I've been thinking about this year and what it is going to bring as far as mobile marketing and client interaction. Many say that 2013 was the year of content and mobile. 2014 will most likely be the year of context, where the user has access to the content physically in front of them wherever and whenever they want it. There will not only be expanded searching capabilities, but push messaging and third-party integrations.
I came across a great infographic from Netbiscuits regarding their mobile web predictions for 2014. They made the same prediction: smartphone adoption continues its upward path, while providing even more geolocation services and connected devices to communicate with.
We can expect to see greater demand for highly customized experiences that prioritize exact user context. As one of the biggest challenges facing brands in 2014, this one movement itself will fundamentally shake-up how organizations need to interact with their customers. Brands no longer belong just to a company. They co-habit with the people who choose to interact with it, and by the end of 2014, this will need to resonate more so than ever before.
Here is a summary of Netbiscuits predictions for 2014 and some useful marketing tips:
1) Emerging Markets Grow and Expectations Shift
Smartphones are increasingly available in emerging markets. This will increase the number of people who have access to content and therefore marketing. In 2013, countries such as India saw a 13% growth in the number of smartphones, Russia saw 36% and China experienced a 47% increase. In 2014, the size of the screen will NOT be a factor in determining which experience to deliver to a customer.
TIP: When marketing online, be sure your website is always up and running. Emerging markets can experience lower performance levels so you want to be sure your site is accessibly on any device.
2) Contextual Awareness/Responsive Web Design
In 2014, people will start to own more and more devices and potential customers will get their first impression of your brand from a number of different sizes of screens. The average number of devices in a U.S. household in 2013 was 5.7. 2014 is predicted to see an average of more than 6 devices. Designing a website will change this year. You will have to take into consideration how distance from the screen affects legibility and what input methods should be supported. Responsive Web Design was big in 2013, and will continue to be. But 2014 will be the year of Responsive Design with Server Side Components (RESS).
3) Mobile will Run Customer's Daily Lives
In 2012, 66% of people surveyed said that have a fear of not being connected to their smart devices. 74% of people in 2014 are predicted to be afraid of not being connected. People crave being connected. Losing battery power, a signal or the actual phone is something users do not want to have to face. The introduction of smart watches solves this problem. They won't ever have to be without a smart device. The value of the smart watch market is expected to jump to $9.2 billion over the next 4 years.
TIP: Your web strategy must be future-proof. Consider when and how location-based services can impact customer's interaction with your brand. Will RWD alone be enough to support your mobile marketing strategy?
4) Customer's Mobile Expectations
Consumers will expect their sessions on their smart devices to be consistent. If they are not, the user will punish you by switching to another company that is. According to Netbiscuit's infographic, 80% of C-level US executives believe that multi-screen is vital to their marketing strategy.
TIP: Avoid this by considering where the weak points are in your cross-screen devices. In 2014, it will be of the upmost importance to understand the technology that is available to your customer base.
5) Give Customers an Experience That is Customized
The key to a successful online marketing strategy in 2014 will be to identify the correct component to customize analytics. Your customers want an experience on their devices that matches their lifestyle and contextual environment. 82% say big data will change the function of marketing in 2014 and 41.3% place high importance on analyzing how consumers behave online.
TIP: You must fully comprehend the speed of emerging trends and how they impact your customers. Using analytics will be crucial in the coming year.