In this #InspiredMarketing blog series, we are sharing predictions on the future of marketing from 25 industry thought leaders. These predictions have been compiled in our new whitepaper, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013. In today’s post, author and strategist Geoff Livingston shares his thoughts.
2013: The Year of Clicks and Mortar
The big shift for social media in 2013 has little to do with technology evolution or new social networks that we'll see. Rather, it will revolve around how brick and mortar businesses—in particular, stores and entertainment venues–integrate social into their physical brand experiences.
Some folks dub this trend “clicks and mortar,” the integration of online into our everyday physical whereabouts.
Recently, I attended the Ivy League Sports Symposium and, whether it was MLB or the Tough Mudder franchise, everyone was talking about the live fan experience from a participation perspective.
It's not just sports, either.
Burberry recently invested significant dollars to bring the online experience into its flagship London store. The effort includes some creative use of RFID chips to show video content about clothes that have been brought into changing rooms.
Business owners realize the rise of smartphones and tablets has wrought a new revolution in marketing. People can explore products and experiences on-the-go wherever they are.
Smart store owners and entertainment venues will seek to cater to the wired customer on site. That includes making inventories available on the web, providing great wireless access in-venue, offering connected flat screens that amplify what customers are saying about the store or in-house entertainment, and of course, looking at the increasingly popular mobile deals that have become prevalent on networks like Foursquare and (to some extent) Facebook.
In-store interactions represent a huge opportunity for business owners. Whether they offer in-store deals or easy access to peer reviews and customer service, real-time on-site interaction can make or break store deals.
As 2013 progresses and stores ready for the 2013 holiday rush, the innovators— both local and forward-thinking chains—will move to encourage in-store interactions. Similarly, entertainment venues will add additional content engagement and feedback loops to extend and better their live customer experience.
The pervasive will expand, making live experiences a balance of clicks and mortar.
Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker, and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop outstanding marketing programs. He brings people together, virtually and physically for business and change. A former journalist, Livingston continues to write, and has authored three books. Geoff organized the first Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington in 2011, an event that raised $2 million for more than 1000 nonprofits using online media tools. He was won awards from the Society of New communications Research, the American Marketing Association, the International Association of Business Communicators, as well as an Axiom Award for Now Is Gone. Geoff is a regular conference keynote and panelist.