Looking back at this year on our blog, it’s easy to see the trends that were top of mind for businesses. For our last posts of 2012, let’s revisit the most popular Bazaarvoice blog posts of the year, and the trends they represent – trends that we can expect to carry on into 2013.
“Five years ago, I wrote that brands should ‘find a product that has high-velocity word of mouth.’ ‘You are fooling yourself,’ I wrote, ‘if you think you can get consumers to start talking about a boring product.’ But it turns out I was wrong: nearly any product can generate word of mouth.”
This year sparked much discussion on the changing role of advertising in a world where consumers control the conversation. Hundreds of “advertising is dead” articles surfaced, but as Brett writes here, advertising won’t disappear – it will evolve. Successful ads next year will focus on getting consumers to talk with each other and the brand, using trends in those conversations to drive creative and targeting strategies, and feature real consumers and their content in paid media.
“The death of interruption doesn’t mean the death of TV advertising. It means ads that viewers choose to engage with – ads that hardly feel like ads.”
TV viewers are no longer a captive audience. They’re watching TV across different devices, and usually, using another device simultaneously. Interruptions in the middle of programs are no longer welcome – so, prepare for subtler, relevant, in-program ads. Product placement will make brands part of the content viewers seek out, and program-related mobile experiences will allow brands to attract viewers with content relevant to the program.
“We’re the youngest team in the NFL, so we don’t have the national and international following that many NFL teams have. To grow our brand, we need to have a strong presence where people spend the most time online. Right now, users spend more than 20% of their time online engaging on social media channels.” – Nick Schenk, Director of Integrated Media for the Houston Texans
The NFL is quickly expanding its dominance of TV to social, and the Houston Texans are among the League’s three fastest growing franchises on Facebook and Twitter. By offering fans exclusive content they can’t get elsewhere, the team is growing its brand, deepening fan passion, and driving revenue. Brands can learn from Houston’s example.
“Consumers are channel agnostic. They float freely between channels while shopping – often interacting with multiple brand properties at once. And they want one consistent experience that helps them buy.”
As consumers became more connected via social and leaned more heavily on mobile in their shopping experiences this year, the need for omnichannel brand experiences became more pronounced. Diane explains that brands next year will need to create useful experiences across mobile, online, and stores tailored to the specific needs of each channel, while also weaving them together for a consistent experience that makes all information available in every channel.
“The essential elements of empowered consumerism are now in place: knowledge, choice, visibility, and collective voice. But, critically, the Social-Industrial Revolution isn’t a zero-sum balance of power: winning does not necessarily come at another party’s expense.”
Consumers have more information from more sources than ever before in guiding their buying decisions today. Likewise, businesses have more information on their consumers. Ian discusses how this perfect storm of massive consumer data and the ability to analyze it, access it anywhere via mobile, and share it via social has sparked a new era: the Social-Industrial Revolution. The consequences are world-altering, and will determine which businesses survive 2013 and beyond.