Here are the biggest marketing trends to look out for in 2015
When it comes to marketing, the best defence is always a good offence. This is why being proactive and staying aware of upcoming digital marketing trends is imperative for the survival of your brand. As 2014 winds down, it’s become increasingly simple to identify the 2015 marketing trends every digital marketing professional should know about. The scope of digital marketing is vast and the implications of burying your head in the sand could be weighty. When we’re looking at 2015 digital marketing trends, we have to look at trends in technology, business and consumer behaviour.
If you haven’t been consistently monitoring the market, you could literally spend days scouring the Internet and probing reports to try to uncover the biggest trends for the upcoming year. We’ll save you the trouble.
Consider this your flash report on 2015 marketing trends. It’ll bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about to survive – and thrive – in next year’s marketing arena.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Trends in 2015
Step 1: Forensics First. Your look into the future should begin with a look into the past with a complete digital forensic audit of all your marketing avenues. This includes an audit of your website, your social campaigns, your content, your email marketing – everything. Leave no stone unturned. After all, if you want to understand where you are and where you need to go, you have to understand where you’ve gone (and maybe where you’ve gone wrong). Examine the numbers carefully; identify what’s working and what’s not. If something isn’t working, try to identify where you went wrong. Pin pointing exacts can be tricky – especially if you haven’t been regularly tracking your marketing efforts. In fact, if you haven’t been tracking your process, completing a digital forensic audit can seem downright overwhelming. If this is the case, you can contract a professional to help you tease out your tangled web of data and set you on the path to being able to better gather and organize your own info in the future. Get back to basics.
Step 2: Embrace the Social Evolution. There’s absolutely no escaping it: social media is an all-mighty, all consuming, unstoppable force. Try as you may to ignore it, you can’t; this digital marketing platform is the six ton T Rex at your cocktail party. You can either toss it some grub, or get eaten – and trust us, you will. But you don’t want to toss this beast just any old bone; you need to create customized, specific content specialized and optimized to perform in the realm of social media – and there are a lot of social media platforms. There are a lot of social media platforms that are evolving and evolving fast with new and enhanced products and services. Consider Facebook’s Graph Search, for instance. Or LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. One size simply will not fit all.
To master the social evolution, you’re going to want to become a master of the various domains. If you don’t have the time to do this, hire someone who does. It’s a comparatively small price to pay for what’s sure to bolster your bottom-line.
Step 3: Word Up. OK, we’ve just talked a little about content creation and management, but it’s by no means limited to social media. One of the most prominent 2015 marketing trends extends far beyond the seemingly endless reach of the digital world. A bullet-proof marketing strategy in the New Year will have highly targeted copy for every marketing avenue, including television, print and yes, online.
When formulating your 2015 digital marketing strategy, you have to think beyond digital. Reach out and rethink how you are using all your marketing channels, then create a plan that will both optimize each avenue separately and maximize their performance together as a complete, cohesive organism that draws people to your brand.
Also keep in mind your content needs to be quality. It needs authority. Long gone (and we mean LONG gone) are the days where simply getting content out there was enough. You’re in a highly saturated, highly competitive market here, and everyone thinks they’re a top-notch content writer. They’re not. Much like you wouldn’t hire your fashion forward, albeit three year old niece to dress you for a red carpet event, don’t hire anyone but a writer if you want quality writing. Always put your best foot forward.
Step 4: Nurture Relationships, Not Sales. You market to make money – we get it. The problem is your customers get it to, and they’re sick to death of the shtick. Marketers who are in tune with digital marketing trends – and marketing trends in general – will tell you that, as far as your audience is concerned – the pitch is dead; and if it’s not quite dead, it’s being ignored like a drunk, inappropriate uncle at a family reunion.
The plan: don’t sell at your customers – talk to them. Create a relationship. Recognize their humanity and promote humanity to them. Don’t present them with numbers; present them with themselves, their loved ones, their neighbours. Doing this successfully and being able to account for your progress is a little more difficult than tracking the pure numbers of sales, but it is FAR more valuable. Like any good relationship, fostering a strong, healthy relationship with your clients will be based on respect, open communication, honesty, common interests and yes, even a little ‘romance’ and excitement. It’s about your customers wanting to spend time with you (i.e. your brand). Give them what they want (e.g. that quality content, a transparent business ethic, the ability to actually listen to their wants and needs) and they will give you what you want. This is how you create a mutually lucrative, long-term relationship.
Step 5: Haute Tech. High tech is donning some haute couture. You’ve probably seen it by now; wearable tech is in, and next year, it’s going to take off. We’ve talked about this in detail already, and it has huge implications for mobile marketing – which is tearing down the wall between the message (when a person hears or sees an ad) to the action (when they can purchase the product), which will reach an unprecedented high in 2015.
Step 6: Jump in the Marketing Melting Pot. The most prevalent 2015 marketing trend for businesses seems to lie in the melting together of previously distinct departments. Public relations, marketing, customer service and research and development will all come together to create the ultimate, optimized, targeted customer experience. As a result, the skills required for each position will become more universal across the company, lending, for example, the pizzazz of marketing to customer service and the stolid empathy of customer service to marketing.
*Bonus: Be More Efficient. The latest buzzword leading up to 2015 is Programmatic Advertising. This is undoubtedly the biggest trend heading into the new year and something you need to look out for. Programmatic advertising, in a nutshell, is the process of automating your ad buying process by efficiently and (more) accurately purchasing display inventory across the web; cutting down on costs, labour and making it easier for you to spend your ad dollars in areas that will bring you the most return. Find out more about Programmatic Advertising .
The key to successful digital marketing in 2015 seems to be found in continually engaging in all forms of marketing and never missing out on the opportunity to at least explore – if not eventually adopt – a new trend. Not all trends are going to be immediately or ultimately useful for all brands, so you are going to have to know your business enough and understand your market enough to know what will work best for you.
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