The Evolving Visual Consumer

A while ago I attended a panel discussion, The Evolving Visual Consumer, hosted in collaboration by RGD and the Design Exchange. The focus was on how today’s consumer experiences media and what role design and designers play in this rapidly changing environment.

Although the topic was more broadly referring to media in general, the discussion always led its way back to more recently developed medias like tablets and smart phones and the benefits of advertising on multiple media. These devices are rapidly becoming the first touchpoint for marketers, designers (and businesses) to communicate to their audience. Designers and companies alike are presented with a broader range of tools, offering unique opportunities such as location-based relevance, interactivity, personalization, and persistence. Developing an integrated and cross-channel media marketing strategy will be key in 2013 as tablet and smartphone popularity increasingly rise.

Starbucks, Mobile Marketer of the Year 2012, uses a 360 degree strategy, offering up various ways for the customer to interact to create an ongoing relationship between the brand and its customers. Instead of focusing on one single aspect of mobile media, Starbucks has developed many strategies and campaigns which cross-promote, engage and add value. Each media strategy mirrors the in-store brand experience that is part of what sets Starbucks apart from its competitors. These campaigns include the use of SMS, My Starbucks Rewards App, Mobile Payment, QR Codes, Video sharing, and even Augmented Reality Apps. I recommend checking out MobileMarketer.com for a more detailed look at some of Starbucks mobile media campaigns over the past year.

Starbucks is but one of many companies demonstrating that mobile marketing is an effective way to market and its possibilities are endless. It is swiftly becoming the way of the visual consumer and we as marketers and designers, no doubt, need to develop and implement integrated strategies with this in the forefront of our mind.