While 2015 may seem a long way off and developments in the world of technology move at a startling pace, it’s never too early to start planning for the future. Anticipating how consumers will engage with the continually evolving developments in new devices is key for marketers to stay ahead of the competition.
While it can be tempting to geek out on the variety of burgeoning gadgets, such as smart watches, Google Glass, and smart appliances, the marketing potential for many of those devices are still in their infancy. Meanwhile, focusing on other technologies that are already spreading through the marketplace, including new mobile phones, Chromecast and Roku, are likely to play a much bigger role for marketers in the coming year.
Mobile Phones and Tablets
The mobile device marketplace is anticipated to grow exponentially in the coming year, with roughly 1.95 billion mobile phones and 349.1 million tablets expected to ship in 2015. Without a solid mobile marketing strategy, marketers will miss out on tapping into an enormous audience, not to mention the estimated $400 billion in sales that mobile marketing is anticipated to generate next year. How marketers engage with the growing mobile audience will largely be dictated by the coming innovations that will change the way that consumers use their phones.
Engaging on Larger Screens
With rumors flying of a dramatically bigger iPhone 6 in the works from Apple, and larger displays expected from many other anticipated mobile devices as well, marketers should be taking into account how these size shifts will affect customer interaction. Content should not only be designed to simply look good on these larger devices, but marketers also need to be sure they are using mobile-optimized and responsive design to increase the results of their marketing efforts and create a seamless experience for users.
Value Added Interaction
With the help of improved location tracking, faster processing, and near field communication (NFC), marketers will have many more mobile tools at their disposal in 2015. It’s no longer enough to just offer users a mobile app to increase brand engagement, marketers need to find ways to add value to a customers experience in order to truly stand out and become a part of a users daily life. By offering customers a utility that helps make their lives easier, or enabling customers to use their mobile phones to make in-store purchases with NFC, a brand can capitalize on tech developments to interact more thoroughly with an audience.
While at first glance it may seem that Google’s Chromecast, a device that allows content streaming (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and Internet access on your TV, may seem like just a fun new gadget for consumers, it can be a tremendously powerful tool for marketers. By creating a direct link between a consumers viewing habits and their mobile and computer usage, Chromecast opens up exciting potentials for targeted advertising and customized content.
Chromecast also makes it tremendously easy for developers to design games, productivity tools and apps that enhance the user experience in the big-screen environment. With the majority of US Internet users expected to own and use a connected TV by 2015, Chromecast and similar devices should be a top priority of marketing strategies for engagement. And Chromecast enables users to interact with two screens (their mobile device or computer and their TV), the platform offers tremendous opportunities for marketers to utilize social networks to drive deeper brand engagement and a synchronized experience.
The Roku Streaming Player, a set-top box that delivers on demand content and streaming, functions similarly to Chromecast and will play an equally important role for marketers in 2015. Just as Chromecast is very developer friendly, Roku enables marketers to develop and deploy “channels” that can be used for advertising and created content. With Roku, businesses can offer educational series, branded entertainment, and advertising, and reach more targeted customers than they would through other outlets.
While AppleTV currently accounts for the largest market share for streaming devices, the device still remains somewhat limited in its usefulness for marketing strategies. Unlike Chromecast and Roku, AppleTV doesn’t allow for third-party apps to be created for content or marketing purposes. As a closed ecosystem of content, marketers can’t directly tap into the reach of AppleTV apart from preexisting platforms that are accessible through the platform, such as YouTube. But there’s a reasonable chance that those limitations could change in 2015, making AppleTV a potentially powerful avenue for marketers to explore.
From smarter phones and tablets to more interactive television, 2015 is expected to offer marketers exciting new opportunities to engage with consumers on a more involved level. Marketers should look to ways that they can leverage the power of the “second screen” to drive deeper brand engagement and interaction, as well as utilize social media enhanced interaction to strengthen and align messaging across platforms. There’s no better time than the present to begin planning ahead and maximize the potential that these new devices will offer in 2015.
How do you plan to engage audiences in 2015? Share with us in the comment section below.
“Mobile Marketing Will Generate $400 Billion in Sales by 2015” (Small Biz Trends)
“How Responsive Design Increases the Results of Your Online Marketing” (Search Engine Watch)
“What Google’s ChromeCast Means for Marketers” (iMedia Connection)
“The Future of TV: Social Networks, Recommendations and ChromeCast” (Tech Radar)