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This how to keep up with digital marketing this year in Sri Lanka

Welcome to 2017! This year brands will be challenged to keep up with the digital trends and engage with their consumers digitally unlike ever before. Brands must make sure they do better than their competition to win the “Share of Digital” of their consumers.

In country where you have 122% mobile penetration and approx. 14Mil active mobile subscribers with approx. 40% of them using a smart phone, 29.3% internet penetration and 4.5+ Mil Facebook profiles, what we can expect to happen in digital marketing in 2017.


BOTS are here to replace humans, train them


Your intelligent tool that is designed to automate the kinds of tasks that usually done by humans. Customer care to entertainment, 24×7 service, multitasking – the perfect Bot at your service. Popular chat applications like Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp has already introduced bots for their service. Chat applications have more active users than social networks and popularity among smartphone users has created an immense opportunity for marketers engage with their consumers. Ability for consumers to ask questions, order services, buy products, and get customer service and other helpful information is impressive and marketers will be forced to explore this new opportunity in 2017.

Yes, Bots are intelligent but you need to train them properly with information and knowledge for them to offer better service to your consumers.


Content is the King! Really?


“Content is the king” very familiar slogan, everyone was talking about content marketing during last couple of years but only few has been able to implement and only handful has got it right. However, during 2017 brands will no longer be able to distance their selves from content as their consumers are getting closer. Offering value than information and take consumer through the journey from discovery to transaction will be the way to approach.
Brands must have long term approach and carefully developed strategy, relevant content, right distribution channels and execution partner to reach the existing and potential users of their brands. Content alone will not win you the crown, need to focus lot on how to create an integrated content marketing strategy while committing a ROI to sustain your kingdom.


Digital influences going mainstream


When you have YouTube stars who has more subscribers than mainstream celebrities, Twitter accounts that has more followers than politicians, Fan pages has more likes and engagement than your brand page, what shall a brand do? Use them to influence. This is where brands can use of bloggers, vloggers, YouTube celebs, groups, communities, chat groups, forums etc.…. Depend on the brand, need to carefully choose where to focus on without harming the brand image and personality.
Some brands have used different digital influences for their branding purposes. When you read through some comments on these posts, feels like brand has gone on a suicidal mission and have ride the wave without proper strategy.
Clever brands will invest in influences from product launches, trending topics to damage control in a very subtle way to gain consumers trust, rather than selling them a service or product. Brands must make sure not to harm the authenticity of the content and without disappointing the viewer.


Virtual Reality is a Reality


Connect your brands with real world and virtual world, even Pornhub does it. During the last year, few brands managed to do some activity with VR but it was not really integrated to their main strategy. But as more and more people are exposed to new technologies and technology becomes affordable, VR will be main stream tool for marketers.

With VR, brands can create a whole new experience for consumer and engage with them more effectively while slowly pushing them for your brand. More apps been developed using VR and new apps with VR features will be introduced in 2017 and continue. VR will be a handy tool for marketers to interact, engage and get personal with their consumers.


Big Data in practice


“Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” Famous saying from someone but this is the year that teenager becomes mature. Advance analytic will help marketers to better understand and predict digital behavior of their consumers. Marketers will have armed with past trends and future forecast which will help them to make decisions on the real data.
Brands will use the wealth of knowledge they learn from these data analysis to precisely target their consumers and deliver the right messages at right time. Also, this will enable brands to cleverly decide on where to allocate their budgets and what to expect.


Video, video and more video


When I ask, my office colleagues who watched TV yesterday, 9 out of 10 have not watched TV for last one week or more. Interestingly these people are under 30 years, done with secondary education, with a good disposable income and ideal millennials to target for your brand. So where is your brand messages going to place.
These communities are glued to digital and hardly watch a TV, they are the people who make digital celebrities, follow and engage with them. With the intense use of videos by Facebook and Instagram supported by live streaming and 360 videos, Sri Lanka having good 4G coverage, Lower data rates and government providing free Wi-Fi what else you can ask for video generation. Marketers should use these mediums to target their audiences in non-intrusive way and build authentic content.


Happy Digital Marketing Year!!!!

Wasula Rathnayake
Wasula Rathnayake

Business Manager - Digital Marketer

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