Marketers have accepted the Internet as the ultimate communications channel, largely due to the medium’s omnipresence and near boundless reach. While content-driven campaigns continue to dominate modern conversation, it’s wise to remember that marketing isn’t merely a static craft. There are always going to be a wealth of considerations to make – particularly so in the digital era – and nailing the right strategy requires a delicate recipe.
2016 is right around the corner, and for the sake of preparation, we’re going to illustrate four areas of marketing that every digital enthusiast should be aware of before the New Year falls upon us.
1. Super Channels for Dynamic Brand Experiences
The future’s almost certainly here, people – wearable technology has debuted in the marketplace. Now, thanks to recent technological advances, these forward-drifting products have been made available for purchase by anyone who’s got both the desire and requisite capital.
So how can marketers aptly leverage the intimacy of, say, an iWatch, without being intrusive and off-putting to the consumer? Many agencies are wrestling with that question now, and because no benchmark has been set, there’s a big opportunity to do something great.
The Current State of Wearable Tech
To date, the most popular product categories appear to be smartwatches, healthware and smart-eyewear, and there are already a few offerings that standout. The Nymi wristband, for example, which serves as the be-all and end-all to identity authentication. In lieu of complicated passwords and a step-above fingerprint technology, Nymi is promising to grant consumers with universal access to all devices via a never-before-seen security feature that they’re calling biometric authentication. Yes, you read that correctly – to ensure that it is, in fact, the real owner who is trying to unlock the device, Nymi’s wristband will cross-reference the heartbeat and EKG pattern (i.e. the HeartID) to verify the user’s identity. Thieves and miscreants be warned – it’s scientifically impossible for two people to share the same HeartID, or so Nymi claims.
If such products were to hit the shelves by the end of next year, biometric authentication technology could very well be 2016’s champion of innovation. Likewise, presuming that consumers are happy to adopt the Nymi wristband, surely, the economy will experience some disruptive consequences. But I, for one, can only foresee one major problem – these advanced security measures will herald the extinction of pawn shops. Think about it… where will these shady merchants obtain new goods if their suppliers cannot produce?
Although Nymi’s wristband isn’t a suitable channel for any marketing endeavors, it’s an object lesson in where consumer electronics are going.
Besides fashionable tech, marketers should begin exploring more extreme channels for brand experiences, like Oculus Rift – one of the world’s first consumer-facing VR headsets. Presently, the Oculus Rift can only really be accessed at art installations and other participating museums, but due to the overwhelmingly positive response from consumers – not to mention Samsung’s recent foray into virtual-reality products thanks to a partnership with the above-mentioned innovator – 2016 is poised to be a monumental year for VR technology. So again, we must ask ourselves – how can a brand’s value be effectively communicated through such an immensely powerful medium? It’s pretty unclear at the moment, but preparing a good strategy will undoubtedly offer a leg-up on the competition. Soon enough, someone or something’s going to launch a rip-roaring campaign by means of a virtual-reality simulator, and marketers will never, ever look back.
If you ask me, when VR headsets become an established product and appeal beyond the world’s early adopters, the Internet, as we know it, will be totally unrecognizable. Consumers won’t be interested in just reading articles, browsing infographics and watching videos – they’ll want to actually engage and interact with content. I mean, why scroll through a website when you can explore it?
There you have it – Part 1 of our series 4 Considerations for Digital Marketers in 2016. Come back soon for Part 2, where we discuss how two simple traits can help you craft a strong and unforgettable content strategy.