Here is a great review of the digital trends for 2015 which might help you better understand the evolution taking place in social media, content, and marketing to an ever changing marketplace. Innovation, creative marketing, and online tools allow us to experience new marketing methods which this digital trends report helps us better understand this evolving landscape. Read and enjoy.
ADI ‘ Digital Trends Report 2015’: IoT Is A-OK With Consumers
by Mercedes M. Cardona
The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming entrenched in consumers’ daily habits, according to new analysis by Adobe Digital Index (ADI). Indeed, IoT’s growth is evolving the way consumers browse and navigate online, due, in large part, to the use of smartphones to access content. This opens up new opportunities for marketers in location-based marketing and their use of search advertising.
“Mobile, and specifically larger-screen smartphones, are enabling a lot of behaviors,” said Joe Martin, senior analyst at ADI.
According to ADI’s “ Digital Trends Report 2015, ” many consumers are now using IoT devices that interact via their phones, including home-monitoring devices, such as smart thermostats, and smoke detectors, like the Nest. The report—based on a survey of 400 smartphone users, 255 billion visits to branded websites, and an analysis of more than 20 million social engagements—found 51% of smartphone owners have already interacted with a home IoT device. And, based on recent social buzz, they are mostly positive about the technology. Three-quarters of social mentions regarding such devices related to joy, admiration, or anticipation.
“People are really happy with how they’re working. It’s definitely making things easier,” Martin said. “It also leads to the kind of data-driven world we live in now. You can look up your Nest thermostat and see how it’s being used, and you adjust it with your mobile phone and collect data about how things are working within your home.”
Additionally, browsing and search are increasingly being automated with personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana. One-third (33%) of U.S. smartphone owners said they have used a digital assistant in the past month, according to the survey.
While Siri is the leader in the segment, the upcoming launch of Facebook’s M is a serious contender. Facebook M has been released only in beta in San Francisco, but 20% of its mentions on social media reflect anticipation, four times the percentage of other digital assistants. What excites users is the prospect of the extra functionality M will bring by translating searches into action, Martin said.
“What separates Facebook M is the ability to go beyond your query,” Martin said. “It’s kind of going the next step with purchasing gifts, making travel reservations and dinner reservations for you, rather than just finding the information you need.”
But despite the popularity of the voice-activated assistants and apps, the browser wars will continue, at least for the immediate future. While two out of three Web visits are to the leading Web browsers, Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, Microsoft’s recently released Edge browser is getting a positive reception, especially among the tech crowd. Edge has increased positive social mentions for Microsoft browsers by 75%. “It shows a good future for the turnaround of Microsoft browsers,” Martin said.
Browsers are still relevant, Martin said, although ADI forecasts mobile Web traffic will take the lead over desktop browsing during the weekends before the end of 2015, and on weekdays in early 2016. Even as mobile overtakes desktop, digital assistants are not yet perfect and don’t do the job as well on work-related functions, where desktops and laptops are used, so browsers will still be the navigation tool of choice for a while, Martin said.
“There’ll just be a long shift to digital assistants overtaking browsers totally. … It will be a generational shift. We’ll see both being used, and then maybe the younger generation will gravitate toward digital assistants,” Martin said. “As it evolves, we definitely want to keep a close eye on it, but browsers are very relevant in the meantime.”
And just as home IoT benefits from mobile, wearable IoT has received momentum from smartwatch developments in 2015, particularly the launch of Apple Watch. One in four consumers owns a fitness tracker, while only 18% owns a smartwatch, but ADI forecasts smartwatches could very well overtake fitness trackers over the next year. Currently, 35% of smartwatch owners use their watches most frequently for fitness tracking, and 37% of consumers plan to buy a smartwatch in the next six months.
With Fitbit launching its own smartwatch and other players jumping into the market, such as Samsung, Pebble, and Jawbone, it’s possible that users will demand the extra apps and that fitness trackers “will fall by the wayside,” Martin said. Martin likened it to when the iPhone slowly took over the music-playing functions that consumers had relied on iPods for.
Lack of a “killer app” and smartwatch price tags have been key barriers to adoption, but fitness tracking is a logical “foot in the door” to get consumers comfortable with the smartwatch, Martin said. Everyday utility, in conjunction with more moderately priced offerings, should allow a new segment of consumers to adopt smartwatch technology, he said.
The implications of these trends to marketers are many. The rise of the personal assistant opens up new sponsorship opportunities for restaurant, retail, and travel marketers to become the top recommendation on related voice queries. The smartwatch opens up more possibilities for marketers to ramp up mobile marketing in an even more contextual and relevant way, Martin said.
Smartwatches will require strategies similar to those of mobile marketing but adapted to the smaller screen, Martin said. However, they will work very well with location-based targeting and beacons because, unlike a phone in a pocket or purse, their notifications are less likely to be missed.
“On a smartwatch, I, as a marketer, can get a compelling message to a consumer that’s very contextual and very of-the-moment,” Martin said. “For those who haven’t adopted smartwatches, there’s hope that there will be this whole consumer set that will and thus be more accessible to marketers.”