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article imageOp-Ed: What you need to know about marketing today

By Alessandra Miguel-Descalso     Jun 18, 2015 in Business
Don't miss out on growing your customer or client base. Below are the four trends that shine a light on the future of marketing.
As consumers' lives become more saturated with technology, marketers have to work harder to retain their audience. But one may be shooting blindly, however, without the right kind of knowledge on the trends driving the evolution of marketing. Below are some of the trends that experts believe would continue to exert a bigger influence on the world of marketing this year and beyond.
Storytelling
We're now living in a world that marketers refer to as the "Human Era" — a period when businesses had to find a way to engage their audience on a "human level," according to HubSpot. HubSpot explained that this Human Era rose from a need among marketers to be creative in fostering brand growth and loyalty, as people become attached to their technological devices more than ever, limiting their interactions with brands.
Thus, marketers resorted to campaigns that made sure consumers see themselves the people in the ad, as if the people are telling their own story. Whether it's simply being beautiful in your own way (Dove), or not letting a rejection letter bring you down (Under Armour), campaigns heavy on storytelling are those that will surely allow brands to win over new customers, Hubspot noted.
"As opposed to the Industrial Era where big businesses cast a shadow on their audience with power, authority, and demanded respect, the Human Era urges businesses to be a peer instead of a superior. Only by individualizing an audience and building authentic connections will a business thrive in the Human Era," HubSpot stated on its website.
Allowing audiences to tell their own stories has also motivated social sites such as Facebook and Google to come up with their machine-learning algorithm that automatically organizes one's posts and photos in a kind of "reel." Although met with mixed reviews, this type of service reflects how storytelling has become a necessity for brands and their marketers — if they want to stay in the game.
Location based marketing
With the rise of mobile usage, location based marketing will reach new heights this year. According to Marketing Tech, businesses could very well take advantage of location-based marketing— which includes geo-targeting, beaconing and geo-fencing—to make most of their advertising efforts. Good thing advertisers were quick to react, with 91 percent of them reporting they would be diverting their spending on mobile ads, based on data research firm Jivox.
How does location based marketing work? For the uninformed, location based marketing involves pitching promotions to customers via push notifications and pop up messages on their mobile phones. The catch though is that these notifications have to respond to each clients' needs at that point in time when they're nearby.
One of the most common of these is beaconing. No more than one year into Apple's launching of iBeacons, beaconing has taken retailers by storm. AdWeek revealed in 2014 that Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay were one of the first few mall chains that hopped on the beacons bandwagon, offering deals to in-store customers. By the end of November, both had extended their iBeacons program to 50 Lord & Taylor stores in the United States and 90 Hudson’s Bay locations in Canada, Mobile Commerce Daily reported.
Wearable technology
Months ago, a tech journalist posted a blog on Medium.com with a gallery of all the "selfies" his fellow reporters took of their new Apple watch. "Tech Reporters and Their Hairy Wrists," the headline of the listicle reads.
"For some reason, my RSS feeder is full of frighteningly intimate, shallow depth of field pictures of tech journalists and their hairy wrists. It’s a bit grim, frankly," Tom Coates, founder of Product Club, said in jest as he prefaced the post, wherein you can view the said gallery.
"Selfies" aside, the immense craze over the Apple Watch illustrate that the technology is ripe for marketers to take advantage of and is set to take off more in upcoming years. But for Altitude Marketing, targeting in-store customers through wearables with coupons isn't enough.
Citing Starbucks as a prime example as to how brands have utilized the smartphone platform to its full potential, Altitude Marketing explained that marketing on wearable technology platforms is not just about pushing "timely offers" to customers, but also being innovative in forging relationships with them. Starbucks made the lives of its customers easier by allowing them "to pay, tip, check reward balances" and more without having to rise from their seats nor wait in line. "Whichever brands can create that kind of disruptive experience with wearables will reap the benefits for years," Andrew Stanten of Altitude Marketing noted.
Internationalization and localization
When you're at a foreign place and you know how to speak the local language, don't you find it easier to connect with the locals in the area? Speaking in the vernacular makes it easier for you to reach a larger audience. Called internationalization, this strategy has quickly grown in popularity among brands so that they do not miss out on an opportunity in various markets.
In tandem with localization, this practice is common among mobile web and application developers. With mobile growth growing at an unprecedented rate (the market penetration rate is expected to climb at a global average of 59.3 percent in 2020 according to GSMA), it has become imperative for developers to offer their global services and products with local translations.
It's no doubt one labor intensive endeavor as developers have to be able to set up content teams across continents to would localize meta descriptions and all sorts of information for each version of their apps. But there are various UI frameworks available that can make the process more economical, without compromising their target audience's needs. For example, for iOS and OS X, such frameworks come in the form of Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.
For this reason, companies that plan to enter the fray, such as Born2Invest, are making sure that their app is available in major English, as well as a number of European and Asian languages, before it hits the app stores. Dom Einhorn, the company's founder, says the company also believes that translating its app's content into languages in emerging markets in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa would allow it to aggressively capture audiences from across the globe.
Keeping up with today's fast-paced marketing milieu is definitely no walk in the park. But as long as you arm yourself with the right information, you should be able to dodge being edged out.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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