Picture this: It’s 5:00. Another busy workday comes to a close. You pack up your laptop, check your email one more time from your phone, adjust the home thermostat and start the oven via your mobile device. Dinner will be hot and ready when you walk in the door. You head to the parking lot where you hop on your brand new Aerofex hover bike, which greets you hello and goes on to point out all your favorite spots – restaurants, stores, etc. – reciting their current promotions and sharing recent recommendations from your friends on your otherwise boring commute home. You gracefully buzz into the driveway and walk in the door just in time to come face to face with a hologram of your daughter, who is away at college. Dinner’s ready, the family’s all here, and you’re home by 5:30. Perfect end to a hectic day at the office.
Sounds like a scene straight out of Star Wars. But in reality, we’re not far off in terms of technology. Now that we’re settled into 2013, it’s time to take a closer look at the essential elements of interactive strategy moving into the future. Embrace and master these trends and we guarantee “the force will be with you…always.”
- Internet of Things – This overused and misunderstood “buzz phrase” represents a technological revolution taking place as it continues to unfold before our eyes. Representing the diverse realm of interconnectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses everything from smartphones, cars, and household appliances to industrial machinery and high power sensor networks – linking both to each other and to the internet. The IoT will evolve in phases and sooner than later devices that sense context, predict our actions, and autonomously interact with other “things,” devices, and services will surround us. Think the smart fridge. In a few years, it may order a replacement milk jug just before it’s empty or expires — entirely on its own. This leads to further attention fragmentation, in a world where multitasking is the norm. Attention is more divided, yet more connected, than ever.
- Big Data – Riding on the coattail of the IoT, big data has the potential to revolutionize the way companies do business and connect with their customers. Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data— so much that 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone. Understanding and leveraging big data opens doors to new insights and advanced analytics that will make your business more agile, connect you with customers on a personalized level, and remain at the forefront of innovation and interactive business strategy.
- SoLoMo – The development of Social, Local, Mobile (SoLoMo) refers to the convergence of social interaction and peer to peer engagement with local search and the proliferation of mobile use. Focusing on a mobile centric approach to highlighting local entries in search engine results, SoLoMo is about offering relevant, proximity based information on demand, wherever your customer may be – backed by the recommendations and conversations of their social media friends.
- Content (marketing) is king – Despite the famous 1996 declaration that “Content is King,” many brands, agencies, and publishers struggled to get behind Bill Gates’ words. Only now, with recent shifts in algorithms and a customer requirement for fresh, engaging and relevant content, are brand marketers and agencies rushing to establish content strategies. Many think content stands on its own. But if content is king, context shares the throne and is key to each of the four other trends that share this list.
- Mobile First – Mobile is accelerating to the forefront of 2013 interactive opportunities – and will only expand from there. With future friendly methodologies and responsive web design implementation, focus remains on mobile first – determining and structuring effective content to function well, on mobile devices before all else. Mobile time spent on the internet is growing at 14 times the rate of desktop use. Mobile strategy is no longer optional – it’s required for success.
These concepts are converging on us fast. The key is to adopt, master, and adapt for them early before they become mainstream and ordinary components of 21st century business. Let us know if you’re innovative, open to change, and interested in becoming a leader in your field.