Digital transformation and trends in 2018

Do not just look at how history unveils right beside you. Dive into it.

The number of Internet users in the world by the end of this year could reach 4 billion, while in Serbia this number could be 5 million people who use the Internet at home, through any device or connection. This would surpass the 2016 data, where, according to Internet live stats, the website for measuring the number of users, in Serbia, 4.758.861 people, or 54% of the total population, used the Internet.

Social networks bring improvements almost daily, with changes in how to use, display, and process user data. The Internet has entered all spheres of life and chores that we carry out “online”, making changes in the use visible, starting with social network revolution, through smart phones, different applications, to the emergence of smart homes and home appliances such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, and others that we control over the Internet. Changes in the use of products inevitably lead to a change in the way they are purchased, and hence traditional shopping model is replaced by online shopping, which has led to the development of brand new industries, but also business models that more quickly adapt to the market. Traditional companies are rapidly shifting to digital forms, at least the ones ready to change, reviewing their business processes and changing them so that they can respond to customers’ demands at any moment. However, digital transformation is not a process that can be conceived and completed overnight; it takes time and a good strategy.

The Millennials will soon be making decisions.
Digital media and social networks take the lead over classic media.

Younger generations, born after 2000, the so-called “millennials”, barely use standard conventional media. Mobile devices “mean the world to them”, and a lack of Wi-Fi is equal to the planetary catastrophe to them. Being offline among friends means being online. Television, radio, newspapers are too slow for them, as everything that matters is on the Internet, in a digital form. Social networks are also divided by user groups, i.e. friend groups who most use a network, such as Instagram. It is this user stratification that makes digitization an important feature of success and adjustment, making campaign design and distribution more detailed and more precise. More importantly, by 2020, the “millennials” will become the dominant workforce and, together with everyone else, sit in offices and workplaces, and after a few years, decide on marketing campaigns and ideas.

In short, the smell of freshly-printed newspapers bought at the kiosk is now equal to the superbly created visuals, video clips, and content in digital form found on social networks, websites that have become all just not standard, and applications.

How to get spotted in the sea of those who are same as you?
A classic approach to advertising is no longer interesting if you want your message to be noticed and received.

Using available media and moving standards in ways to present the message the client wants to send is always a challenge for the creative industry, especially on social networks. It seems like everyone is constantly “on hold”, but when the message is sent and, better still, when accepted by the target group, satisfaction is unrepeatable, and the client is satisfied, which in fact is the ultimate goal. However, if we have in mind that this is the 21st century, with the Internet dominance over other media, it is not enough for you to have a key solution, or a visual that is transmitted to other channels.

Ilustracija digitalna Ilustracija standardna
PHOTO: Example of digital campaign for Concept 45 (example of print and digital ad)

One way to easily transform campaigns from online to offline world (from the Internet to the press and vice versa) is to digitize it through the vizualisation of a creative solution, creating messages that are understandable to the target group, and ultimately adapting them to all communication channels. Adaptation is something taken as read and, in showing the details, or a story that’s a little different, a unique image of the product and the client are created. The power of social networks is in that they are the fastest of all and that you can gain new customers and users at lightning speed, only if you plan your activities properly. Sometimes it seems that even after long contemplation the message is still not clear enough, but, in fact, it only needs to be simple and short. However, it needs to address the right customer, not just everyone.

Even when you communicate for “your own needs”, for example by posting vacancy ads as you expand the team, you need to leave a comprehensive impression on the target group you are addressing. What kind of people are you actually looking for? How should your new colleague look? What is expected of a new colleague and does he actually understand the message we posted?

Oglas za posao digitalni Oglas za posao standardni
PHOTO: An example of digital advertisements for a vacancy (an example of an ad)

Simple forms with precise details and design will accompany us in 2018, where there will be more examples of using visuals in communication. Target groups love simple, quick-to-understand messages and that don’t have too much detail for thinking.

Think of digital business as a special category of economy.
Customers are always a few steps away from us. Or a few clicks.

Digital transformation brings shorter procedures and faster processes, but also shortens the way from product to customer. One example is a global razor manufacturer selling its products at high margins, piling up to reach the final price to be paid by the end customer. In the meantime, a start-up has appeared – a company already digitized – offering customers a one-dollar-a-month subscription for the purchase of razors, saving customers a lot of money. They order directly from the manufacturer through the mobile device application, and have their order delivered through the postal service every month. This is a classic example of a digital business model for an industrial product. A few months ago, one such company was sold to a large enterprise – to a billion-dollar brand, while another – a company that developed photographic films and cameras and was the first in the world to do so – came to the brink of survival due to inability to adapt

Primer objedinjene komunikacije2 Primer objedinjene komunikacije1
PHOTO: Example of DV Cosmetics unified communications, showing the connection of e-shop platform with product design

Simplicity and uniqueness of integrated communications will lead the client to the forefront and make it stand out on the Internet. Success factors for ranking companies and brands are mainly related to communication over the Internet. The focus is on all corporate social networking channels, video clips with blogs, Facebook pages, applications, Twitter accounts, as well as promotions, interaction with users-customers, customer care, and product endorsements. One of them is Biz Magazine, a regional IT and technology magazine that, based on the research conducted from 30 April 2016 to 30 April 2017, announced that Samsung Electronics, the Centrade Cheil regional agency client, from the fourth position in the rankings got to the first place and became the number one brand on social networks in Romania. Positions behind were taken by brands: Coca-Cola, Avon, Vodafone, and Lidl. (Source: Biz Magazine link).

Unifying marketing communications and bringing them to life on social networks is crucial in achieving the goal of every brand, product, or company. For this reason, the practice that has brought success this year will continue in the next, with the advancement and monitoring of technological development.

In the next year, the most important content will be the one made for the user, or at least as much as possible adapted to the target group using all available information about them. Trends show that there are several factors that will be used, and we will mention the most important of them:

A micro-moment that wins
Mobile devices currently have the greatest impact on user and brand interaction around the world due to ease of use and the availability of information on the Internet and social networks. Everyone will first take their mobile device and turn on the search engine whether to buy a house, a flat, or simply food for lunch or dinner. Any such moment will be a chance for the brand or product to reach the customer at the right moment, as customers expect the product to reach them with reliable information regardless of time and location, since they need it at that precise moment. Optimization of advertising is something that will take more and more primacy over classic ads, and direct group targeting through advertisers’ tools and user data is inevitable.

Vizualisation is more important than ever
In the digital era, the visual feeling has become an inevitable part of everyday communication, whether it is about ordinary situations or excellent commercial models and presentations. Recently Facebook has revealed the mid-last year data, with 1.65 billion active users watching 8 billion videos and visuals each day. If we take into account other digital channels and social networks, this number is far greater and shows that users have gone a step further and that a photograph alone is no longer enough. When watching a video, users have a more intimate relationship with the brand and product, at a much deeper level, due to the use of visually rich and interactive elements that display a message or story. It is a relationship in which they accept the message and take actions such as sharing content. Therefore, creating simple video or gif animations that resemble videos can contribute to a high-quality approach.

Also, Facebook has recently introduced an option of user statuses and posts on this social network, with business pages being now in a special group that one needs to visit to see their content. Is it a problem or an even greater challenge for clients, advertisers, and marketing agencies? Does Facebook teach us in fact how to reach our customers in the best possible, organic way, and not just randomly display messages, which, in turn, creates a worse effect.

Back to the basics of advertising
– It very often happens that, because of the overwhelming desire to present their products, companies go too far in their advertising, displaying messages at any place, even when there is no “time and place” for that, for example, in the middle of a video on social networks or video channels. This way of advertising will return to its beginnings in 2018, as research has shown users’ frustration by displaying something they did not want, and that can only harm the product and the brand. According to some data, the receipt rate of a message that is discreetly displayed is four times higher than the one that “jumped out” at some point. Also, this type of ad has proved to be better, judging by user reactions from those seeing them on a mobile device and a tablet rather than a desktop PC, says Vladimir Suvodolac, Business director from the Centrade Cheil marketing agency.

Customized user content
Although this year has been a milestone in creating customized content for users and recipients of messages, this trend will continue in 2018. The solution can be moving to dynamic content as much as possible, where certain content will be shown to everyone in particular. For example, a visitor of the Internet site may receive a different message from the one that will be displayed to an existing user who has already registered. In this way, we come to the smart content relying on information that a social network or a certain site collects about the user. Such messages always have a positive echo with the users because the company shows them to know them, but also is always present through a personalized offer.

Investing in content creators
In order for users and recipients of a message to get personalized content, it needs to be prepared beforehand. It is primarily a matter of knowledge that the writer must possess on a particular topic, but also to write fluently on various topics in order to attract audiences from different industries. The content must be easy to remember, unique, and tailored to the target groups. The background idea is to develop and display the content that will make users return, as well as spread further news that will attract new visitors. An example of good practice may be cooperation with one of the written media whose journalists will prepare a brand or product content.

Digital transformation is a step forward and if it is not taken, you are stuck in place, while the competition leaves you far behind. However, it is not enough just to “catch up”; you need to be unique and recognizable, so that customers and users know to choose just you. Ideas and added value that a company creates for users-customers are, in fact, what they ultimately think of a brand, a company, and a product.

On the other hand, digital advertising and creativity are a matter of approach, trends, and innovation, which, along with a unique approach to users and customers, bring respect and the true value of a product..