You are sitting across from your best friend at the dinner table. Talking about anything and everything. Laughing about old memories and discussing the week’s happenings at work. The next morning you will remember a summary of what was said – the essence of the conversations and the most important parts; not every single world. Real life conversations happen right there and then, in the moment.
We love to communicate with emojis – smiley faces, red hearts and of course the always fitting party popper. In fact, over 6 billion emojis and stickers are sent every day on messaging apps, according to London based startup Swyftkey. No wonder brands are starting to catch on, realizing that they can connect with their customers by becoming a part of their everyday visual communication. The concept of emojis originally comes from Japan, but the use of “picture characters”, as the word translates to from Japanese, is today loved by everyone owning a smart device. In an article for Swedish digital business magazine Internetworld I recently interviewed WWF, Coca Cola, and Bris — Children’s Rights in Society , about the emoji and sticker campaigns they have launched on the European market this spring.
What digital trends should marketers be looking at 2015? Learning from news and statistics from 2014 is a good start. Mobile adoption worldwide, social shopping, digital advertising, and one-on-one communication have been playing and will continue to play a major role in the digital landscape this year.
I’m really starting to enjoy Meetup.com. The way people are connecting locally, getting to know each other and hanging out. Meetup welcomes anyone to be part of any kind of event. Here in Japan, I hear people mentioning Meetup-events almost everyday. It’s all part of the sharing economy booming around the world – with crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and FundedbyMe, housesharing services like the beloved AirBnB, ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, and not to forget dating apps like Tinder, connecting and supporting people in different ways around the globe.
In the beginning of November I was invited to Nordic eCommerce Summit at Malmö Arena, the largest e-commerce conference in Scandinavia, to speak about social media and e-commerce trends coming from Japan. In my talk, I covered the basics of e-commerce in Japan, examples of companies I think are doing a good job in caring for their customers and clients online, and overall, how social media and e-commerce are merging together. I also shared my story about selfiestick.org – how I started importing selfie sticks to Sweden from Asia earlier this year, and how the selfie stick has become a branding opportunity for my personal brand. And also, how hyping a new product in a new market can be good PR for any e-commerce site.