Sometimes its easy to repeat yourself when writing predictions, just take the ones that didn’t come to realisation last time and try again. Sometimes adaption of new ideas and ways of working takes more effort to break down barriers, so naturally we sometimes need to reinforce these ideas.
Sometimes of course you can get it wrong, check out my digital marketing predictions for 2014. I give Google+ a big up and don’t mention Pinterest (insert shocked face emoji).
So this year I will look at the bigger picture for 2015 rather than individual platforms or channels, as I believe we need to look at making changes in the way we think as marketers first before we can start to get the most out of new and emerging trends.
Welcome to the digital world
2015 finds us in an omni-channel, multi-device customer driven digital world, disruptive business ideas and technologies are pushing into traditional areas and ways of doing business are changing rapidly even before we consider the influential growth of the ‘millennials’ not just as consumers. In 2015 businesses and marketers especially will need to change their whole out look, in fact it will be the year that my job title ‘Digital Marketer’ will seem out dated. 2015 will see the shift from Digital Marketing to Marketing in a Digital world. No longer will digital be a bolt on to a traditional marketing campaign, but instead Digital and Marketing will be one strong and dynamic proposition.
Content rules OK!
2015 is probably the 4 year in a row that I have said Content is King! So why do I need to mention it again as a trend? Well the answer is simple, many businesses still try to market to consumers in traditional obvious ways that savvy consumers just see right through. This obvious brand messaging just doesn’t work in the digital world. In fact you could go as far as to say that more businesses need to become media publishers, where their products are tie-ins with their content, rather than traditionally creating a product and marketing it. For most businesses 2015 will see the CMO thinking shift from asking ‘why should we do content?’ to ‘how do we do content’.
Unfortunately its also become more complicated then just popping an article on your website or blog. Recent refinements to Google’s algorithms now mean we have to consider where our content sits, what it says, how its optimised and how we communicate it through our channels. 2015 should see a much closer relationship between your Content, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and your Social Media Optimisation (SMO).
Lets get personal.
Data is a wonderful thing, and 2015 will be the year that marketers start to understand what a valuable resource it is. In fact there lives will be main easier with cutting edge analytics tools that will take the vast amount of customer data out there and present it in actionable ways. Don’t believe me? Check out the world of opportunity in data that IBM’s Watson holds. The most obvious change big data will bring in 2015 is personalisation.
To get ahead marketers will need to leave behind the idea of customer segments, customers are individuals and demand to be treated as such. This is where data and personalisation will forge new value for businesses. When I talk about personalisation I don’t just mean adding ‘Dear Trevor’ to emails, its much more then that. Its about using big data to collect information that will help businesses to serve customers relevant and individual content at any point of the customer journey be it in store, the website, mobile app, call centre, social media or at an event. In fact it goes even further then this, imagine customers being able to create and buy personalised goods and services based on recommendations served via the data your business holds.
If any area of business is open to disruptive new businesses in 2015 I think it will be this one.
The End of Likes
This is probably more a wish on my part, rather then a prediction. In 2015 I would like to see marketers and business abandon the terrible KPIs that are numbers of Likes, Followers, comments etc.. Having a Million Facebook fans really means nothing if you fail to have a coherent engagement strategy. Don’t even get me started on bought fans/followers.
Finally I think 2015 will be the year that email marketing makes a comeback driven by your data and hyper personalised.