2014 has been a year of trying, testing and growing. We’ve seen a huge push for quality over quantity, visual media has begun to take center stage, technological innovations have changed the way we do business and big data has revealed more about our customers (and us!) than ever before.
It’s been a big year say the very least, but what does the future have in store for us? Let’s have a look at some of the marketing predictions for 2015.
1. Visual-Based Social Media Platforms Will Dominate
The first of our marketing predictions for 2015 is a trend that’s been on the rise for the last couple of months.
One of the most quoted facts on the internet this year has been the fact that we have a shorter attention span than that of goldfish. And it’s for this exact reason that the social media platforms that will begin to dominate in 2015 will be ones that revolve around messaging, video and imagery.
Think Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, Whatsapp and Instagram.
Forrester reported in April that Instagram alone had a 4.2% engagement rate compared to Facebook’s 0.07% and Twitter’s 0.03%.
While many businesses have begun to utilize Pinterest and Instagram for marketing purposes, it’s likely that these platforms will develop their business models in order to gain more traction amongst marketing communities. As for messaging services, such as Whatsapp and Snapchat, it’s likely that the companies will explore their marketing opportunities and tap into their large user bases.
The focus on these platforms will also encourage businesses to focus on creating more visual-based content in order to tell their brand stories.
In the age of infobesity and increasing digital noise, visual storytelling will continue to emerge as a strategy for not only standing out, but also for nurturing and growing vibrant and engaged communities. The ability to craft visual stories that inspire emotion and spark the movement will help companies get noticed and amplify their message throughout those communities.
– Ekaterina Walter @Ekaterina – CMO, Branderati
2. “The Internet of Things” Will Begin To Flourish
Have you ever shared an article about the latest gadget that can turn your coffee machine on 5minutes before your alarm goes off? That is all a part of the “Internet of Things” where we’ve started to connect digitally with objects.
This isn’t particularly a new trend, but it’s a growing one that will likely start to take centre stage in 2015.
Cisco predicts that there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. These objects can be anything from electronics, to sensing devices. The innovative technology has been in supported by governments and large businesses determined to get ahead of the curve.
3. Social Collaboration
Two heads are better than one, right?
Collaboration is becoming more and more central to social media activities as the create communities and/or connect different communities together.
I’ve seen this trend grow in content marketing with expert roundups popping up all over the place, and they really add value and quality to a blog. On social, the same thing is starting to happen, and it’ll start to really take off in 2015.
We’ll start to see more and more businesses crowdsourcing their projects, companies creating campaigns calling for customer opinions, and Twitter “parties” being utilized for practical purposes (to solve problems, collect data etc.)
4. Mobile Optimization Will Become More Advanced
We’ve gotten to a point where people know that they should be optimizing their websites for mobile, so now we’re stepping it up further. This means beacons in brick-and-mortar stores, cookies on mobiles, and more in-depth integration with customers.
As Colson Hillier, VP of Verizon’s Precision Market Insights stated: “The next six to 12 months will yield much better standards around identity. The fact that a cookie doesn’t exist in mobile can be solved; it’s by doing things like ID chaining or leveraging a precision ID.”
However, while we become more advanced, Forrester predicts that most businesses will underinvest in mobile marketing for 2015.
5. Engagement and Personalization
2015 is set to become the year of the ultra-human digital marketers. We’ll have gotten to a point that we’re so good at utilizing marketing automation, that we’ll feel confident enough to focus our new gained time back on our customers to ensure they’re getting personalized responses, fantastic engagement, all the while becoming more likeable to their customer base.
Humanizing engagement and making business correspondence more human will also give companies more opportunity to surprise and delight their customers, and tap into the much ignored Word of Mouth Advertising.
6. Businesses Will Race Out-Do Each Other with Great Customer Service
I’m a huge fan of great customer service. In fact, I love it. I love giving great customer service, and that means I also like receiving it – And my expectations are high.
2015 will be the year when brands start to realize the importance (and insanely great ROI) that comes with great customer service. If Ryan Air’s Michael O’Leary is even catching on, that means the message is finally getting through, right?
‘We should have been nicer to customers earlier than we have been’
It’s about time, Mr. O’Leary.
7. Businesses Will Begin To Focus On Preparing For Crises on Social Media
We’ve seen a lot of marketing #fails in 2014. Tesco had the horsemeat scandal, British Airways failed to act quickly enough to avoid a customer complaint going viral, American Airlines just couldn’t get to grips with their social media automation and Pigalle’s had a complete social media meltdown.
People eat up this stuff like candy. For them, it’s a type of entertainment. But for a business, it can become a setback that you’ll spend years recovering from.
And what do all of these customer service crises examples have in common? All of them went viral due to the power of social media. Busiesses will take note of these 2014 disasters and strategically prepare for social media crisis management plans of their own. Companies will have a crisis plan in place that will work to reduce the social risk and protect their brand image.
What are your marketing predictions for 2015? Please share!