Trends for 2013: What’s Gonna be the Hotness?
Happy New Year, GLAD WORKS friends!
Last week we did a recap of 2012, so naturally this week we need to take a look at the year ahead! What’s going to be the new hotness, and what should you be thinking about to keep on top of trends in technology, marketing and consumer habits? We’ve done a little poking around in our collective brains and we’ve come up with a handy dandy (albeit slightly random) little list just for you.
This year is gonna be rockin!’
Remember that awesome Janet Jackson song, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” (Do yourself a solid and click that link! OMG the big hair!) Well, this is what your customers are thinking. Gone are the days when people will passively accept whatever you tell them. They’re also not going to just accept your price as the best one and leave it at that. They’ve got the power of the Internet right in their pockets and they know how to use it. Your competition is literally right there telling your customers what they have to offer them, possibly tempting them away from you. Business owners are going to find themselves playing the role of concierge—finding out what the customer needs and wants and providing it before someone else gets the chance.
If you don’t have a website already, what on earth are you waiting for?
Having a website is as important as having a logo these days. If you don’t already have one, or the one you have now is a bit, ahem, old, you’re really going to need one over the coming year. Now more than ever, folks want to check out what you have to offer them before coming to see you. The world has also become full of people who hate picking up the phone to talk to an actual human being. They’re far more likely to go online to get their questions about you answered. If they don’t find you online, it’s almost as if you don’t exist and they’re going to hunt around for someone who has a website to look at. You might want consider having an online catalog or even setting up e-Commerce on your jazzy new website too. Make it easy and convenient and people will gravitate to you. We promise.
This is a prediction we made last year and it’s even truer for the coming year. So, while you’re thinking about that website, keep in mind that folks are increasingly accessing the web from tablets and phones. Desktop users are still out there for sure, but the number of people who shop on the go is rising and that trend isn’t going to take a downward turn any time soon. A mobile friendly website can keep you accessible no matter where your customers happen to be, and that is a very good thing indeed!
Case Studies and portfolios
Case Studies are incredibly cool because they give you the opportunity to show your potential customers the thought processes you went through to solve a problem for someone. Oftentimes, we see a screen cap or a quick photo of the work with a bullet point list of things that were done. The tough thing about that is that it doesn’t really give a potential customer a true impression of how you solve problems for folks. In this ultra competitive marketplace, more businesses are finding it necessary to share a little more of who they are and how they work. This is not to say that case studies are replacing portfolios, but we’re going to be seeing more of them popping up on websites over the coming year.
We’re all gonna be video stars!
Businesses everywhere are getting into video these days! We’ve definitely seen an up tick in the number of businesses coming to us for help doing product videos, digital annual reports, and promotional videos. We think this trend is most certainly going to continue and expand into new areas. For example, businesses who’ve been doing product videos are going to start adding customer support, product tutorials—all kinds of video content related to the sales cycle. We’re also going to start seeing businesses that would benefit from having video portfolios get into making them and posting them on their websites.
Remember what we said about being customer-centric? All of the things we’ve mentioned today have to do with making things as easy as possible for your customers to find you and get as much information as they need. So, in addition to our list here, think about your customers and focus on what’s going to make life easier for them. Then, do that.