3. Interactivity is Key
“This ad unit takes advantage of how users interact and explore with the iPad as opposed to other digital and mobile devices.”
—Dionne Colvin, national manager of media for Toyota on its new Yahoo Living Ad
Gone are days of passive consumers, who were content with being spoon-fed brands. Today, it is consumers who tell companies what brands stand for. They are now key players in the branding process. Consumers want to be engaged, and companies acknowledge this trend by making interactivity paramount in new initiatives. This key engagement creates brand loyalists. Domino’s Pizza Tracker allows pizza lovers to follow their pizza from order placed, to baking, to delivery. Taking interactivity to the next level, Domino’s also developed the Pizza Hero mobile game for iPads. Even print ads are now upping the game on interactivity. Murat Paris’ interactive jewelry ad allows a smartphone to be placed over the hand in the ad and try on different bracelets and rings. Television is also changing with this trend. CBS Sweep Week is a chance for fans to interact with their favorite CBS stars as they take over the network’s social media. Yahoo’s new Living Ad for the iPad grabs users with photos and videos—creating an entirely new digital experience.
What Others Are Saying
• Yahoo debuts “Living Ad”
• Interactive Jewelry Print Ads
• CBS Stars Take Over Social Media Accounts
4. The Connected World
“Humans crave other humans inside of search.”
—Bing chief Stefan Weitz on Facebook in search
It’s accomplished a lot more than simply the ability to “poke” someone. Facebook—while revolutionizing social connectedness—has shifted the renowned 1967 study that hypothesized everyone in world was separated by 6 degrees. Today, that number is 4.7 based on a new study of over 720 million active Facebook users. This isn’t hard to believe, since if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest after China and India. Taking social connectedness to the next level, Facebook is now partnered with Bing to allow search results based on the “likes” of your friends. Search-engine optimization will now be returning results customized to the individual user. “We are, first of all, not solitary creatures and second of all, we are deeply embedded in the lives of others,” states physician and social scientist Nicholas Christakis. Today, connectedness is a way of life, and influence is more important than ever before. In order to adapt with this trend, companies must realize who influencers are and how they carry their message.
What Others Are Saying
• How Facebook’s Partnership with Bing will Change SEO
• Q&A w/ Nicholas Christakis, Our Modern, Connected Lives
• Infographic: Mobile Statistics, Stats & Facts 2011
5. Scaling the Great Wall of China
“I would anticipate that China would become our third market quite quickly and within a few years will be our second-largest market.”
—WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell told AFP. At the moment, China is WPP’s fourth-largest market in terms of revenue, behind the U.S., Britain, and Germany. The company’s annual revenue in greater China—including Hong Kong and Taiwan—is around $1.1 billion.
Our western eyes are set on the east. Visions of new profit markets are encouraging many companies to turn to China, while American consumers continue to recover from the economic downfall. Just last year, Levi Strauss was the first Western clothing company to launch a new line in China—called dENiZEN—before launching in the US. Gap has stores in both China and Vietnam, with plans to have 15 more open by year’s end. Abercrombie & Fitch opened its first store in Japan last December with two more stores in the works. Arguably, companies are beginning to see the buying power and potential of the east, which is embracing many “American” ideals, including social media. Mark Zuckerberg has been in talks with China’s search engine giant Baidu to bring Facebook to China. Rovio Entertainment, the creator of “Angry Birds” is opening its first retail store in China, which happens to be its fastest-growing market. Starbucks recently partnered with the Foursquare of China—Jiepang—for its holiday promotion, rewarding customers for check-ins. China’s growing fast, and for many companies, scaling its Great Wall is an idea that’s growing even faster.
What Others Are Saying
• Starbucks Taps China’s Foursquare for Holiday Check-in Push
• China Must Innovate to Keep Up
• Infographic: Asia-Pacific Social Media Stats
Check back for more of the 2012 Market Trends next week.