Posted by : Amanda Stein Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As the online marketplace continues to improve and evolve, marketing researchers must regularly add new cutting edge methods and tools to their arsenal in order to keep up with trends. In the future, marketing will make use of neurolinguistic marketing influence, crowdsourcing and prediction markets. However, those are the small trends. The four major trends are below and will reshape marketing.

Data Visualization

For too long, data has been processed and presented as numbers, pie charts and graphs. Expect that to change in the future as marketing research moves toward more elaborate visual content. Charts and percentages can be sterile and meaningless. New technology is allowing marketers to receive data in a more exciting and dynamic manner that goes beyond the graphs of old and that is customized for their field. Data can be figurative, showing images of humans in action, actual products or icons.

For example, research on the most popular toys can actually use images of the toys in infographics, along with surrounding text, shapes and dialogue boxes. Research on the benefits of yoga can have pictures of yogis in action. Research on video games can have sales and usage numbers aligned with the faces of characters from the games or faces depicting the audience demographics. Expect data to also be animated, depicting research in a colorful movements with well-designed features that truly capture the insights of the research.

Using these sophisticated static and moving visuals will take data beyond paper and spreadsheets to new media. Now and in the future, this trend will help both marketers and the general public. The public will be able to understand business performance better, while marketers will be able to convey smarter marketing messages and gain a greater grasp of marketing performance, which can lead to more profit.

Mobile Market Research

Many industries are finding that their clients and customers conduct business overwhelmingly on the go, using smartphones, tablets and other mobile gadgets. These devices transmit a wealth of information about the customer and more apps are being created to passively capture data “in the moment,” or as the customer generates it, and make it accessible to marketers.

Mobile Marketing software, like V+ Mobile Qualitative and Field Notes, can identify customer behavior, thoughts and emotions and tie them to location and times. The data are then grouped into sets and translated into graphics to help marketers improve advertising strategy. Gathering market data via mobile resources is less expensive and much faster than any traditional methods of culling customer information. It will become one of the main tools of the future.

In additional to stealth collection of mobile data, companies will also gather intelligence by using mobile surveys and mobile chats. They will market brands through mobile ads and mobile commercials. They will reward customers with special discounts as they walk into a store, taking advantage of instant geolocation mobile data. Businesses will present more website and sales content not through websites, but apps and other features that fit the mobile culture.

Social Media Metrics

Online social gathering places are gaining greater importance in the marketing and research world. People, through online socializing, are shaping others’ purchasing habits; the influence goes beyond small social circles and often affects strangers region-wide. Popular, viral social posts can even affect buying habits globally. In response, companies are forging social marketing teams and command centers to watch online brand reputation, engage and respond to customers and study customers’ posts across scores of online platforms.

The need for vigilance in the social media arena will only become a more pressing concern for businesses in the future. New websites are emerging specifically to analyze social media data. The chatter, pictures or videos on forums, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the like may seem trivial, but it can yield serious insight into what customers think about a brand or its products and services, as well as how they use them and what needs to be changed. Businesses are turning to analytical sites and resources, such as Trendsmap, Summizer, Tagboard, Buffer and Social Crawlytics to create social metrics that can guide their approaches to marketing and brand awareness.

Big Data Analysis

In a Greenbook marketing poll, more than 60 percent of respondents identified big data as a key new marketing tool. This is high-volume, high-variety and widely gathered, detailed data enormous enough to provide accurate insight. The data comes directly from hundreds of thousands of customers – sometimes millions -- in every target location and demographic; it is gathered at lightning fast speed using streaming services, sensors and analytical software. Then, the data is aggregated for decision-making. Experts believe big data will allow companies to retain more customers and optimize advertizing campaigns.

These trends provide essential resources for marketers that can ultimately lead to new styles of marketing, better business performance and greater customer loyalty.

Willie Pena is a writer who focuses on writing about marketing research trends and different forms of marketing research for business owners. Connect with him on Google+, LinkedIn.

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