As we come close to finishing the first month of 2014, I looked back at the past year and was amazed at how much the marketing landscape changed. In many aspects, it was the year of mobile shopping; in other aspects, it was the year of Amazon. Yet, in other aspects, it was the year that social media became a burgeoning force for driving e-commerce. But, which one really summed it all up? With an abbreviated holiday shopping season, more fragmentation of channels and devices, combined with higher expectations from consumers, 2013 was quite dizzying. And, this year looks to be much just as difficult to navigate. Here’s what’s ahead in 2014 and what marketers need to do.
Mobile will not be considered a channel:
Savvy merchant will stop seeing the mobile phone as a channel; instead it is the glue that channel that holds all shopping together. Merchants will need to rethink their budgeting, compensation and organizational structure to incorporate mobile experiences into every interaction. Like at Marriott, mobile teams will join existing customer experience and marketing organizations as experts who lead in mobile-first design. Consumers encounter brands through many entry points – including social, brick-and-mortar, and both organic and paid search – all of which carry potential experiential shortfalls. Omnichannel may be the buzz right now, but mobile is the linchpin. Unlike other marketing, the mobile experience accompanies discovery all the way through to check out. While many industry pundits expect that mobile commerce will breakout in 2014, the smartest companies will realize that truly mobile considerations must be part of every strategy.