Trends to key an eye on in the coming year...
Leveraging the power of social media: to drive commerce Groupon is setting the bar and we're watching for how its success may fundamentally change distribution, effectiveness, and efficiency of promotional value offers to consumers. For example, Groupon recently launched “Grouponicus,” a holiday dedicated to “filling your loved ones’ gift buckets with experiences, not gift cards.” The daily deal shopping Web site also recently entered into a partnership with eBay to offer incentives to eBay loyalty members who participate in Groupon deals.
Integration of mobile(handheld): into shopper marketing programming As marketers and retailers look for new touch-points along the path-to-purchase we're seeing the use of more digital applications such as QR codes. Interestingly, marketers are trying to get on the leading edge of the trend and capture the early influencers while driving greater awareness and usage for the majority vs. waiting for overall adoption rates to hit critical mass. Canon was one such brand, testing QR codes in September on its printers in a number of retail stores, including Best Buy.
Marginalization of "brand.com:" promotional websites Virtually all clients are looking to platform their promotions on social networking sites (Facebook), sharing sites (You Tube) or partner with existing content/audience relevant sites (e.g. WebMD) vs. building their own stand alone sites.
Localization of promotion: We're having a lot more discussions about driving promotion down to the local grass roots level. The Web is certainly enabling this but also indicative of a trend toward greater personalization/customization and a backlash against big high-profile events as the economy continues to teeter. We’re seeing this realized often in cause marketing and at retail.
Continued blurring of the line between content and promotion: we're looking at, and our clients are asking for, more content integration opportunities across all platforms (TV, print, digital, social, gaming). Marketers want the promotional message to be almost indistinguishable from the content because of the ability to deliver promotional messages in high-value brand environments. We're working on a host of videogame integration opportunities right now and traditional CPG marketers are seeing that as a new frontier to reach their audience.