In the last hundred years the marketing industry has undergone some very distinct changes. For example, in the early 1900’s all promotional efforts were based on letting the consumers know about the various attributes of the products being advertised, while from the 1920’s to the 1950’s the focus was on selling. Then, from the 50’s to the 90’s, marketers concentrated on showing how their product or service met the needs of their customers.

Changes started to come more swiftly after this, thanks to the rapid development and cultural acceptance of new communication technologies. From the 90’s to the beginning of this decade, it was the management of relationships between brands and consumers that advertisers were most interested in promoting. Now, just five years later, the explosion of communication channels, media platforms, and especially mobile technology, the emphasis has moved from simply managing relationships to becoming a part of the customers overall life experience.

Specifically, here are some of the big moves that are taking place in marketing today.

  • Moving from Isolated Channels to Coordinated Experiences: In 2013 the media was enamored with the idea of a brand story, where a consistent marketing experience could be spread across all types of communication channels: paid, owned, earned and shared.
  • A One-Size-Fits-All Marketing Approach to Unique Experiences for Every Channel Utilized: Technology has made it possible to customize every experience on every channel while still presenting an integrated brand message.
  • One-Time Campaign Events to Continuous Conversations: Campaigns are a military term used to define the efforts, needs, and aims of an organization. They are not historically geared toward rewarding the efforts and meeting the needs of others, in this case consumers. Rather than a conquering strategy, modern buyers are looking for a more collaborative endeavor, a dialogue between them and the companies with whom they do business. It’s no longer a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, but rather a mutually beneficial exchange of resources.
  • Broad Demographic Targets to Focusing on the Context in which People Exist: Demographic trends have always been a useful tool for guessing what a group of people might want, but new technologies allow marketers to track the shopping patterns of individual consumers in real-time situations. Rather than an educated guess, you can now create personalized marketing strategies based on behavioral trends as they are happening.

How then to best choose the correct mobile marketing strategy? It’s important to realize that there will not be a universal approach, and to develop a winning program you need to know not only who you want your marketing efforts to reach but also how and when your customers want to be reached. To illustrate, let’s take a look at four of the hottest social media platforms and determine how they would integrate into a marketing strategy.

  • Twitter: This is an excellent way to engage consumers with immediate, real-time information. Their 140-character mini-blogs are ideal for grabbing the attention of a mobile consumer and presenting thought-provoking content, thought the lack of visually engaging content is limiting.
  • Facebook: Still the heavy hitter of the social media world, Facebook provides the most substantial and diverse influence. Just as importantly, almost 80% of their users are accessing the site through mobile technology, giving marketers almost limitless opportunities for real-time engagement that provides both engaging content and rich visual appeal.
  • Pinterest: Used predominantly by a female demographic (70% of users), this platform presents strong visuals that can be used especially well in the retail and hospitality industries.
  • Instagram: From a marketing viewpoint this site is still in its infancy, yet over 70% of the largest brand-names in the world can be found utilizing this tool. It recently added video functionality and is tightly integrated with (and owned by) Facebook, making the two platforms very complimentary.

Marketing trends are changing rapidly, and mobile technology is leaving an indelible impact. Though this environment may seem more challenging to navigate, the opportunities to make lasting, personal connections with consumers who will be willing to champion your brand for you have never been greater.