HTML5 is the latest platform for web development and will make surfing the net much more interactive and media-rich (especially though mobile browsers). This means that, at a fundamental level, it will change the way we consume content and thus as marketers we should start thinking about the practical implications of this.
Africa is the fastest growing consumer of mobile content globally. And penetration rates are still low! The potential is staggering.
Marketers in South Africa need to lead the way when it comes to the embracing new mobile technologies, especially as we approach the cusp of an exciting upgrade of our most powerful of tools. This article is a 'thought-starter' on how we can start doing this.
Recently, while wading through some geek sites such as www.htm5report.com and the TechSpot forums, I found a mass of information and hot debate. It left me feeling overwhelmed but excited about the future of online marketing.
I have tried to trim down to five points that might be relevant to marketers today, as I want to highlight an easily digestible list that someone's grandmother could appreciate (granted she works in marketing?!).
Although it's just a tool or a new platform for what we all know and love about the online environment, it's exciting to start imagining the limits we can start exploring in this upgraded online world.
Nothing is set in stone
Nothing is set in stone in the online world and the relationship between Adobe Flash, Apple, Android and HTML continues to shift and evolve. It's an exciting time for digital strategy and HTML5 is going to help level the playing field for brands online.
Five things to consider:
HTML5 video is a big step forward in the world of in-email video marketing. Direct mailers/CRM systems need to step their game up and embrace this enhanced functionality.
Improved tracker compatibility usage metrics: usability analysis and digital strategy just became a lot deeper. And it's going to be harder for SEO manipulators to trick the algorithms of search engines and, on the flip side, consumers will benefit from even more relevant search content than ever before.
Unblockable advertising animations as part of websites. In a similar way to those sometimes annoying three-frame .gif animations that catch your eye, the revamped world of HTML5 will mean there is a huge opportunity for video/animation all over the entire page. This is exciting but I must urge caution as this could easily become too intrusive rather than entertaining.
HTML5 is going to make mobile advertising more seamless and robust - time to make some good friends with some talented mobile app developers. Mobisites will make better use of 'assisted GPS' which will help the website understand where you are accessing from, and then provide more relevant date based on your location in realtime.
Also, mobile sites will have limited functionality even when offline through improved 'cache' storage. It's nice to imagine browsing through a brand catalogue via your phone even if you were disconnected.
Everything is becoming an app. Sites become clusters of interlocking applications funnelling to the user. Instead of thinking, "How can my brand live on a Facebook/G+/Twitter page?" think, "How can Facebook/G+/Twitter live on my brand page?"
Personally speaking, I feel that the tools we use to create the web are opening up creatively and functionally. The structure is becoming more adaptable and, within the next two years, our web-surfing experience is going to be a lot richer, colourful and conceptualised.
As a strategic planner, I am hoping this gives us the chance in the future to cut out the "middlemen" of media placement when it comes to online communications (no names mentioned). It's going to be a closer and more direct working experience with the brands themselves and I welcome that.
Matt Rose, avid trend watcher passionate about SA's people, is a senior strategic planner with Promise Brand Specialists (JHB) , specializing in market research, shopper marketing, behavioral psychology. He brings a grounded, often controversial approach to uncovering consumer insights. Honours include 2010 Loeries finalist (Digital) and 2011 Cannes Lions shortlisting (Digital). Email , follow him on @mlwrose Twitter, connect LinkedIn.
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