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Digital Media Trends: An Overview

I’ve written before about the fantastic – and free – online resources available to help keep up to date with digital media trends. eMarketer, the New York-based digital marketing research company has long been one of my top go-to sources for succinct, accurate and useful data from both their Twitter feed (@eMarketer) and their free webinars and articles, such as this one on the role of mobile in the financial services industry. They recently held a webinar on online ad trends.

Here are the highlights I gleaned, and my insights into what they mean for small businesses.

  1. US consumers now spend 12 hours and 28 minutes with media (print, television, online) every day. We truly live in a hyper-connected world, which calls for hyper-targeted, hyper-relevant messaging to engage with audiences. As we spend so much of our day with media it’s really important to understand the customer journey throughout the day and week.
  2. US consumers spend more digital video time on their mobile devices (33 min/day) than desktops and laptops (22 min/day). Additionally, mobile ad spend in US is predicted to grow 50% this year, vs. 1.1% for traditional media. If your company doesn’t have a mobile strategy, these figures should demonstrate why one is needed. Does your website have responsive design? Have you incorporated video into your online strategy? Do you have insight into how much of your web traffic comes from mobile? These are just some of the basic questions that need to be answered to shape your mobile strategy.
  3. About 50% of internet users globally go online while watching TV. Today’s audiences are distracted. Content marketing will play an increasing role in providing the customer with a reason to engage with a brand effectively and meaningfully.
  4. Facebook is the powerhouse of social. They account for 71% of total social ad spending in the US. Facebook can be a challenge for small businesses in terms of cost and finding traction. Location-based adverts appeared towards the end of 2014, and are an interesting solution for small businesses. Facebook have also put huge emphasis on video which could be a more useful way for businesses to present relevant content and engage audiences.
  5. Only 4% of US marketers have integrated their marketing technology stack. Or in other words, marketing automation is becoming key. Technology has given us myriad ways to reach our audiences in ever more targeted and customized ways. It’s also brought with it the challenge of tracking each customer interaction and reaction, and using a solution such as Hubspot, Marketo or Eloquoa will be indispensable for better campaign management and analysis.

Another great resource for longer-form reads is the Harvard Business Review (hbr.org) where it’s possible to gain access to up to 5 articles a month for free. A recent favorite read of mine was this article by Michael E. Porter, which asks “What Is Strategy?” and using real-world examples, looks at the key elements needed for strategic success. It often seems hard (read: almost impossible) as business leaders to find time in our daily working lives to research and properly digest but it’s well worth investing the time for both learning and reflection. For me, I find using travel time can work really well without the distractions of the office – a useful opportunity to reset and refresh with a renewed business focus.

If you use any business resources that you’d like to share, or if you’d like to discuss what the eMarketer insights mean for your business as ever, please get in touch.


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