Digital predictions for PR in India 2014

With the availability of mobile as an online platform growing and 3G becoming more accessible to a variety of audiences the amount of online Indian users has risen dramatically. This has also meant that the importance of digital communications in India has also increased rapidly throughout 2013.

Brands are recognising the magnitude of the internet as a channel to connect with their existing and potential consumers meaning PROs are having to integrate online strategies into a lot of their campaigns.

So, with this in mind, what do you think will happen in the digital realm of PR in India in the coming year?

Waggener Edstrom has just released a paper titled “Predicting Digital in 2014: Eight Awesome Digital Trends That Will Create a New Normal for Marketing-Communications in India and across Asia-Pacific.”

These are their 8 predictions:

1. Data Rocks the Socks off Comms

2014 will be the year when communications and public relations truly come of age as data-endorsed disciplines. It will be the year in which the application of performance-based analytics and data to mine real-time, predictive insights fuel content development and brand storytelling.

2. If Content Is King, then Contextual Content Is King Kong

Content has always been a key driver of brand marketing and corporate communications. What will change in 2014 is that content will begin to exist in a more meaningful planning ecosystem – one that is fueled by data-driven insights to provide context to communications and brand stories. Rich content will be at the heart of digital communications with three core pillars: Creativity, Context and Care.

3. Fully-Measured Brand Engagement

Brand engagement in all its forms will come under the scanner of ROI. CMOs and organisations will seek more measured value out of platforms and channels. This will force the ‘KPIs of Engagement’ to be much more than “Click-throughs, Likes and Number of Fans” across the spectrum of agency deliverables. Measurement will require the integration of agencies under a single ROI model for the business.

4. Ubiquitous Mobile and the Hidden Trove

2014 will be the year when brands uncover this hidden trove of mobile brand communications. Instant Messaging (IM) and “Chat-based” social networks such as Whatsapp, WeChat, SnapChat, LINE and others will be utilized for brand communications, as a way to carry branded content to audiences in a targeted manner. Where possible, mobile advertising and other forms of brand engagement across IM platforms will become a dominant feature of digital plans.

5. Social Customer Relations & Service

In 2014 we will see more consumer-driven agenda and purpose marketing. Brands will continue to struggle to cope with customer reactions in real-time. Social CRM will at last become truly meaningful in the context of the allied growth in big-data systems, predictive analysis modelling for brands, and social-driven e-commerce. The much-overused and hyped concept of “Online Reputation Management” will find few takers in 2014 – instead, “Social Care” will be the new mainstream of service-lead communications; only a lot smarter, more insightful and linked inextricably to the traditional CRM and customer loyalty solutions of brands and businesses.

6. Digital’s New Normal: Omni-Channel

The New Year will witness Omni-channel, Tran’s media campaigns as the new paradigm in how communications and marketing works. Importantly, multi-channel campaigns will be mapped against how consumers consume branded content to make decisions and form opinions around brand consideration, advocacy and purchase. This new process for campaign development will be a triumph for communications and marketing ROI.

7. Communications Creates Commerce

As brand marketplaces across platforms mature to the point of no differentiation in any feature other than pricing and branding, brand communications will take its rightful place as a key differentiator and driver of commerce across platforms. Technology-aided interventions will get stronger through compelling storytelling that delivers brand, customer experiences and targeted product content more seamlessly.

8. Hybrid Teams

Birds of the same feather flock together. Well, not really! Marketing and communications teams within organizations and agencies across Asia-Pacific will become hybrid in 2014 – to bring in diverse skillsets while collaborating across the development of Tran’s media, Omni-channel brand campaigns.