EMERGING MARKETERS: We like to move it.

Let’s give a round of applause to the marketers who have been flexible, nimble and quick in the social and digital space. You’ve built your social pages, your content teams, you have a robust digital plan and strategy in place, and you know how to analyze your data. So what’s next?

According to Forbes, there are a few things emerging marketers must remember and understand in the near future:

  1. Impermanence – the industry is shifting so quickly, companies cannot worry so much about scaling to every platform. Get ahead of the emerging media sources and own your message. Be willing to remain nimble as new platforms emerge.
  2. Real-time – engage in real time consumer conversations using hashtags.
  3. Combining tech and real world – think about weekly sales in a retailer – sensors could automatically push those incentives to consumer’s smart phones (who opt-in) as they enter the store. It could also keep track of brand loyalties and only ping in regards to those products.
  4. Bio data – being able to understand not only important health signals, but also how your consumers are feeling – well, that’s a gamechanger!

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY: Your smart phone is full of them.

Did you know that the average smartphone has at least 10 sensors in them? To name a few:

  • Camera
  • Pedometer – tracking your steps daily
  • Light sensor – the ability to reference the light in the room and adjust the screen brightness accordingly
  • Thermometer – the internal operating system monitors temperature and will shut off if the system gets too hot
  • Fingerprint sensor – provides added security to the phone
  • Microphone – allows others to hear what you are saying
  • Proximity sensor – tracks how close you are to the phone so that buttons aren’t pushed during calls
  • Magnetometer – monitors the magnetic field to determine the direction the phone is moving
  • Accelerometer – able to determine if you are holding the phone vertical or horizontal and adjust the screen accordingly
  • Gyroscope – helps keep photos from being blurry from a camera shake

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The phone also has a location tracker on the phone that pings local sensors and will push incentives or product information from nearby businesses (if this functionality is turned on).

EMERGING DIGITAL TRENDS: What’s on tap for 2016?

The digital space continues to evolve and change, and it’s extremely important brands are not only keeping track of those trends, but considering how to get ahead of them.

According to a study completed by Smart Insights, content marketing, big data and marketing automation are the three marketing activities with the opportunity for greatest impact in 2016. But is that where brands should stop? Should they only focus on those three areas? Immediately following are Marketing Automation, Mobile Marketing and Social Media Marketing, as noted below. It is not recommended to try to do all aspects of the digital realm at one time; however, in order to be a thought-leader in the industry, brands must figure out how to be relevant in today’s world through multiple digital facets, with consideration of how to get ahead of tomorrow’s (IoT, Programmatic/cross-channel, etc).

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So how is that done? Brands must adequately plan. Goals must be set, strategies must be outlined, and teams must be formulated to execute. As part of the same study mentioned above, businesses were asked to rate their current digital capabilities. As you can see below, very few recognize the quantified or optimized categories – a place brands must seek to find.

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INTERNET OF THINGS: But what happens when my internet is down?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has so many benefits: monitoring disastrous environments and forecasting trouble, monitoring health vitals, allowing users to use apps for remote control of various items, monitoring consumer products and sending updates when new items are needed, etc. The sensors and technology are moving at such a rapid pace, it has to be creating a safer and more productive society.

Or is it?

One specific example: smart thermostats.

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Smart thermostats are growing rapidly and will continue to grow tenfold as noted in the chart below:

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They are great, right? You can control them from an app on your phone. You can set parameters so it knows to come on and go off at certain times. You can set various parts of the house. It’s the wave of the future.

But what happens when the wifi goes out? How do you override? Do you just suck it up and get a sweater or take off all your clothes? That’s the problem with the IoT….we are putting our eggs all in one basket. (Note: you can override the systems and use manual controls…only if you’ve figured out that functionality.)


CREATIVE OPTIMIZATION: Is it really that important?

As the face of emerging media evolves daily, it is extremely important brands consider the importance of creative in their digital strategy as it is just as important as content. In fact, there are a few very specific insights, as defined by a study by RocketFuel:


Consider the background color of the ad. The three best performing background colors are red (31%), orange (28%) and yellow (24%).

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Consider using individual human faces as it creates a 4% higher conversion rate.

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Consider animated ads over static ads, and make length between 6 and 9 seconds.

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Consider the logo in the lower left corner as 81% voted it the optimal location in a digital ad.

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Consider using products in ads, as ads with products have a 6% higher conversion rate.

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While these items are not imperative, they could provide the right amount of lift to help increase sales and should all be considered.

BIG DATA: It always feels like somebody’s watching me.

Emerging media – the world of digital and social media that’s ever-changing is driven by back-end data. While consumers are only focused on how communication and it’s value to them, brands are foaming at the mouth to track and consume this data for each consumer.


Each consumer leaves a data footprint every time he or she is online, allowing brands to better know and understand additional psychographic, demographic and geographic detail. This footprint gives brands a better opportunity to speak more direct, use the appropriate mediums and communicate more authentically.

But knowing big data has all of the information about consumers, it should have them asking, is it really ethical? For a brand to know the ends and outs of purchasing decisions, what drives a consumer, what interests, etc., doesn’t that cross over a privacy boundary?

Based on the chart below, it depends. There are few factors that affect when people are okay with certain level of communications (driven by back-end data) including the relationship with the brand. In other words, consumers want media and content directed to them to be on their terms, and that’s how it should be.

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BRAND ADVOCATES: Are they really that important?

As the media landscape continues to change, and consumers shift how they engage with and respond to brands, it is increasingly important brands create a strong brand advocacy movement.

What is a Brand Advocate and Why Does This Matter to Emerging Media?

A brand advocate in a consumer who talks favorably about a product or service, regularly, and takes great pride in promoting their experience and feelings about the brand. Brand advocates are not new as word-of-mouth has been such an important part of advertising since it’s inception. However, now that emerging media is in place, and consumers are able to be more vocal through social media, ratings and reviews, blogs, etc., engaging these brand advocates is now more important than ever.

Take a look at the infographic below that communicates the difference between influencers (those paid to promote a service) and brand advocates. It’s striking that 92 percent of consumers trust brand advocates. In addition, a few additional statistics prove the value of brand advocates:

  • Brand advocates spend at least two times as much as average customers
  • Brand advocates spend three times as much as average customers over their lifetime of their relationship with a company or brand
  • Brand advocates reach 150 people in social media every time they advocate for a product or service


So what is the Brand Advocacy Value?

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As important as it is for brands to consider and adopt their placement on emerging media sites – blogs, social media, etc. – it’s equally important they are considering how to engage these advocates within these sites. This communication is key to their ongoing success as consumer’s consider these voices so important.

EMERGING MEDIA: Shifting from one-sided to multi-sided communication

In the days of traditional, one-sided marketing, brands were able to push content out via TV commercials, print and radio ads, public relations, etc. In today’s world with emerging media in place, consumer behavior has shifted due to the world of knowledge at their fingertips. Consumers no longer listen to the one-sided brand messaging being pushed out to them. In fact, emerging media has created multi-sided levels of communications among consumers, allowing them to have multiple conversations prior to identifying and establishing brand relationships and loyalty.

With modern technology smart enough to track a user’s location, purchasing habits, search trends, etc., brands have great opportunities to reach their consumers quickly and within the appropriate context. Additionally, this new multi-communication model requires brands to respond quicker to consumers online as this is one of the places they go to review the brand. In fact, according to Brickfish (2016), 71% of consumers who receive quick and effective responses from brands on social media are more likely to recommend the brand to others.