Tata crowd-sources Tweets to create #SafariTrails video and song

Tata crowd-sources Tweets to create #SafariTrails video and song Tata Motors has launched a video campaign that has been completely crowd-sourced by compiling videos, tweets and pictures received via Twitter from off-road adventure lovers and Safari aficionados across the country.

Called the Tata #SafariTrails My Day My Way song, the music for the video has been made by Culture Machine along with artistes like Vasudha Sharma, Gaurav Dagaonkar and Sidd Coutto.

Calling it a campaign ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’, Culture Machine experimented with different avenues of storytelling for #SafariTrails by combining the videos and pictures sourced from consumers via Twitter with lyrical couplets. Digitas LBI, the digital agency for Tata Motors, had also collaborated with Culture Machine.

Twitter was the chosen platform for crowd-sourcing, while the Tata Safari Facebook page also shared about the crowd-sourcing activity with its 1.3 million fans. Towards the end of last month, Tata Safari asked its followers on Twitter to share their desired lyrics with images or videos of memorable Safari adventures they’ve been on. These tweets needed to be accompanied with the hashtag #SafariTrails and also had to be the most re-tweeted.

Check the Tata #SafariTrails My Day My Way song here

Read the complete story here: http://goo.gl/UuSoZQ

#Cannes2014 Winners from APAC

From Asia Pacific, where over 60 pieces of work had made it to the shortlist, 19 walk away with a Lion. There are three Gold Media Lions – two of which are taken by PHD India’s work ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’, done for Hindustan Unilever.

PHD India’s Kankhajura Campaign for Hindustan Unilever (HUL)

List of winners from APAC

Title Advertiser Entrant / Agency Prize 
Happy Id The Coca-Cola Company McCann Lima Grand Prix
Kan Khajura Tesan Hindustan Unilever PHD India / Lowe Lintas Gold Lion
Bank Job Brothers In Arms FCB New Zealand Gold Lion
Kan Khajura Tesan Hindustan Unilever PHD India / Lowe Lintas Gold Lion
The Smart Phone Line Samsung New Zealand Colenso BBDO Auckland Silver  Lion
Pocari Music Player Otsuka Pharmaceutical Dentsu Tokyo Bronze Lion
Rice-Code Inakadate Village Hakuhodo Tokyo Bronze Lion
Aussie Builders Mars Australia Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Bronze Lion
Dupe Yarra Valley Water Ogilvy Melbourne Bronze Lion
Banana Republic Banana Republic Iris Worldwide Indonesia Bronze Lion
Animal Strike Paw Justice DDB Group New Zealand Bronze Lion
Message Barter The Akanksha Foundation Ogilvy & Mather India Bronze Lion
Safe Driving Program Samsung Leo Burnett Sydney Bronze Lion
The Bottled Walkman Sony New Zealand FCB New Zealand Bronze Lion
Anz Gaytms Anz Whybin\Tbwa Group Melbourne Bronze Lion
Movie Emoji Singtel Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Bronze Lion
I See Fries Mcdonalds DDB Sydney Bronze Lion
Banana Republic Banana Republic Iris Worldwide Indonesia Bronze Lion
Dupe Yarra Valley Water Ogilvy Melbourne Bronze Lion
The Smart Phone Line Samsung New Zealand Colenso BBDO Auckland Bronze Lion

Anonymity is the new wave in Social Media #whisper

Whisper Mobile AppNew social apps like Whisper and Secret are riding on the innate desire of an individual to express his/her feelings without the fear of being identified. And this holds true with each of us as well; in fact psychologists say anonymity gives people a sense of security.

Apps like Whisper and Secret allow people to unburden themselves of things they may not want to tell their families, friends or anyone else for that matter. Beneath a curtain of anonymity, millions of Whisper and Secret users boldly say the unsayable, while millions of others look on with astonished, shame-faced delight. The experience may not be altogether noble, but it’s certainly addictive.

whisper-mainWhisper is one of a growing group of social networks designed to let its users post anonymous messages for the world to read. Whisper is an app that lets users anonymously share their secrets with millions of others in acts of contrition, catharsis and some degree of nameless performance. It has active users in the “many millions” according to founder Michael Heyward, and while it’s been around for two years and collected $24 million in funding, Whisper has recently seen a surge in growth and media attention, being dubbed a mashup between Twitter and Snapchat. The app is especially popular with young people as a place to gripe about relationship troubles and eating disorders.

Whisper’s iOS app, which received its biggest update since its launch in March 2012 today, is ostensibly similar to Secret, another anonymous network.

Apprehensions

Although with every new thing, there is a fear of it going wrong as well. Anonymous social networks have suffered from issues of bullying and malicious communications in the past. Whisper and Secret aren’t exceptions either. There are some apprehensions such as:

  1. Vicious gossip and valuable corporate secrets could conceivably be leaked through such apps.
  2. Whisper is moving to turn its confessions into “content” that can go viral, like posts from UpWorthy or Buzzfeed already do.
  3. Whisper may soon show ads, at a time when mobile advertisers are learning more about mobile users through location- and behavior-tracking.
  4. Whisper does track users in order to ban unscrupulous types, meaning you’re not completely anonymous to Whisper itself.

Whisper Mobile AppCleverly, Whisper encourages you to create, not just consume. In the middle of the screen sits a round button with a plus sign, enticing users to dig deep and make a Whisper of their own. Heyward, 26, says an incredible 45% of Whisper users post something each day.

The idea is certainly compelling: a backlash to the ultra-curated reputations we build for ourselves on Facebook, and something of a throwback to the blunt and gritty world of anonymous posting on sites like 4chan.

But users should remember that nothing is 100% anonymous on the mobile web — not least on a free service that eventually needs to monetize itself. Users should also bear in mind that another diverting app for sending secret information, Snapchat, had 4.6 million user names and phone numbers exposed in a security breach last December.

That’s why some in the InfoSec community are still perturbed. “It gives people a false sense of security,” says Robert Statica, a cryptography expert who also co-founded the private messaging app Wickr. He’s concerned about Whisper’s tracking of user locations, the use of device IDs and the fact that it uses TigerConnect, the API of private messaging app TigerText. (TigerText’s co-founder, Brad Brooks, is chairman of Whisper. TigerText is also a competitor to Wickr so bear in mind that Statica has some skin in this game.)

“Communication not only goes to Whisper but TigerText and their servers,” says Statica. “So forget about being anonymous. Whisper tracks you even more than the NSA does.”

Top 12 Online Trends Emerging in 2014

2014, till May has seen some interesting shifts in digital and social media marketing industry. Be it native advertising or brands acting as producers – going beyond the publisher mentality and setting up newsrooms and production studios. Netflix (“House of Cards”), Red Bull (Media House) and Amazon (Alpha House), or content marketing suddenly emerging as a cost effective and an impactful way to reach current & new customers long-term in a sustainable way.

2014 will be a year of advocacy and several trends and technologies will reach maturity in 2014 spawning considerable disruption. Here is my review and thoughts of some of the emerging trends and developments that are shaping up the future of digital marketing.

1. Integrated Marketing i.e. One Communication across ATL, BTL, Digital, Social

IntegratedMarketing-smallGone are the days when main line communication was used as a reference and in parallel a digital or social campaign was implemented.

In the recent times, some of the top traditional advertising companies have started acquiring digital and social agencies across major markets or have started building up their in-house competencies e.g. TBWA, Samsung-Cheil, Publicis Groupe, and WPP etc. Simultaneously, platforms are being developed that are assisting marketing professionals to market, manage and monitor multiple social networks and even other digital marketing (e.g. email) and that too closely integrated with the main line communication.

The Holy Grail to have one integrated approach enabled by a tool to manage your marketing is the mission for many software companies who see this opportunity.

2. Personalization, Experiential and Gamification of Mobile Marketing

Mobile E-CommerceMobile Marketing is about making the smartphone experience with your brand as Simple, Fun and Entertaining as possible.

More and more an important part of mobile marketing will be the personalization, experiential and gamification of content. They are three areas that will really develop in 2014. Mobile marketing is so much still in its infancy. The opportunities around this space are amazing. In fact, the results of a study conducted in 2013 indicate that almost 40 percent of time spent online is through some type of mobile device.

Experts predict that mobile usage will in increase in 2014. This year, when selecting your digital platforms and marketing solutions, invest in those that are mobile friendly, responsive and adaptive.

3. The Rise and Rise of Content Marketing

Content MarketingContent marketing has been around for a while now but 2014 is the year it will truly be understood with more companies using it as a core part of their marketing strategy.

Companies will gradually get that they need to think of content that their customers will enjoy, that will entertain and educate them. They need to put the customer at the heart of their communications, not their company line. More companies will see content marketing as “attracting customers through the telling of stories”.

Companies will increasingly see they need to become publishers – harnessing a range of on-line platforms to truly get their story out there.

4. Social media to become a Pay-to-Play Channel

Facebook-pay-to-play1Facebook has changed its news feed algorithm which resulted in the decline of the organic reach. Twitter is a public company that must drive revenues.

Google Plus has introduced ads. In 2014, we will see increased pressures on companies of all sizes to pay to sponsor their posts to get more visibility, as getting consumers’ attention in social media becomes increasingly difficult.

This will be hardest on small businesses, who obviously have fewer resources than big brands. Social media will increasingly become a pay-to-play channel.

5. The Rise of the Social Boomer

Social BoomerThe age 55+ demographic is becoming the fastest growing group of social media users. Two dynamics are likely at play here: (1) other demographic groups have already adopted social computing in large numbers, and (2) baby boomers have become convinced of the value of social media and are ready to climb on board.

Brands would be wise to take notice of this trend, as the boomers’ increasing online presence will open up many new marketing opportunities, especially as this demographic group continues to move into its retirement years.

6. Integration of Predictive Marketing Tools with Social Analytics

predictive-marketingThe most successful social media marketers of 2014 will have a crystal ball, known as a predictive analytics tool.

Rather than analyze data from the past, these technologies will analyze your social analytics data and use data mining, modeling and statistics to predict future performance. Check out Trendspottr and Bottlenose for the shape of things to come.

7. 3-D Printing

3d-printerThe growth of 3-D printers is projected to be 75 percent in the coming year, and 200 percent in 2015. Gartner suggests “the consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact 3-D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.”

8. Parallax / Responsive Websites

parallax websiteA perfect storm has been brewing in digital. In recent years, HTML5, device proliferation and high speed Internet have become ubiquitous. At the same time apps have changed consumer expectations from a digital experience. Marketers, meanwhile, are starting to broadly recognize engagement as a primary KPI in digital. The resulting trend is a convergence of the disciplines of UX and brand storytelling.

UX design can do more than adapt to behavior, it can shape it. With the popularity of HTML5 and CSS3 increasing with every release of new browsers, we are starting to see parallax elements more and more on websites. Parallax can be as simple as moving your background images at a different rate to elements placed on top of it, to fully scrolling sites that animate as the user scrolls. It’s here to stay, and it’s here to make your website pop and look cutting edge.

9. 57% of Marketers Use Social Advertising

Social AdvertisingThe lure of social advertising is fascinating. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others are daily destinations for millions of U.S. consumers who spend an average of 37 minutes per day on those channels.

No wonder 57% of marketers used social ads in 2013 and another 23% are expected to start using ads in 2014.

But again, only 23% of digital marketers find their social advertising efforts effective.

10. People-Based Research Makes A Comeback

People researchMarketers are addressing big data overload by seeking more human insights. It used to be called “ethnographic” research.

Now it’s “qualitative” research—asking people what they think of products and services. Expect to see marketers invest in research that brings texture to big data next year, said Barbara Apple Sullivan, managing partner at agency Sullivan.

“Yes, analytics are great for providing a screenshot and narrowing a business’ audience—but the truth is, as more and more organizations are realizing, they paint an incomplete picture,” she told CMO.com.

“In 2014, we’ll look for companies to strengthen this marriage by digging back into the gritty interviews and fieldwork that, while time-consuming, provide essential insights.”

11. Crowdsourcing Everything

CROWDSOURCEIf collaboration in-house was the trend for 2013, in 2014 collaboration will go outside of the organization. Whether it’s through partnerships with publishers or a surge of user-generated content, marketers will be surrendering even more control over their brand messages. New social media developments—such as new privacy policies at Google and Facebook, and the rise of ratings, such as Klout, which add value to the connections and likes online—are driving a new appreciation of human recommendations.

“The question ‘who I am,’ ‘what I like,’ and ‘what I think’ will have increasing value, said Fritz Desir, SVP of experience planning at agency RAPP. “Data will be increasingly recognized for what it is: currency.” As consumers begin to realize the full value of their personal data and resenting its use by social networks and brands, marketers will have to react, he told CMO.com. “Smart marketers will get in front of this by providing opportunities for co-creation, catching people doing [a brand] good, creating brand advisory boards, and facilitating people to tell stories,” Desir said.

12. Online Video Advertising on the Rise

comscore-online-video-growthOne reason marketers are putting so much effort into platforms like YouTube and Vimeo is the continued rise of advertising in online video content, leading to reliable monetization for video producers and greater exposure for brands.

Pre-video ads are becoming more common and longer in length, with 30-second ads becoming much more common than they were just a year ago.

More than 50 percent of all online traffic is now video-based, and your potential customers are embracing it with open arms.

Because more people prefer mobile devices for browsing video and other media, look for reliable mobile advertising services to increase brand exposure in 2014.

The Internet of Things (IoT) – Market Forecast

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and the Internet.

The “Internet of Things” was a major focus at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, with virtually every company introducing more connected devices. This is for good reason, as a report from last December said the Internet of Things industry would be worth $309 billion by 2020. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though, according to Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Internet-of-Things-Market-Forecast He believes the Internet of Things will create $19 trillion in “economic benefit and value” in the next decade. Where did he come up with this number? It’s not clear, but he shared some interesting numbers on the growth of Internet-connected devices: In 1984, only 1,000 devices were connected to the Internet; in 2010, there were 10 billion connected devices; and by 2020, Chambers expects there to be 50 billion connected devices.

He also thinks the Internet of Things will have a 5 to 10 times larger impact on the world than the Internet itself.

The widespread adoption of the Internet of Things will take time, but the time line is advancing thanks to improvements in underlying technologies.

  • Advances in wireless networking technology and the greater standardization of communications protocols make it possible to collect data from these sensors almost anywhere at any time.
  • Ever-smaller silicon chips for this purpose are gaining new capabilities, while costs, following the pattern of Moore’s Law, are falling.
  • Massive increases in storage and computing power, some of it available via cloud computing, make number crunching possible at very large scale and at declining cost.

None of this is news to technology companies and those on the frontier of adoption. But as these technologies mature, the range of corporate deployments will increase. Now is the time for executives across all industries to structure their thoughts about the potential impact and opportunities likely to emerge from the Internet of Things.

Internet of Things Market Forecast:

Internet of Things is going to be big, but just how big? Below let’s look at some analyst’s estimates on the size of this market and how to approach it as it moves forward in its development.

1. IDC:

  • The Internet of things and the technology ecosystem surrounding it are expected to be a $8.9 trillion market in 2020
  • The installed base of things connected will be 212 billion by the end of 2020, including 30.1 billion connected autonomous things. Intelligent systems will be installed and collecting data by this point.
  • Internet of things technology and services spending at $4.8 trillion in 2012 and expects the market to be $8.9 trillion in 2020 and have a compound annual growth rate of 7.9 percent.

2. Gartner:

  • IoT, which excludes PCs, tablets and smartphones, will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020 representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009.
  • IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services, in 2020. It will result in $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add through sales into diverse end markets.
  • By 2020, the number of smartphones tablets and PCs in use will reach about 7.3 billion units,” said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner. “In contrast, the IoT will have expanded at a much faster rate, resulting in a population of about 26 billion units at that time.”
  • By 2020, component costs will have come down to the point that connectivity will become a standard feature, even for processors costing less than $1. This opens up the possibility of connecting just about anything, from the very simple to the very complex, to offer remote control, monitoring and sensing.
  • Economic value-add (which represents the aggregate benefits that businesses derive through the sale and usage of IoT technology) is forecast to be $1.9 trillion across sectors in 2020. The verticals that are leading its adoption are manufacturing (15 percent), healthcare (15 percent) and insurance (11 percent).
  • IoT will also facilitate new business models, such as usage-based insurance calculated based on real-time driving data. The banking and securities industry will continue to innovate around mobile and micropayment technology using convenient point-of-sale (POS) terminals and will invest in improved physical security systems. IoT will also support a large range of health and fitness devices and services, combined with medical advances, leading to significant benefit to the healthcare sector. Emerging connected sensor technology will lead to value creation in utilities, transportation and agriculture. Most industries will also benefit from the generic technologies, in that their facilities will operate more efficiently through the use of smart building technology.

(More detailed analysis is available in the report “Forecast: The Internet of Things, Worldwide, 2013.” The report is available at http://www.gartner.com/document/2625419?ref=QuickSearch&sthkw=G00259115.)

3. Business Insider Intelligence:

  • 1.9 billion devices today, and 9 billion by 2018, roughly equal to the number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable computers, and PCs combined.

4. Cisco:

  • There are an estimated 1.5 trillion things in the world (no mention of exactly how they counted those things, but let’s go with it) and approximately 8.7 billion, or 0.6%, were connected in 2012. The firm expects a 25% annualized decrease in price to connect between 2012 and 2020 and a matching 25% annualized increase in connectivity.
  • This means that there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020. It is important to note that these estimates do not take into account rapid advances in Internet or device technology; the numbers presented are based on what is known to be true today
  • IoE Value at Stake will be $14.4 trillion for companies and industries worldwide in the next decade. More specifically, over the next 10 years, the Value at Stake represents an opportunity to increase global corporate profits by about 21 percent.
  • Between 2013 and 2022, $14.4 trillion of value (net profit) will be“up for grabs” for enterprises globally — driven by IoE.

(For more, visit this link http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac79/docs/innov/IoT_IBSG_0411FINAL.pdf and http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac79/docs/innov/IoE_Economy.pdf)

5. McKinsey Global Institute:

  • “We estimate the potential economic impact of the Internet of Things to be $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion per year by 2025 through use in a half-dozen major applications that we have sized.  The largest impacts among sized applications would be in health care and manufacturing. Across the health-care applications we analyzed, Internet of Things technology could have an economic impact of $1.1 trillion to $2.5 trillion per year by 2025.”

To read more insights and projections on the market of Internet of Things, please visit http://postscapes.com/internet-of-things-market-size.

Mobile Ad Spending to Increase by 75 Percent in 2014

Mobile ad revenue will rise to $31.5 billion this year.

According to eMarketer, “worldwide spending on mobile advertising will reach $31.45 billion this year, a 75 percent increase from 2013. Mobile advertising will account for nearly a quarter of total digital ad spending, according to the report.”

Mobile Ad Revenue ShareGoogle will be on top in 2014 with 46.8 percent of net mobile ad revenue worldwide. Facebook is predicted to be next with 21.7 percent, while Twitter ranks a distant third with 2.6 percent. Those companies occupied the top three spots, in the same order, in 2013 as well.

In 2014, eMarketer estimates that mobile will account for 63.4% of Facebook’s net digital ad revenues. Mobile accounted for 23.1% of Google’s net ad revenues worldwide in 2013, and eMarketer estimates this share will increase to 33.8% this year.

Mobile Ad Spending ForecastMobile ad spending around the world increased by 105 percent in 2013, according to eMarketer. The rapid pace of growth is not expected to last, however. The report predicts that by 2018, mobile ad revenue will climb to $95 billion but the growth rate will be only 22 percent.

Growth in ad spending will decline as the the digital ad space matures, according to TechCrunch, as well as from companies adopting other revenue models, such as game makers relying on in-app purchases rather than ads.

 

HCL Relationship Beyond the Contract in partnership with LinkedIn

HCL has launched a digital campaign called ‘Relationship Beyond the Contract’ in partnership with LinkedIn, and is promoting the app with a digital video.

Concept: Every relationship – be it between family members, friends, colleagues or clients and vendors – operates based on an agreement, whether written or unwritten. When it comes to business, though, not every contact goes beyond the contract.

A contract can only convert to business advantage through a value centric relationship. Following this belief, the company has launched a digital campaign called ‘Relationship Beyond the Contract’ in partnership with LinkedIn, and is promoting the app with a digital video.

Top 5 Recommended Marketing Strategies for 2014

5 Critical Success Strategies for Companies in 2014

In the last 2 years, we have seen the emergence of new technologies, innovation across various management (operational) functions as well as new out of the box entrepreneurship thought approaches.  This year will not be driven by what corporate giants would show but by innovative thinking of new kids on the block.

Here is my quick retake on these success mantras, which eventually will be the vital components of most of the successful companies in 2014. The effective implementation of these best practices would not only require a detailed ROI driven planning and implementation till the last mile but would also be dependent on successfully driving marketing and brand strategies with excellence. 

  1. Highly Personalized & Customized Customer Experience & Customer Services by leveraging Big Data
  2. Content Marketing as part of overall Marketing Strategy
  3. A 360-degree integrated multi-channel distribution strategy
  4. Developing unique brand experiences by storytelling
  5. Integrate new age customer-friendly technologies

1. Highly Personalized & Customized Customer Experience & Customer Services by leveraging Big Data 

big dataBig data is going to play a vital role in how companies across the globe will take the next leap in customer engagement as well as in customer service.

The biggest challenge of effectively leveraging Big Data would be to use the plethora of information to match with real consumer insights, preferences and behavior to improve the experience of your customers. One interesting perspective would be to use this data in analyzing the consumer behavior and think of new outcomes which their consumers would adopt. It would further create a solid foundation of CRM to establish highly customized communication and eventually build a respectful relationship with customers.

2. Content Marketing as part of overall Marketing Strategy

content marketingContent marketing has emerged as the most critical piece of an inbound marketing strategy. If we analyze some of the trends that are discussed below, there are no second thoughts that we’re poised to see explosive growth in the way businesses ‘do’ marketing.

In the year 2014, ‘Content marketing’ will have distinct importance within organizations courtesy its significantly lower customer acquisition costs. Marketing strategies would be built around it with investments being made in documented content strategies and eventually in recruitment of dedicated content marketing managers.

Another important aspect to be considered is that “mobile will overtake desktop usage within the next 2 years”. This would lead to the next area of growth for content marketing. Interestingly, Google’s recent rollout of its new algorithm, “Hummingbird,” along with the complete revocation of keyword data from Google Analytics, reinforce this prediction.

Creating content that can be read ‘on the go’ will become increasingly important, which means mobile-friendly formatting, shorter and more actionable blog posts, and considering which devices your audience will be using to access your content.

This would drive in the emergence of a customized & personalized content marketing approaches e.g. GPS-enabled smartphones will increasingly utilize location and personal-preference information to provide content (offers, content, information) based on a user’s current location.

3. A 360-degree integrated multi-channel distribution strategy

integrated-marketingCompanies may allocate different weightages to different marketing channels but that have to realize that their prospective as well as existing customer is seeing, experiencing and engaging with their brand at every possible touch point. Be it offline or online or mobile, the success mantra of any marketing campaign lies in a closely integrated and implemented campaign that leverages all possible consumer touch points.

Companies need to make a seamless combination of off-and-online elements into one single multi-channel distribution strategy. They need to deliver direct brand-to-customer interaction with the help of innovative technology (e.g. touch screens, sensors, interactive cameras, Wi-Fi- and 4G-connectivity, LCD screens), by providing opportunities to experience products (see, feel, touch, smell, hear, taste) before and during the purchasing process, by providing easy-to-understand and stimulating product presentations and merchandising solutions, by offering expert staff, consultation facilities, samples, etc. Good examples are EMart, KFC, British Airways, IBM, Converse and Adidas.

4. Developing unique brand experiences by storytelling

Brand StorytellingThere is no denying the fact that unique brand experiences are vital to engage with consumers. It stimulates word of mouth publicity that generates a lot of user-generated content i.e. in one word “viral content”.

Unlike the direct transactional sales driven communication, companies will have to utilize interesting storytelling techniques. They will have to acknowledge the fact that their prospective customer is a human being first and thus they should talk in a human language. Interesting stories using videos, blogs, consumer experiences, brand stories, pictures, songs….all would be leveraged to build a direct communication with their customers.

This drastically reduces the investment in sales and business development efforts as your products, services and brand is literally being marketed and sold by none other then your prospective as well as existing customers who have become your credible and influential brand advocates.

Not to forget – One major strategic objective of this approach besides encouraging customers create an emotional connection with your brand, will be to drive them to action.

5. Integrate new age customer-friendly technologies

hot-new-social-technology-means-businessAs mentioned above, this is an era of integrated marketing communication. Today’s customer is one of the most advanced adopters of new age technologies and tools.

And with media publishing companies leaving no stone unturned in utilizing every possible platform for advertising, it has become imperative for the companies to ensure that not only channels but also technologies are well integrated too in their marketing campaigns.

  • Mobile technology (the main platform for more than 50% of all social interactions)
  • Augmented reality for real time virtual experience
  • Compatibility of web assets with all platforms using responsive designs
  • Location based customer/prospect mapping and personalized location based marketing
  • Streaming and On-Demand media
  • Cognitive Computing will further evolve and assist companies to understand and predict consumer behavior using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

In a nutshell, marketing and branding in 2014 will require more than ever the integration of marketing into all business efforts and departments, including customer experience, design, sales, and product development by effectively leveraging new age customer friendly technologies.

10 Top Brands Driving Engagement on Facebook

Simplymeasured did a Facebook Study, which measured performance of the Interbrand 100 from May 1st to June 30th, 2013, found that the top ten most engaging brands earned high engagement by creatively positioning their products, visually telling their story, and posting regularly to keep fans returning to their pages.

Mobile Apps Trend: Flag, A Kickstarter Project promotes advertisers to offer free photo printing services

The concept of creating advertising marketplace on your website and offer free services e.g. Google, Facebook or any other top portals, are the thing of the Internet Marketing 1.0. In this new era of mobile apps, companies are creating (I term them as) utility mobile apps to offer free services to their users. And as their predecessors did, manage the operating costs by giving space for advertising.

One such interesting rendition is Flag Kickstarter Project. A new app called Flag, currently seeking Kickstarter funding, wants to do just that. Every month, users (in the US only to start) will be able to have a pack of 20 prints sent to them for free.

Of course, nothing is ever for free, not really; somehow, the paper, the printing, the shipping, all need to be paid for. Flag’s proposed funding model is twofold. Firstly, every print will have an advertisement printed on the reverse side, which is usually left blank or with the brand of the photo paper patterned on.

Flag Intro Video

This seems like an ingenious solution: when a photo is on display, the back can’t be seen, so your prints will be perfectly usable. Prints will be sent in the shape of the digital file you capture, too, so you are guaranteed to get the full image.

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