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AgVoice | Emerging Marketing Trends 2014

Over the last couple of years, it has become increasingly difficult to pin down one marketing trend that will help capture attention of consumers across age-groups, lifestyle and demography. Lines between traditional and digital outreach media are blurring every day as consumers evolve at a far greater pace.Before the digital era, BTL was about setting up kiosks, vans or door-to-door activities across cities, which had its limitations in reach and numbers, needless to say on efficacy. Digital has helped such activities burst across groups, towns, cities and countries.

In such a scenario, there are a few broad trends that a marketer can look to for successfully leveraging amarketing strategy and accurately measuring the unarticulated expectations of consumerswho are becoming increasingly savvy of their surroundings.

The entire brand ecosystem is moving towards building relationships with consumers through a combination of traditional marketing, content and social media. Customisation at all levels will dominate marketing plans in 2014. Consumers are looking for more and more personalisationin the ways in which brands engage with them.There has to be brand synergy in the content while keeping the target audience and their psychology in mind. Thus putting in efforts to customise content and individualise connectas far as possible and then to eventually execute a mutually rewarding business model, is a good idea. 

As the space of digital marketing widens and gets more diversified, there will be increased integration of traditional marketing and social media. Multi-platform traditional and digital models will necessitate social media incorporation in every marketing effort including customer acquisition, experience, product design, sales and development. For instance, what has really worked and will continue to work for several successful home improvement brands is blog posts, Instagram posts, Tweets and Facebook posts that don’t pitch or hard sell any specific product but give ideas to consumers on the ways in which they could style their homes and enhance their lifestyle and make it more experiential elegantly. As a luxury brand, every marketer needs to inspire more potential consumers with the right kind of social media engagement and convert existing ones into brand advocates. Aspirational content with exquisite pictures can hit the nail on the head in a very simple manner in such cases.

The focus of marketing initiatives in 2014 will also be on what differentiates the brand and makes it exclusive. As all brands, international and domestic, become available for perusal on the online space, it is easy for brand identities to get diluted. In a world where marketing and/or advertising efforts intersect across platforms, it will be imperative for marketers to focus on that one utilitarian or experiential brand offering that truly sets it apart.  They can also try to tap the emotional connect that consumers feel with the brand. For example, several sanitary fitting brands have transcended from being purely functional to being a sign of luxury, aesthetic,relaxation and rejuvenation. The marketers of such a brand would do well to play on this emotional recall value to give the brand a distinct niche in the market.

Marketing this year will continue to be dynamic and versatile with a 360-degree approach. Experiential marketing will again dominate the offline activities. A very innovative gimmick that blended both offline visibility and the penchant to shop online was employed by an e-commerce brand off late. It made use of the virtual wall of one of the country’s airports which displayed the various product offerings available on the site. Customers could scan the QR codes of the products they desired from the wall itself and place their order from their mobile devices.

Various sports companies are launching their own branded clubs and recreational hubs where patrons can come and partake in a variety of sporting activities. As a marketing tool, such initiatives foster the identity of the brand as a way of life and healthy living. Tying up with events such as award shows or even reality shows which complement the brand identity on television will remain a much-prevalent trend in 2014. When a luxury home fittings or furniture brand lends its name to an award ceremony for excellence in architecture and interior design, it integrates itself with a legacy of style and good living.

To sum up, as the market evolves and gets cluttered with a variety of brands in the same segment, the thrust will have to be on enhancing the personal connection that a consumer feels with a particular brand. Going forward, a smart blend of offline and online brand activation programmes will help create genuine brand affinity. Through optimal and creative usage of customised content, social media strategy and traditional marketing tools, the goal for marketers in 2014 will be to tap the emotional recall value of their brands such that users tend to associate their own identities with that of the brand.

About The Author: 

Ramesh Kaushik, Marketing Head, Grohe India started his career with United Advertising as client servicing and account executive in 1999. He worked there for more than 2 years. After that he joined Active Media Technology in 2001 and worked as Assistant Manager - sales and marketing for 2 and half years. He joined Vodafone Essar Punjab region in 2004 as Assistant Manager - product marketing, where he worked for one and half years before he get shifted to Delhi region in 2005 as marketing manager - product. He joined Pantaloons Retail India Limited as Head- Marketing in 2006 and worked for more than 5 years with the group. In 2011 he joined Indorama Corps. Singapore (India operations) as DGM marketing (brand & Communication) and worked for 1 year with them. In 2012 he joined Grohe India as Head - Marketing and continuing working on the same role from last one and hafl years.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not reflect in any way of Adgully

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