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Mi9’s top trends for 2014

Mark Britt

We’re in an era where change is often the only constant – and there’s perhaps no other industry that understands and fuels this more than the digital industry. Change is relentless and ever-evolving – and there’s more to come.

Based on the analysis of a number of global insights reports undertaken over the past 12 months, Mi9 has identified three major trends that are set to influence how brands engage with Australian audiences during the year ahead.

Consumers’ relationship with technology has matured – and at the same time the expectations of brands has sky-rocketed. Consumers around the world are increasingly aware of the capabilities that technology has to make lives richer and more rewarding.

Knowing how to respond to today’s hyper-connected, online savvy consumer is a challenge for brands, but one that’s absolutely imperative for survival.

Marco Trend: Rise of ubiquitous technology
In 2014 technology will become ubiquitous, universal and impossible to live without. Why? Quite simply because consumers will continue to crave (and build their lives around) the unparalleled ‘superpowers’ that technology offers them: perfect and instant information, absolute transparency, and limitless choice – just to name a few.

In our constantly connected world, with device proliferation, falling costs and the increasingly blurred boundaries between digital and non-digital worlds, people are seeking more intelligent relationships with technology.

Trend 1 – Greater expectations
Thanks to technology, consumers have greater expectations of brands and publishers. They want bespoke as standard and technology to move from ‘always on’ to ‘intelligently on’ when required.

With 54% of consumers now expecting brands to know the right moment to talk to them - smart marketers need to think about how and when to engage, and moreover, how to surprise and delight them.

  • 55% want brands that make improvements to our lives
  • 61% want brands to surprise us
  • 61% want brands we can touch and feel: in a store or online

As the maturation of social media, mobility and analytics triggers a shift from an individual-centred to everyone-to-everyone (E2E) economy, jaded consumers are looking for brands that are honest, transparent, fun and ultimately more human. They want them to have a social conscience and provide real, pre-emptive help to thrive.

  • 61% of us want our favourite brands to play a bigger role in our community
  • 68% believe businesses are as responsible as government for driving positive social change
  • 93% want more brands to support social or environmental causes

In response to this trend Mi9 puts the user at the heart of the story. Using real-time analytics we watch, listen and learn from them; ensuring our audience is our focus. This enables us to deliver on their needs and expectations.

Trend 2: Data driven connections
As everything becomes digital, we move into a world that will see the “internet of things”. There are 1.9 billion devices today and by 2018 the number of connected ‘things’ will be 9 billion – roughly equal to the number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable computers and PCs combined. This creates a state where all those things and all media become digital and therefore create data.

We see two opposing trends when it comes to data. While consumers continue to fight for their right to anonymity, there is a data trade-off happening – they are willing to enter open exchanges with brands in return for rewards.

  • 45% of consumers say they’re now willing to share their location via mobile to receive relevant offers
  • 38% are interested in tracking and analysing their data using implanted devices
  • 55% of us are more likely to buy a product or service from a brand that helps us to identify how we can make improvements to our lives
  • Brands that reward consumers for sharing their information by giving them a better experience will be rewarded through loyalty and sales. In fact, 55% of us are more likely to buy a product or service from a brand that helps us to identify how we can make improvements to our lives

Data will continue to drive connections – connections between people, ideas, content and brands. Mi9’s focus is on creating Connected Experiences - enabling true cross-screen storytelling using data. The data we have allows us to create meaningful experiences for audiences and provides brands with access to their precise audience at the right time – providing value through personalised advertising and content. The launch of Tipstone allows us to service this emerging trend.

Trend 3: TV re-imagined
With three quarters of Australian online users now busy “dual screening”, and a new metric of “triple screening” just introduced (1 in 4 people), device proliferation shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact a recent UK study shows the average consumer now switches between devices up to 21 times in an hour. With multiple screens the norm, there are huge opportunities for where and how people consume content. Hunger for good content continues, with content still King, and now distribution alongside as Queen.

Video and TV will continue to evolve into new distribution methods and business models to meet that behaviour. Figures show the introduction of the iPad was transformational and has driven the trend of synchronised screens with consumers increasingly accessing related content across their screens.

This trend provides the largest opportunity for our industry as the powerful duo of TV and Digital together allow Mi9 to deliver Continuous Content to audiences, seamlessly across devices. Jump-in is one example of how we are delivering on this.

By tapping into these insights, smart brands who are ready and willing to take action will be able to provide more rewarding and enriching experiences to their audience, while future-proofing their marketing strategies for both the short and long-term.

For more information on this research, please contact your Mi9 representative.

Sources: Microsoft global trends research 2013 & Trendwatching 2014 report; OMD UK study 2014; Nielsen Australian Connected Consumer report Mar 2014, Internet of Things Business Insider Intelligence estimates and Gartner and IDC.

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