Digital trends round-up – March 2014

Each month we bring you the FreshMinds digital trends round-up- a summary of innovations, new technologies and the latest digital trends to help you navigate today’s fast-paced, tech-enabled world. This month we’re looking at brands working with consumers and start-ups to drive innovation, harnessing social data to fight fraud, the challenge of real-time marketing and capitalising on the app phenomenon.

Don’t go it alone. Brands work with consumers and start-ups to drive innovation.

Last week, Kellogg’s announced plans to harness crowdsourcing platform eYeka to garner videos and animations for its first corporate campaign and to gather consumer interpretations of their new Pringles strapline. John Lewis is also keen to engage people from outside their business to drive innovation. The retailer has launched JLab, a technology incubator where entrepreneurs can submit ideas that they believe will change the future of retail. John Lewis will then choose five entries to fund and take into development. These examples are indicative of a growing trend amongst brands to engage people outside of their organisation and use their input to drive innovation as well as to help shape and validate business decisions.

New technology unlocks more advanced means of fighting fraud

MasterCard has announced a new partnership with Syniverse which will enable them to fight fraud by tracking customers’ locations via their mobile phone signal. By merging this information with data on where credit cards are being used, they’ll be able to identify fraud more quickly and accurately. Big data science company, Feedzai, is also harnessing new technology to prevent fraud. Their Social Connector software enables customers to link their mobile banking applications with their social media accounts and then privately check in to provide their bank with location data. This software has the potential not only to prevent fraud and improve customer service but it could also be instrumental in allowing banks to develop a greater understanding of their customers.

The challenge of real-time marketing

Real-time marketing has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool for brands. Yet recent research shows that 75% of marketers feel ill-equipped to harness the development. According to a new report, the most frequently cited barriers to real-time marketing are inadequate technology (67%) and an inability to collect customer data as it’s produced (55%). Companies looking to overcome these challenges could look to Cadbury as an example. Following a successful trial at the Brit Awards which saw Facebook and Twitter followers increase by 10, 000 in just four hours, they’re bringing together cross-business teams to respond to events in real-time and then amplify the most successful content through billboards offline. Using this ‘test, measure, learn’ approach has enabled Cadbury to substantially extend the reach of their campaign.

Capitalising on the app phenomenon

Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp has prompted many brands to look more closely at messenger apps and their potential for engaging with an already vast and active user base. Whilst some brands have focussed on the benefits of in–app paid advertising, others have realised their broader potential. Japanese online retailer, Rakuten, acquired Viber in a move which will enable the brand to combine their e-commerce platform with Viber’s messaging system. Similarly WeChat, owned by Tencent, has a payment facility and is integrated with Tencent’s e-commerce platform. This allows users to do everything from book taxis and invest in financial products with further plans to integrate it with other retail platforms. Other brands could look more closely at engaging more closely with consumers on third-party apps in order to capitalise on their booming popularity.