to be presented with advertisements for running shoes and apparel and also on a deeper level when looking at broader patterns when combining data sources.
Second wave of wearable devices and new virtual assistants
In 2013, there was undoubtedly a lot of buzz around wearable devices, and numerous prototypes were released. From Google Glass-like devices to Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch, consumers were introduced to multiple types of smart devices – but none that were truly intelligent, or able to learn the preferences and behaviors of the end-user. At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, this theme only continued to ring true: wearables will improve in 2014. Not only in design, but purpose, usability while being less obtrusive to the end-user.
Specialized virtual assistant applications will be designed to work with this new ecosystem of devices and will become more widely available than previously. Siri as we know it will evolve or become a thing of the past, and also retailers will launch applications that integrate with these devices. By using ambient data to inform recommendations, virtual assistants will create truly loyal customers for retailers on whole new mediums.
Facebook Will Mature into a Marketing Machine
While Facebook has recently seen a drop in usage and popularity, it is undoubtedly still the most wide-reaching social network in the world. Facebook’s greatest advantage is their opportunity to become “smarter” through analyzing the massive amount of user data to become a highly advanced marketing machine. Facebook will utilize this opportunity to monetize via more intelligent and extremely targeted advertisements.
In December 2013, Facebook announced new high-profile hires for their artificial intelligence project, signaling that they were investing significant amounts of resources into machine learning. In 2014, Facebook will harness all of the data that its users share through artificial intelligence: data that goes well beyond classifiers such as location, and delves into a unique wide array of personal preferences. And as end-users, we will notice the amount of targeted ads within our feeds, possibly even outnumbering the amount of relevant friend updates.
Marketers must note that they have the opportunity to take advantage of the massive amounts of data on customers that the mobile and digital world presents. Artificial intelligence technologies offer them the opportunity to capitalize on this data and create truly targeted, relevant campaigns and advertisements. It will be those that choose to ignore this opportunity that fall behind – and ultimately lose touch with their customers.