Digital Megatrends ... the Future is So-Lo-Mo ... by Peter Fisk


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Digital business and marketing trends for 2012 and beyond ... transforming possibilities, physical and digital, large and small ... and driving the rise of the next generation of business .... the "gamechangers"

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Digital Megatrends ... the Future is So-Lo-Mo ... by Peter Fisk

  1. 1. +genius digital megatrends … the future is so-lo-mo What are the main digital marketing trends this year? This is the year when digital platforms - and social media marketing in particular - “come of age” for business. The big trends are: Trend 1: All business is digital There is no longer a divide between “digital” businesses and “physical” businesses. Every physical business must have a website, an email contact, a Facebook page, a twitter feed. And every online business needs to get more physical, create offline events, locations, and be human. The best businesses today “fuse” physical and digital – search online, try local, customise interactively, deliver fast, support 24/7, attend physical events, then continue in virtual communities. From Apple (stores that are temples of possibilities, to iTunes and App Store) to Zappos (the world’s greatest show retailer, that understands why women can never have enough shoes), the best customer experiences are now physical and virtual. And for all those slow traditional companies – don’t worry - digital does not need to be expensive, it might actually reduce yours costs, as well as increase your reach and revenue! Trend 2: Business gets social In 2007 consumers got social, with the rapid growth of Myspace, Facebook and Linkedin. In 2012 business started to catch up, recognising that consumers (and B2B customers) live in a new place, and that they need to go find them, participate in their communities, influence them in new ways, add value and earn their trust and respect. In 2012 some of +genius
  2. 2. +genius the world’s largest marketers – like P&G – shifted the majority of marketing investment from advertising to digital. Ads (and ad agencies) are no longer the kings … However social is more than digital. It is about connecting people, enabling them to share ideas and interests, to achieve more together. And indeed it can be physical as well as virtual, think of your coffee shop, or football supporters, or best friends; think of Avon or Oriflame and the power of people to people selling physically too. Therefore social marketing is equally about PR, events, collaboration and real community building. Trend 3. The “So-Lo-Mo” consumer Consumers live in a So-Lo-Mo world … influenced by people like them (Social), they want more relevance (Local), where and whenever they want it (Mobile). This is not about technology, it’s about how people behave. Socially, they are sparked by a friend’s “like” on Facebook, a tweet, or blog recommending their new purchase with passion “I want one too”, or even a real chat … Locally, they want Foursquare or Groupon to find them the best offers, the personalisation of their local store, or supporting local businesses … Mobile, they want to do it instantly, not influenced (or rather interrupted) when watching a movie at night; but when they are in the supermarket, or on the street, using the power of technologies like GPS tracking and QR Codes. The secret is not to think of each of these factors separately (even if they have different agencies to help you), but to connect them together … like consumers do. So-Lo-Mo Consumers: The fusion of Social, Local and Mobile Marketing Trend 4: Small is beautiful Small companies out-think and out-pace large companies. Niche segments matter more than geography. Business is no longer about scale and range anymore. Traditional market borders have disappeared. Consumers are no longer satisfied with just what’s available locally, you can find the best, the cheapest products at the click of a mouse, somewhere in the world, and delivered in days. A small Latvian retailer, or Polish accountant, or supplier from Hyderabad, specialising in a certain customer segment or product type can be the best in the world. They don’t need lots of people, they don’t need lots of money. They just need smart thinking, good networks, and the use of +genius
  3. 3. +genius technology. Forget trying to serve average customers with everything, that just makes you average too. Be special for a certain type of people. From thrash metal music to palates lovers, the world is made up of niches. Christian Audigier, for example, knows that he doesn’t need a big company to win globally, and has three people managing the incredibly successful licensed Ed Hardy brand. Trend 5: From desktops to mobile In 2010 5% of search (by Google, Yahoo etc.) was on mobile devices. In 2011 it was over 10%. By 2014 it will be at least 50%. Digital is no longer just about websites – complex environments requiring time to dwell, browse and interact. They have a background purpose to build brands, provide background experiences. Digital marketing is primarily mobile - all about time and place – targeting customers when and where they make decisions. The average consumer (and business) decision is made in 2.6 seconds, so you need to be there when it matters. In-store incentives rather than general discounts, QR codes not coupons, flash sales, pop-up stores, dynamic pricing, personalised offers are what matter. Your smartphone will soon be your credit card too, and your brand really will be in people’s hands! QKies: Dutch cookies made personal and surprising with QR codes Trend 6. Promoters not promotions People don’t trust brands anymore. They trust other people like them. Word of mouth, email to email, people follow their friends, heroes and celebrities … they are most influenced by other people like them, or who they aspire to be like. Many companies measure it too, rather than simple satisfaction, developing “net promoter scores”. And the great thing is that advocacy if free. It isn’t achieved through big budgets, but through great products and service, relevance and emotional engagement. Marketing is now about pull not push, emotional more than rational, building relationships between customers not with customers. Therefore, marketing is about encouraging advocacy, making recommendation easy, like Tripadvisor, or even rewarding it, with systems like Pay with a Tweet. Brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, or even Mercedes Benz, realise they don’t need to advertise to new customers, instead focusing on existing customers who recommend them to their friends, with better results. +genius
  4. 4. +genius Trend 7: People want to participate Customers really will do the work for you. They know their world better than you, and are more than happy to give you their best ideas. They want to help you develop better products together. And if they really like you, they want to help you become more famous and successful too. YouTube proved that if you create the right infrastructure, customers will create the content for you. But now look at Threadless the cool t-shirt company where customers design, customers select, customers review, and buy more than they ever did from Gap. Or a simple brand like Lego, where 60% of users now upload a photo of the fantastic model they have just built, and then want to do better having looked at the photos of others. Forget making products, Lego’s real advantage is in customisation and community building. Crowdsourcing and co-creation are the smart ways to innovate, to personalise, and to build loyalty with your customers. Trend 8: Express myself Look at me, listen to what I say … From the Arab Spring to reality TV shows, people want to express their talents and opinions like never before. Wordpress has enabled anyone to write a blog that is just as professional as any newspaper columnist, and more believable. Ray William Johnson has the most watched video-blog (vlog) in the world, with 6 million fans following his YouTube show, and making over $1million income in brand endorsements and linked advertising. Companies too, as traditional as IBM and McKinsey, get their people to write blogs and vlogs - faster and topical, more human and engaging that sterile white papers and corporate speak. Pinterest became a sensation of 2012, as the shift from words to images continued, and people expressed themselves by the images they curate and share. And there are many more – from Paper Li to Scoop It, Fancy to Tumblr, you can be the new Al Jazeera or Oprah Winfrey, without leaving home. Anybody can be a star of the digital world. It doesn’t require contacts or investment, just attitude and confidence. +genius
  5. 5. +genius Trend 9: Power shifts and data mining Power has shifted from business to consumer … consumers walk into a store and typically know far more about the products they want to buy than the sales assistant. They’ve checked it out online, they’ve compared prices, and they’ve already largely decided what they want. They can shop anywhere in the world, 24/7, instantly. Consumers are informed, intelligent and in control … But business can also benefit from this huge amount of data too. From EPOS store systems to website analytics, from behavioural economics (the new market research) to neuroscience (brain scanning) we can learn so much more about consumers – micro-segmenting them, anticipating future needs, personalising and targeting them one by one. Amazon, Google, Tesco, Star Alliance, are able to surprise and delight consumers by knowing them better. Trend 10: Rethinking your business model The most significant digital trend of all, the one that turns millionaires into billionaires, is the proliferation of new business models. That sounds complex, but it simply means the way the company works with its suppliers, partners, distributors and consumers to make money. Digital technologies enable incredible creativity. From advertising-based models like Google and Hotmail (free to consumers, paid by advertisers), to subscription models like Kindle and Zipcars (pay monthly not per product), exchange models like eBay and Zopa (connecting buyers and sellers), and “freemium” models like Farmville and Spotify (initial product is free, but pay for upgrades later), digital has transformed how every type of business works, and wins. However this requires some real thought as it shapes the nature and direction of your whole business. It’s a strategy and innovation challenge, but which can transform a business, be itself the source of differentiation from competitors, and create a step-change in performance and profitability. Zynga’s Farmville attracted 200 million monthly users, and $20bn in 4 year s +genius
  6. 6. +genius What can we expect in the future from digital marketing? Future trends (but the future is coming fast) include … Future trend 1. Human and personal. Digital has the power to be more human than a physical experience, but at the moment it is still functional and technological. It needs better design, clever simplification, and to become more intuitive. “Gamification” will help make businesses more like games imagine a retailer like Angry Birds? Or a bank like World of Warcraft! Just like Steve Jobs said “when technology gets out of the way, then something magical can happen”. And it can be more personal too. Canada’s Jones Soda is able to put a unique personal label on ever bottle of soda, there are no two Mini Coopers the same, Dell customises every computer and reduces costs, so imagine if every digital experience was truly personal, both as itself, and enabling physical world to be more relevant too. Business gamification: Imagine a retailer designed like Angry Birds? Future trend 2. Platforms and layers. Brands will build long-term platforms rather short-term campaigns. This allows more interaction, participation, and communities to build. Look at Coca Cola’s “Live Positively” platform, or the “Smarter Planet” platform from IBM. With digital you can create an enduring hub for activities which have a bigger story, can stand out more, and can have more impact. “Layers” are then constructed through which people can search down through different levels of content, using words and video, interaction and personalisation, creating a +genius
  7. 7. +genius “virtual reality” experience of discovery and education – read a magazine, then use a QR code to watch a video that explains more, click to buy, or download a tool to help you. Look at Vook which is layering in the digital book world, New York Times in newspapers, or Layer itself, an exciting app to get you started on your iPad. Future trend 3: Crowds and Clouds In the future all the best ideas will be created by many not few. “Crowdfunding” is the new way to form of venture capital – from Hollywood movies, to Obama’s election campaign, to raising a few million to start your own business – with hundreds of passionate micro investors all with a passion for your success. “Crowdsourcing” is rapidly becoming the best way to develop new products. Wikipedia kick started the idea that together we know more than any of us individually, P&G now develops the majority of products in partnership with customers and independent designers. Clouds meanwhile are the future of content. From music to movies, documents to data, we soon won’t need computers, or even tablets any more. Just the screen, the interface, and the connection. Devices will therefore get incredible thin, light, and cheap. We won’t even need our own. On every surface, wherever you are, all the knowledge we ever need can be accessed in seconds from the cloud. This transforms technology, but also business models – we won’t buy computers, instead subscribe to the cloud. It will change the way business works, but also the way it markets and engages people. Get Siri-ous … the fusion of human and digital, physical and virtual Future trend 4: Simple and Siri Apple’s iPad designer Jony Ive believes in one thing more than anything else – simplicity. Getting rid of the crap, and making things easier and better. Simplicity is about human intuition, but also about connecting ideas and experiences. It is about aesthetic design, enabling easy navigation, clear information and getting the most out of +genius
  8. 8. +genius what you do. Every product, every customer experience could be hugely simplified with the help of digital. And then there is “Siri”… the sensual, human voice of the digital world … using voice recognition to remove the hassle of type and touch, to talk to you like a real person, to think for you with the help of algorithms and artificial intelligence. But the real question is what happens when Siri gets really smart, and asks “who am I?” Does social media really matter to business or is it overrated? It matters more than you can imagine. Facebook is a fad, and a Facebook page is a short-term action. But beyond that social media will change the fundamental models of markets, of business, and marketing. Facebook is a fad? Sure! A $104bn fad, I know … but within five years it will be gone replaced by more personal social networks that have more relevance to individuals and to marketers too. Remember social media is more than social networks … it’s about collaboration and interaction, being human and personalised, connecting customers with customers, building advocacy and reputation. Networks are just one of the tools. New tech, unlimited access, social media – what does it mean for business today? It means a fundamental shift in how we all do business, and also the experience for all of us as customers and consumers ... Economic crisis, the rise of India and China, the faltering Euro – these are just “crying pains” of a world that is being transformed by the connected power of technology.  Me not you … power to the customer not the business, brands defining people not products, solving problems not selling gadgets, doing business where and how I want, not at your convenience. This impacts everything from branding to innovation.  Push not pull … customers don’t trust brands, and don’t want to be interrupted by ads on TV, marketing is now about engaging people on their terms, when and where and how they want, and typically by building platforms not campaigns.  Few to many … customers know far more than a few people in business, so use the power of their collective ideas to co-create, to co-develop, to co-promote, to co-support, and co-reward.  Global and local … every market is global, there are no borders anymore. Forget thinking about your “home” market as defined by geography, go where the growth is. And when you get there, act local. +genius
  9. 9. +genius  Good and profitable … business need to do more for people and society, designing products and business models that “make people’s lives better” and ultimately make the world a better place, whilst making money too!  Today and tomorrow … think shorter-term than ever before, more agile and responsive, tactical and action focused – whilst also having a longer view as to how you can shape markets and the future in your own vision. Getting started. Taking the best ideas most relevant to your business What are your 5 tips to get started in digital marketing? Ok very simple, very practical 1. Just try it yourself … sign-up to Facebook, play Angry Birds, start Tweeting, buy yourself an iPad, download Flipboard, get into Pinterest … and see what it’s like! 2. Get started … get your business online, with a website, with a Facebook page, a Twitter account, start selling on Amazon, and open yourself up to customers. 3. Then focus … once you’ve learnt a little, about what customers want, and about others businesses too, then you can focus – what will you be great at digitally? 4. Connect people … your customers share a passion – not for you, but what you enable them to do – connect them with each other, add value like never before. 5. Learn and evolve … digital keeps evolving every month, every year. Don’t be afraid to keep changing, reinventing, testing … join the revolution! Jump in! © Peter Fisk 2012 +genius
  10. 10. +genius Peter Fisk is a “gamechanger”… making sense of incredible change, learning from a new generation of brands and business, digital and physical, large and small … inspiring and enabling you to innovate and win in the exciting new world of business. He is a bestselling author and inspirational speaker, combining the most inspiring ideas and practical action, and an in-demand advisor to business leaders around the world. Peter leads GeniusWorks, a strategic innovation business based in London and Budapest, Istanbul and Dubai, that works with senior management to “see things differently” – to develop and implement more inspired strategies for brands, innovation and marketing. Gamechanger is a strategy accelerator for leadership teams, Innolab is a facilitated innovation process based on deep customer insights and creative thinking, and BrandOptima is a platform to develop better brands and brand portfolios. His next book is The Gamechangers …about the new generation of businesses - from Alibaba to Zipcars, Abercrombie to Zynga - who are transforming markets with bolder brands, smarter innovation and clever marketing. They play by different rules, embracing the growth of emerging markets and power of digital networks, human design and social entrepreneurship, and they win with better results. His previous books included Creative Genius brings together entrepreneurs and artists, rockstars and rockets scientists, in "the essential guide to innovation for leaders, visionaries, and border crossers". Marketing Genius explores the left and right-brain approaches to competitive success (translated into 35 languages), Customer Genius describes how to build a customer-centric business, Business Genius is about inspired leadership and strategy, whilst People Planet Profit explains how to grow, and be good. Peter grew up in the remote farming community of Northumberland, in the North East of England, and after exploring the world of nuclear physics, joined British Airways at a time when it was embarking upon becoming “the world’s favourite airline” with a cultural alignment around customers. He went on to work with many of the world’s leading companies, helping them to grow more profitably by becoming more customer-centric in their structure, operations and leadership. He works across sectors, encouraging business leaders to take a customer perspective, and learning from different types of experiences. His clients include American Express and Aeroflot, Coca Cola and Cooperative Bank, HSBC and, Marks & Spencer and Microsoft, O2 and Orange, Philips and Red Bull, Shell and Tata Steel, Teliasonera and Turkcell, Vitra and Virgin, Visa and Vodafone. He was also the transforming CEO of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the world’s largest marketing organisation. He led the strategic marketing consulting team of PA Consulting Group, was MD of Brand Finance and partner of The Foundation, before founding his own business, the Genius Works. He was recently described by Business Strategy Review as “one of the best new business thinkers” and is in demand around the world as an expert advisor and speaker. Find our more at +genius