Predicting marketing trends for the coming year is a favorite sport for futurists and there is no shortage of predictions of what marketers can expect this year—some on the mark, some not so much. Here’s one set of trends worth taking a look at from integrated marketing agency, Upshot, which just released its fifth annual trends report spotlighting technological, demographic and cultural shifts combined with opportunities for marketers within each trend.
1. MILLENNIALS: CONTENTMENT IS THE NEW COOL. Marketers that want to connect with the largest generation in American history need to appeal to their different priorities and definitions of success. Coming of age at the height of the Great Recession, they continue to face a variety of economic challenges, including high levels of debt, under-employment and unemployment, which will impact how marketers approach this group desiring to live happier lives than their stressed-out parents.
2. IMAGE ASCENDANT. Brands will have to hone their visual storytelling skills in order to reflect the new image-based language of the visual web and digital world, especially on mobile.
“Digital communication is becoming very heavily weighted toward the visual, whether it’s video or image based,” Liz Aviles, vice president of market intelligence, at Upshot, a 2013 PROMO Top Shops, said. “This is influenced by mobile as more of us are consuming digital content on the go, so it stands to reason that something that’s short and visual is proving to be popular. Marketers have been waiting for that magic number of more than 50% of mobile phone users now owning smartphones.”
For example, Tide, the Procter & Gamble brand, did some fun stuff around Halloween with short Vine videos. In one, a bottle of Tide was dressed in a “scary” costume with messaging, “Stains Better Be Scared.” Another played off the movie “Carrie” with what looks like blood thrown at the Tide bottle standing on stage at a senior prom.
3. YOUR RETAIL BFF. Facing the most competitive landscape in history, more retailers will turn to personalization strategies that leverage shoppers’ growing dependence on digital and mobile tools in today’s anytime, anywhere shopping world. That personalization will be based on a host of aggregated data coming from multiple sources, including a brand’s database, then crunched into individual profiles that help craft relevant offers placed when and where the consumer’s prefers to receive them.