The world as we see it today is an evolving and rapidly changing place. What was news yesterday is history today. In such a dynamic environment, change is the only thing constant. And this change is across all spheres of our lives, touching us at various touch points around us. It will reflect in our habits and the lifestyles we maintain. So it is only natural that it will also have an effect on our media consumption and interaction. As we discuss this, traditional media still continues to remain the mainstay of a large number of brands, and the basis for trying to reach a large mass of people.
But consumers today are a discerning lot, and more and more brands are seeing merit in having niche audiences. This is where the internet comes in and weaves it magic. It enables marketing to the relevant person, at the right time and at the right occasion. This is where the future lies. Online marketing is not about a one size fits all approach. It is about exclusivity, and the recognition that people are unique. This is exactly what social marketing and mobile marketing believe in endorsing. The beauty of social marketing is that it is non-intrusive and at the same time can touch your consumer at a very vital touch point.
Also, with the growth in social networks and the need for the world to maintain elaborate virtual lives; this is one space that will only grow. In 3-5 years I can imagine many more social networking sites springing up, and some catering to extremely niche audiences. This will spell a boon for marketing people, since they will be able to talk to whom they want, and cut away the clutter. Also, the kind of communication will be very experiential and feedback oriented. Brands will be able to interact with their consumers and take them into their world.
Shopping today is all about the experience, and what you are going through while you go through the motions of a seemingly mundane activity. It is about being surrounded by a plethora of choices and having fun while deciding which one to pick up. The consumer today sees new sights and sounds around him, and brands and products are trying to talk to him through every possible touch point . This makes for a very experiential form of marketing, which the internet will pioneer. The mobile is another tool that will be a great media form in the coming years. This is a nascent space just waiting to boom.
The best part is that there is a high degree of measurability attached to this medium, and it will be possible to measure the exact responses to communication, and then the desired response to this. What will also drive this is the need for ease and convenience that will continue to grow. So having your world on your fingertips will be even more critical, and what better than your mobile phone for that! So brands that talk to you through your mobile will automatically occupy critical places in your life. Finally, word of mouth is a potent tool that I strongly believe will become bigger and stronger in the coming years.
It is here that social marketing and other online activities will be able to make a critical difference. Online public relations will enable brands to increase their positive coverage and thus ensure that their consumers read the right things at the right place. Ultimately, brands those are able to break the shackles of their conventional media forms and ride this wave of progress will stand out and truly be able to find newer and better way to communicate their stories. This is what will differentiate the winners from the rest.