5 Social and Mobile Trends Smart Marketers Cannot Ignore

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Social and mobile have become a ubiquitous part of our existence. Whether it is posting to Instagram or paying for something with our mobile wallet, our identities are linked to our smart phones. Business must adapt to function in this environment that is taking us to some strange new frontiers.

5 Imperative Social and Mobile Trends for 2015

1. Privacy is a Battleground

In December 2014, Pew Research released a study on the future of privacy. One of the noticeable trends is a shift from privacy as a primary mode of life to public sharing. Experts in the field see the line being divided between those who desire privacy and those willing to forfeit it for convenience.

Lack of concern about privacy stems from complacency because most people’s life experiences teach them that revealing their private information allows commercial (and public) organisations to make their lives easier (by targeting their needs), whereas the detrimental cases tend to be very serious but relatively rare. – Bob Briscoe

The UN is calling for governments to protect citizens rights to privacy, but this may not turn the tide, as data sharing has become the most dominant form of currency exchange on the web.

This is an ongoing debate which is developing in real-time as technology changes the world around us; it is why we have brought the question of privacy to our Think Tank Panels.

Millennial Think Tank on Privacy

Gen X Think Tank on Privacy

2. Algorithmic Awareness Impacts Behavior

Algorithmic awareness is a topic of study in human-computer interaction. Researchers are finding profound insights that have impacts on fairness, bias, and social justice. While most individuals are blissfully unaware of the invisible strings of Facebook, their effects are at times profoundly disturbing. This might be the year that algorithms finally creep us out.

Handling The Algorithm: Social Data Insights You Need To Know

Beyond Binary: How The Social Web Is Failing Us, and What Comes Next

 3.  Analytics Are Misleading

The term ‘dark’ social refers to the data that we cannot track. Frequent cases of missing data or mis-attributed data are created by email activity and mobile apps. While we would like to know the identity of individuals using these ‘dark’ sources, our analytics have difficulty capturing the information. To complicate things further, individuals surveyed have a bias towards under reporting how frequently they use dark social channels to share.

The most relevant finding of the study is that more than a third of individuals surveyed report primarily sharing via their mobile phones.

The Mobile Marketing Imperative

The Difference Between Push & Pull On The Web

 4.  The Mobile Wallet is Here to Stay

Apple is the latest to bring an NFC powered mobile wallet to their smart phone offerings. The iPhone 6 and Passbook brought 1 million users into the fold over the first three days of availability. This became a battleground as some of the largest retailer’s rebeled against Apple Pay in favor of their own payment systems. December 2014 also brought announcements of additional retailers, like Staples, adopting Apply Pay.

The Early Ditchers of Apple Pay Have it All Wrong

5.  Consumers Demand Authenticity

This shift is perhaps one of the most telling signs of our times as social responsibility and transparency become the hallmarks of companies who succeed. Research from Edelman’s 2014 Brandshare survey supports these trends. Consumers are looking for a value exchange that goes beyond promotion.

Brands must be ‘always on,’ and always adapting. Responsive brands listen, learn and adapt to consumer feedback and are prepared to handle a variety of scenarios. It’s become quite trendy for brands to be a part of the conversation and that’s important, but it’s incomplete. Almost 90 percent of brandshare respondents say that they should be able to communicate and interact with brands quickly and in real time

A successful business is nimble. Social intelligence and insights are key to adapt as quickly as the conversation changes.

Social Justice: 10 Special Companies Doing Loads of Social Good

Millennial Think Tank: Do Brand Ethics Affect their Purchasing Decisions?

The #FutureOfBusiness Is Social: Adapt Or Die

 Social and Mobile Trends are a Roadmap

The pervasiveness of social and mobile makes it imperative that we adopt these channels of communication to reach customers. The insights presented here are applicable to social networks like Twitter and Facebook that amplify messages and help us build loyal communities. Only in this way that we can fulfill the customer’s needs for transparency, authenticity, and dialogue.

What other trends have you noticed? Where do you think 2015 will take us?

Photo Credit: gratisography.com

Susan Silver is a community focused strategist who uses social data insights as the foundation of her work with ARCOMPANY. Her philosophy “Humanity in Data” is informed by a background in cognitive-behavioral psychology. She is making positive change in people’s lives, and the world, with thoughtful communication on behalf of her clients.

0 thoughts on “5 Social and Mobile Trends Smart Marketers Cannot Ignore

  1. brapola says:

    joecardillo Susan_Silver would this also include the “whisper down a lane” approach?

  2. hessiejones says:

    Susan_Silver , the two things that are interrelated and opposing: Privacy and the suspect of algorithms.  The more data we have, the more we can decipher meaning. This increases intrusiveness into the lives of people who choose to put their lives on social. Don’t doubt that while algorithms get more sophisticated, the demand for increased security will also try to counteract this. Not sure who will win out. There needs to be a realistic acceptance – a middle ground where both the beneficiaries of this data AND the consumer both agree.

  3. joecardillo says:

    brapola Susan_Silver It might, I believe WDAL is likely one of the precursors of the TAFTTF methodology (telling a friend to their face)

  4. JoeCardillo says:

    Interesting post Susan, way more useful than the typical “next year’s trends” thing on most blogs.  
    Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures) just wrote up a year end recap where, in part, he described social media as mature —> http://avc.com/2014/12/what-just-happened/ 
    I was struck by how that contrasts with some of the things we’re talking about, especially re: privacy, algorithms, analytics. I’m still working out my thoughts on it (post upcoming) but I don’t think I agree with him on that point. You can’t control an ecosystem, but you can align it…and right now the structure of social platforms & ad tech is oriented towards controlling users in unhealthy ways e.g. “hey you agreed to this 10,000 word T&C that says we can do anything.”
    Social platforms and by extension marketers have to care more about the audience / user experience, or risk losing them (thinking here of the Millennial Think Tank episode you linked to in which the whole panel admitted to searching for things separately rather than clicking through ads they are actually interested in b/c they hate the targeting)

  5. steve_dodd says:

    JoeCardillo Hi Joe, I also had a huge issue with Fred’s claim about social media being mature.  It’s like saying the automotive industry was mature in the 20’s.  Susan’s post typifies just some of the things we are going to see going forward.

  6. JoeCardillo says:

    hessiejones Susan_Silver Agree w/you Hessie, it’s not an all or nothing thing at all there are plenty of reasons to provide people with personalized advertising / sponsored content. I think that middle ground lies in giving consumers better tools / more control over what they see and when. Of course I understand the market perspective which is that programmatic and other adtech approaches are raking in the $, but there’s plenty of non-sustainable stuff going on that simply looks like traction when in fact it’s transition (for ex. are we seriously still running display ads with a .003 CTR and considering that success? That’s madness.).

  7. JoeCardillo says:

    steve_dodd JoeCardillo Absolutely. My guess is that part of what Fred was saying was that the market / valuation for social media was mature, which is probably true. In other words, the market & investors finally agree that this social media thing is around to stay, and that it’ll make money at large scale. I’m not sure that’s much of a revelation but I come from an entrepreneur / building technology structure standpoint and I am thinking of what platforms mean to users at scale and not to the buyers of those users (ostensibly, that’s what the market really cares about).

  8. I am really curious about the pay by phone and if it catches on or not. I think unless it eliminates the need for a wallet people won’t mind the cards. I don’t have a wallet I just take an ID and a Credit Card out with me.I also feel it will be easier to lift everyone’s bank data and there will be a wicked fight for planting cookies on your phone so businesses know what you are doing and buying. I don’t plan on using my phone to buy things but compel me to?

  9. AmyMccTobin says:

    Howie Goldfarb Well Howie, cards are one of the main reasons this will be a success – it’s much more secure. Look at all of the credit card hacks. Apple Pay is touted as far more secure.

  10. susansilver says:

    AmyMccTobin Howie Goldfarb I think it is one of those concepts which will just become the norm. Like having a tablet or a smart phone. I am skeptical too, but I also realize that it is already happening. All the smart phones I know of are now pre-loaded with a mobile wallet. My device was updated with one last year.  I don’t use it, but I could. And that is a big change in thinking.

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