A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away traditional advertising vehicles like commercials and print ads were viable purchase-influence methods for brands and retailers. However, today’s consumers are about as receptive to these methods as Star Wars fans were to Jar Jar Binks.
As social and mobile are now driving forces in the path-to-purchase, the very definition of "shopping" is evolving at a lightning-fast pace. Taking a page from the George Lucas-helmed film franchise, here’s how a new wave of social and mobile marketing is changing the retail game in 2015:
1. Location-based mobile marketing and personalized media will be the new weapons.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” - Han Solo, Episode IV
What makes for a “good blaster” in today’s retail marketing game? Your shopper’s personal mobile device, for one. Google reports that 71 percent of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for online research say their device has become more important to their in-store experience.
Progressive brick-and-mortar stores will endorse geo-location based mobile beacons as the way to deliver digital and mobile couponing to keep the in-store shopping experience from becoming antiquated. Personalized, location-based offers will be served to consumers via their mobile devices based on what and where they’re shopping. The same goes for online shopping to combat the dreaded “abandoned shopping cart.” Consumers will be re-targeted on social media channels for products they put in their cart to tip-toe them closer to clicking the “Checkout” button.
2. Aligning SEO and social media strategies will rule the online galaxy.
“It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.” - Darth Vader, Episode V
Marketers will finally wake up to the fact that only by linking SEO and social will their digital marketing work. Search strategies set the foundation for bringing your audience to your content. But quality social content that is engaging and entertaining will create the “share factor” needed to help fuel marketers’ search optimization efforts. As marketers have previously seen SEO and social media as separate entities, the future lies in integrating both online strategies in order to drive sales.
3. Marketers will create their own newsrooms to cut through content clutter.
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” - Yoda, Episode V
Consumers are currently suffering from content overload. To cut through the “crude matter,” marketers must find new ways to make their voice heard. One way is through their own newsroom. Not of the Meet the Press variety, but curated mini-content libraries that live online and on screens in-store that provide timely content, such as a blogger’s experience using a particular product, a stream of Facebook fan photos or Amazon reviews. These digital newsrooms will become the new source for acquiring relevant product and service information, thereby sending dated print product catalogs into obsoletion.