With 2014 coming to an end and 2015 only 9 days away, it is time to start looking into the crystal ball to see what the big topics are going to be in the next 12 months. I think that there are 7 key trends which will help to shape 2015:
Personalisation is expected
One of the buzzwords of 2014 was ‘Big Data’, and one of the challenges of this year was for marketers to get their head round how they can transform this into actionable marketing activity. 2015 is where this becomes a reality – there are already some examples of digital personalisation, Amazon’s is one of the most popularly cited, and consumers will respond well to this and expect it more and more next year. Personalised communication and even personalised products / services will develop in 2015 and take segmentation to the next level.
Social isn’t free
Pressure has been building for some time for social networks to start delivering some (any!) return on shareholder investment. So, the old saying of ‘social is free’ has come to an end. To gain exposure in increasingly ‘noisy’ networks, you are going to have to set aside some budget. And when you do advertise, native advertising is the way forward: consumers are bombarded with digital advertising, so being smart with your advertising will deliver the greatest return.
Content must get better
2014 saw a rise in the number of marketers who claim to be using content marketing as an inbound tool. But with its popularity comes the challenge of being able to stand out. This means that the content of your content (!) will need to be smarter in 2015 – story telling and personalisation (or at least segmentation) are huge opportunities, as are more interesting ways of displaying your content.
Wearables become mainstream
There have been interesting developments in wearables over the last couple of years, but in 2015 they will start to become popular enough to get the attention of digital marketers. The Apple Watch will go on sale in 2015 and is likely to generate Google Glass-like levels of excitement – and more traction than similar products already in the market place such as Pebble or Samsung Gear.
Transparency will work
This is a lot easier to say than to execute, but transparency is becoming more of a modern-day consumer expectation. With an increase in the amount of content being shared by businesses online, honesty (or a lack of it) can become obvious – and will be pounced on by critics. Humour and honesty should be pillars in your content strategy for 2015.
Marketing is a 24 hour operation
Sorry folks, but the days of 9 to 5 marketing are behind us. Organisations which are able to react very quickly, and this is often smaller companies with less red tape, will gain excellent exposure on social networks. Remember when Oreo posted ‘You Can Still Dunk in the Dark’ during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout and everyone thinking how cool that was? This is the challenge for 2015.
Mobile is default (again)
I feel like every year mobile is mentioned as the next big thing – but it isn’t for 2015: it is the default and the norm. According to Ovum, one billion people will use mobile as their only form of internet access in 2015. So, if you are getting your mobile offering wrong in 2015, you can almost forget about digital, although this does depend on your product and marketplace. Just make sure that you are not left behind.
What are your predictions for digital marketing next year?