Info-Currents Weekly

Emerging Trend: Apple’s iBeacon service, an opt-in geo-location system, will win over NFC (near field communication) technology with its ability to map locations in detail.

Implication: This represents an opportunity for OOH (out-of-home) marketers who are looking to bring their targets into stores. For instance, a retailer such as Best Buy will be able to push offers to those shoppers listening to music in the park and invite them to the nearest location to check out the latest digital music players.

Action: Build or partner with apps that leverage iBeacon technology. Target iPhone and other iDevice users.

Online Ads Improve with Offline Cues — Info-Currents April Issue

Info-Currents April issue went out to subscribers at the beginning of the month. Here’s a sneak peek at the trends covered in April. If you would like to sign up for this monthly future social media trends newsletter, click here

Emerging Trend: Online/mobile advertising will improve with cues from offline data.

Implication: Location-based services will inform mobile and web-based services about users’ purchase intent. Consumers will get more relevant ads and coupons served to them on their mobile devices based on their physical paths.

Action: Watch retailers that integrate mobile payment systems such as Google Wallet and Square. Consider partnering with players digital marketing software companies such as Kenshoo and Proclivity Media. They will have the most detailed data on consumer decision journey.



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What’s Next? Five Digital Trends To Watch

Social media is competitive. Brands need to break through the clutter achieving a delicate balance of creativity and innovation. To get ahead in the game, we are always wondering about the next big thing.

New York Times (online) broke the news about Google’s hands-off car, specifically engineered to reduce human error in driving and increasing drivers’ time for ad exposure and search. The news come on the heels of a recent Forrester report on iPad users, in which the analyst is encouraging readers to think of additional surfaces and dashboards besides portable devices where online marketing could play a role.

Will brands be communicating from dashboards in the next three months? We may need a bit more time for that. However, it would be smart to start putting the following pieces together when devising digital strategies:

Social media advertising will compete with authentic influencer chatter:  The new Twitter ads are a testament to increased targeting and customization in online advertising. They also point to the competition between sponsored vs. real recommendations in social media. Will your audience click through your sponsored tweet or an influencer’s retweet? In either case, the results will be better than 0.02% click-through rates.

Semantic search caters more closely to consumers’ needs: Google’s instant search suggestions improve brand impressions and make it easy for consumers to articulate and find what they are searching.  However, there is room for improvement in search result precision. The semantic search engine Hunch asks users 20+ questions about their likes/dislikes upfront. Based on these responses, Hunch offers recommendations on what to read, visit and taste, among other choices.

Location-based marketing will spark loyalty programs:  There is more to the simple genius behind FourSquare than check-ins and special offers. We will see a convergence between loyalty marketing and geo-location. Imagine being offered a coupon that converts you from a shopper to a buyer, the fifth time you visit the same store.  

The sandwich generation will turn to e-commerce:  Time and resource strapped boomers who feel sandwiched between the demands from their children and parents will increasingly revert to search engines and e-commerce sites to do their shopping, to find services and to place orders.

Digital will play a bigger role in teens’ relationship with TV: According to eMarketer, teens (12-19) have a personal purchasing power of $176 billion. The number of hours they spend watching TV exceeds the minutes they spend watching online videos. Meanwhile, they also defer to the Web and to their friends before making purchasing decisions. (See Daisy Whitney’s article for Cynopsis Media for more details.) In this landscape, digital media properties (e.g., Web sites for TV shows) will compete with established social networks, hosting and harnessing teens’ peer-to-peer conversations. They will have to bring rich experiences to their tech-savvy audiences, offering content teens cannot readily find on the big screen.


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