2012 Market Trends, part IV

in Digital Marketing | by Adrienne Morgan

Trend 1-2
Trend 3-5
Trend 6-9

10. Exclusive Access
The popularity of Royal-Class airport lounges and invitation-only Centurion credit cards are just two examples of modern man’s immense need for respect and privilege…This ‘exclusivity for the masses’, or “Massclusivity” can be an instant add-on and revenue booster for many services in the public domain.

Are you on the list? Well of course, isn’t everyone? We’re all members to some “exclusive club.” Whether it’s from the miles we rack up with our favorite airline carrier, or the card we use to basically charge everything—we’re all special because we’re members. Today, it’s this exclusivity that earns brands their fans, and it’s this exclusive access that maintains these fans. Fans come with a price, according to a 2011 study from ExactTarget.com, 58% of Facebook likers expect both access to exclusive content, events or sales, and discounts or promotions through Facebook. Gilt Group takes this statistic to heart, and offers its Facebook fans exclusive access to sales, as well as the ability to preview the site’s daily flash deals an hour early. Just like consumers play favorites based on exclusive access, companies are taking this exclusivity trend and making it into a competitive advantage. YouTube, for example, recently secured the rental rights on hundreds of Disney movies.
What Others Are Saying
Facebook ‘Likers’ Expect Access, Discounts
YouTube Snags Hundreds of Disney Movie Rentals
Gilt Brings Exclusive Sales to Facebook

11. Power Couple Effect
“Our acquisition of Drugstore.com today significantly accelerates our online strategy.”
—Greg Wasson, president-CEO of Walgreens

It could be called the hottest look for the New Year. Digital mergers are in vogue, and making all the difference to organizations large and small. It’s wheeling and dealing in snatching up start-ups. Larger companies are acquiring smaller ecommerce companies. Commonplace are joint ventures and multiple acquisitions to address strategic business initiatives. EBay has already spent billions acquiring a laundry list of companies for its future expansion in the ecommerce realm. Facebook also recently acquired Foursquare competitor Gowalla, a location sharing service provider. These digital mergers demonstrate the benefit of purchasing “pre-packaged goods.” Digital startups already have the dirty work completed, and once both signatures are on the dotted line, a firm’s digital arsenal grows tenfold. This growing trend addresses a few additional movements in the digital arena, like growing digital ecommerce (hint: refer to trend 2).
What Others Are Saying
Twitter Acquires Mobile Security Firm Whisper
Hottest Trend in e-Commerce? M&A.
E-Bay’s e-Commerce Strategy

12. Upping the Game on Loyalty
“As a customer’s relationship with the company lengthens, profits rise. And not just by a little. Companies can boost profits by almost 100 percent by retaining just 5 percent more of their customers.”
—Frederick Reichheld, author of The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value

It’s the loyalty game. But today’s winners aren’t merely rewards program. Today’s winners are engagement champions, as this is what ultimately creates brand loyalists. Various aspects of marketing can help increase loyalty. Many companies are expanding their rewards programs to provide further incentive for interaction. Southwest recently launched an enhancement to its Rapid Rewards program—aimed at making the brand more engaging. Facebook has also been called the ultimate loyalty tool. As your fans are the prime consumers, those who you want to further develop and maintain a relationship with. Gilt City used Facebook Groups to establish a private loyalty program for its users. Justin Kistener the social-media products director of web analytics firm Webtrends said, “Facebook is really the anti-Groupon, because it’s more about preaching to the converted than getting new converts.” Corporate responsibility is another way many companies are tipping the loyalty scales. Pointers to develop loyalists—listen to your consumers. They are the voice of the brand, you, are not.
What Others Are Saying
Building Brand Loyalty Among Fickle Digital Consumers
Does Corporate Responsibility Build Customer Loyalty?
How Brands Should Think About Facebook: a Loyalty Program