27 Million units of content are shared online on a daily basis and according to The New York Times Customer Insight Group, 85% of people surveyed said that reading other users recommendations and feedback enabled them to make a more informed decision. With people now automatically turning to the internet to ask for feedback, research their choices and look for recommendations from other users it is a short hop to the idea that recommendation engines, social networks and other types of sharing will become a major focus for marketing.
With sharing reaching an all time high with no expected downturn in the future for now, collaborative consumption via group buying sites will increase, with group buying moving into the utilities section looking at group buying of electricity, phone, internet, petrol and other daily consumptables on the increase.
We will see the rise of collaborative business opportunities, as we will see businesses begin to collaborate more often in local directories, local mobile marketing, deals, and in ways that take their marketing outside the box with new cross promotional opportunities. Local Marketing will take on a whole new flavour as collaborative local businesses market their businesses using complementary cross promotional partnerships by branding online destinations using discounts, contents and events.
“Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging,” explains Nathan Lands, creator of Gamification.org and co-founder of Gamify, which will soon launch a product that allows individuals and brands to gamify their own virtual spaces. Gaming is now a part of the mindset of the new purchasing generation and we will see more gamification of sites including social networks and business websites as we see new ways to reward customers for taking action. Imagine rewarding a customer with a gold star or a point each time they took the step in your call to action and then collating this information in order to reward the user with a gift when they reach a certain number of stars or points? A little like taking the reward card online via mobile phone or tablet.
Social Media Influence
I can see your social media influence (how widespread your listening public are online) becoming an influencial factor offline and on, as more companies not only reward the big players with lots of freebies, better airline seats etc… but adding in those with large reach and influence online for Facebooking, Tweeting, Plusing and YouTubing their recommendations and gratitude.
With too many sites getting away with too many false promises, people who are not who they say they are, hacked personal email and bank accounts etc.. we will see the subject of digital security come up more often and more regulatory bodies, perhaps in the future a we will even see a system governance and governing body – perhaps not in 2012, however certainly in the very near future.
Social Media Will Die Out
Shock! Horror! …what I really meant is, that the idea, belief that social media is a fad AND the words used to define social media marketing will change completely into just marketing as all marketing become social. As far as I am concerned the world has found it’s voice and will never again lose it, this for me means that this kind of marketing and the daily rituals associated with customer service and building relationships with our customers and clients and social marketing will become the way marketing is done in all business. There will be an increase in ways to do this as more agile minds come into play and we will see the rise of the branded online customer experience rise.
Video marketing will become a major influence with new sites dedicated to digital advertising will rise up and challenge television ads, asking the question: “Whose video ad will get the most recommendations?” and rewarding users for voting on their favourite and sharing it.
Social and digital platforms user information will be aggregated for businesses to use as research for product development and marketing strategies, after all this is where your audience is and this is where they are sharing their questions, recommendations, likes, dislikes…
The Rise of the Social Business
The social business is one that realises that their business must transform and include their employees, their customers, clients, partners in fact everyone in their sphere of influence as a part of their social marketing circle. The social busines recognises that each of these groups of people have influence and a voice off and on social media and that each and every voice counts as a vote for or against their company, even a sacked worker has a voice. Organisations who take this seriously and make the adjustments needed to the way they do business will thrive, those that do not.. well you get the drift.