You have successfully fully integrated social media into your marketing strategy and are fully engaging with your customers through mobile and tablet devices on mobile optimized sites, right?
Digital marketers have looked forward to the "year of the mobile" over the last couple of years and it seems that finally the promise of tangible results has arrived. Increased visitors through an ever more diverse number of devices are being met with actual conversions and responses through those devices. This has seen the importance of mobile optimized sites and dedicated mobile marketing campaigns grow.
At the same time knowledge and awareness of social media and its importance in a holistic marketing strategy have also grown. Social media marketing is continually evolving and measuring returns remains challenging. However this is no longer an alien concept even in industries where social engagement and marketing strategies have previously been thought of as less relevant, for instance in the financial services sector.
For many, social media and mobile remain right on the crest of the digital wave. However more often than not now they form part of the business as usual approach to digital marketing strategy.
What potential future waves/ideas deserve digital media marketers attention though?
This is not a brand new concept however the technology is still in its infancy with much room for improvement. Many will have seen the dreaded failed demonstration of asking a smart phone whether a coat is required tonight or what the score was last night. However great lengths are being taken to improve the performance of the technology . When you consider the incredible complexities of speech factoring in different languages, dialects and accents (just for starters) it is easy to see why voice search is not the finished article yet.
For digital marketers though this poses a new set of strategies to consider. Many devices use Google to power the voice search results but incorporate their own algorithm to produce the result the user actually finally gets. If the voice search is for example "call. . . ." then the results page can be bypassed altogether and the user connected immediately to the number from the best deemed result. Voice search SEO will begin to feature more prominently for many advertisers in the future therefore as they will no longer be able to rely on featuring in the top 3 organic search results or depending on paid search ads to get their site to the top of the "voice" SERPs.
There is already a huge volume of research covering the evolving digital media consumption habits of consumers with regards to using laptops, tablet and mobile device in conjunction with watching the TV. In this on demand era of digital media consumption the growth of the Smart TV market is another future wave to watch closely.
Many on demand entertainment apps have been developed for Smart TVs such as BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm and Netflix. This type of on demand entertainment app provides another platform for advertising like we are accustom to seeing in phone and tablet device apps as well as preceding videos and clips (like with YouTube) online.
Smart TV represents a fantastic opportunity for consumers to shop online and interact with products too though. Significantly M&S announced earlier this month that they were launching an app for Smart TV, the first retailer to do so. You can imagine how well a home improvement product retailer app could work with customers able to "build" a visual picture of how their ideas look before seamlessly ordering the items from the comfort of their armchairs.
Samsung have launched an advertising platform that is currently in beta:
The gaming industry is enormous and digital marketers should be interested on a number of fronts. Consoles are now permanently hooked up to the internet and people regularly browse the web, engage with their friends through social networks and purchase on demand content and games from their consoles. This provides a great opportunity for a very integrated approach to marketing as well as whetting the appetite for advertisers to come up with increasingly playful advertising.
Rich media and video ads are not new but the future will likely involve consumers getting the opportunity to immerse themselves fully in branded gaming experiences. The benefits of enticing prospective visitors to your site, who are searching on a games console, through quirky games embedded directly into search results is clear.
In-game advertising is not new either. This "advergaming" has in the past been considered more above the line branding but in the future consumers will be able to engage and interact directly with those ads in the game and make purchases directly from them. Offering gamers a more playful and interactive experience when engaging with product offerings will increase brand awareness as well as driving sales directly.
So . . . what future waves/ideas deserve digital media marketers attention?
In short, plenty demand serious consideration, attention and thought. The future waves/ideas briefly touched upon here represent a tiny proportion of the potential future waves digital marketers should be aware of, consider and factor into their digital marketing strategies. The increased connectivity of digital media combined with technological advancements in the interfaces and devices that allow users to experience and browse through product offerings, mean the possibilities are enormous. What is certain is that the future of digital media marketing will be exciting, complex and challenging though.