Technology must be
helpful, not distracting
Wearable tech will revolutionise people’s lives in 2014, but it risks a backlash if
it hinders productivity or gets in the way of real life interaction. The
combination of targeted push notiﬁcations, Google Glass and the ‘glanceable
UI’ featured by many new products will require changes to social norms and a
disciplined approach from the user to avoid becoming swamped by alerts.
Big social platforms try to
be everything to everyone
The leading social platforms are responding to challenges from competitors by copying
them. Snapchat’s success prompted Instagram Direct, while the popularity of apps like
WhatsApp and WeChat has led to greater emphasis on private messaging from the big
boys. Ultimately this is good for users, who can choose between all-encompassing
networks and niche platforms whose offering is much more focused.
Retail must work harder
to compete with online
Previously many retail environments sought only to make the shopper experience
easy and smooth. But retail spaces can no longer compete with online shopping
when it comes to seamlessness. Online will always be easier, so offline retailers
must offer an experience that is more interactive and unique.
Retailers are taking advantage of the possibilities afforded by mobile to
focus on behaviours rather than just purchases. Apps from Shopkick and
Harris + Hoole allow reward consumers for entering stores, while integrating
geo-fencing and CRM will become essential as brands move towards
longer-term, more targeted digital loyalty programmes.
Tesco’s partnership with Amscreen made headlines in 2013
and 2014 looks set to see huge process in terms of delivering
personalised experiences in-store – despite protests from
those concerned about privacy.
Tension builds between
personalisation and privacy
With brands learning more and more about consumers, there is a deepening conﬂict
concerning how this information is used. Brands want to use consumers’ location, behaviour,
social connections and physical appearance to provide messaging that is highly relevant for
them – but concerns about privacy and invasive messaging pervade. It is up for grabs now,
with 2014 likely to see things come to a head.
Lawmakers catch up
The law has inevitably lagged behind technology – with many
applicable regulations pre-dating the internet. This has led to
ambiguities for brands in their digital and social communications:
from content copyright to online promotions. 2014 promises a
tightening up of regulations as precedents are set and laws adapt.
Meanwhile responses to new technology will develop, with draconian
bans on Google Glass and drones setting a reactionary tone so far.
And these are
Harder links between
sales and social
Pinterest recently overtook Yahoo to become the fourth largest traffic driver online, a
large cut of that directly linked to product consideration. Pinterest is also the fastest
growing social site ever. The lightning quick adoption of this platform from brands
signiﬁes the growing thirst for harder sales measures through social.
Social will be at the heart of the
creative, not a bolt-on. We’ll see a move
towards campaign concepts that will
champion consumer participation within
the big idea, not around it.
The move to
The dominance of the bigger social platforms is in decline as
audiences seek out diverse, niche communities for new
connections based on passion points. Luluvise, SparkRebel,
Dudu, Gentlemint, Tradeo and Kyck are all examples
launched in 2012. The best brands will follow suit to progress
their social strategy.
The ‘second screen’, essentially
simultaneous TV and social media
usage via smartphones. has been talked
about for some time now. This concept
is now very real with nearly a third of all
Twitter users tweeting about TV-related
content. 2013 will see marketing
strategies embrace this behaviour,
leading to more integrated work.
Visual social media will be
core to brand identity
Instagram alone has grown by over 1000% in six months to reach 11 million daily users. This
signiﬁes an increasing appetite to express, communicate and consume through image over
text – a much richer medium for engagement. Brands will upskill internally and through their
agency partners to fully cater for this consumer-led trend.
Digital meets physical
Mobile now accounts for over a third of all time spent on social platforms. 2013
will see us start to embrace mobile apps that surface more information about
the people around us with common interests: Stamped, Highlight, Fribi and
Ingress are a sign of things to come.
The connected home
Companies like SmartLabs and Nest Labs are pioneering a vision of the
connected home: with locks, lights, thermostats, smoke alarms and other
home devices communicating with each other and the cloud to bring
comfort, efficiency and environmental beneﬁts. Open APIs offer exciting
possibilities in an area that has been starved of innovation for decades.
Freddie Young, Community
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