There are a number of trends growing in marketing and web development. The overall theme of which is: Tell a Story.
The key is not just to tell the story, however. It is to involve the user in your story – make them feel they play an active role in the story’s development as though they are driving your content and helping it to evolve.There are numerous ways of accomplishing this user involvment that companies have had great success with.
A number of CEOs are starting to blog. People instinctively trust successful corporate leaders and value their guidance on business advice. CEOs are viewed as authoritative. Additionally, customers visiting the blog feel a personal experience through which brand loyalty is spawned.
Check out http://corporateleadersblogs.com for a listing of popular blogs by CEOs.
Twitter is becoming a more effective and free way for marketers to reach customers. With Twitter, users sign up to “listen” to the people they want to follow. If the Tweets are interesting and informative they will have more consumers thereby reaching a larger audience that is targeted to your industry. Effective use of Twitter for B2Bs will drive thought leadership and push technology through an extensive knowledge in order to build your brand. B2Cs have success with giveaways to those that respond.
Skittles (http://www.skittles.com) has taken a huge leap of faith in creating their website through social media. Their home pages consits of feed consumption of anything with their name in it from Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. They have had to apply filters however, in order to limit negative content.
Affective widgets are those that can be reused by consumers. The content is ever-changing and fresh providing content that users want direct access to and want to tell others about. A radio widget might have various songs or podcasts deployed daily. A user can then post your widget on their website, blog, Facebook, etc in order to spread the word.
3D technology is reaching the web and beyond. Papervision 3D and Away 3D are two products facilitating this trend and 3D navigation is a captivating way to engage users to explore your site.Think of the iPod experience of scrolling through albums and you’ll get the idea.
Websites are using 3D to allow interaction with their product for a simulated hands-on experience with product. Other effective uses include 3D games and augmented reality. Some 3D experiences are also infiltrating tradeshows through 3D Immersion and multi-touch interactive displays where the future of digital interaction lies.
Mobile technology is a fast growing trend. The iPhone is the fastest growing mobile device available and are expected to grow 164%* by 2010. 67% of mobile internet traffic is coming from iPhones and 75% of mobile users watch online videos through their device. Multi-player online gaming is also becoming increasingly popular through mobile technology. Also imagine mobile meetings in the future.
Furthermore, other mobile media is steadily growing such as PDAs, music players, and home gaming systems able to connect to the internet. A projected 190 million households by 2012 will connect to a website through these systems displaying and interacting with content through their TV monitors effectively turning passive TV watching into an interactive experience.
Desktop marketing leverages exsisting web technologies for more engaging interactivity – bringing the web to the desktop and delivering the latest information at any given moment. Internal use may include marketing communications and sales so that no matter the location of a user, they are up-to-date with the latest information.
The final piece is integrating all these interactive technologies as well as conventional marketing techniques together to tell your story. Starting with flyers, posters, magazine and newspaper ads and then moving your story online through social media, widgets, and interactive media accessible anywhere, anytime. An effective campaign has a viral affect; growing by new storytellers unravelling the story and bringing more people to hear it unfold.