With the onset of a new year, there is a need for new things. In this article, I am going to explore some of the predicted trends for this year and understand their relevance to particular industries and sectors. Exploring these trends will help brands stay ahead of the game and make their digital marketing efforts count.
- Content is Prime: Content has always been king and will continue to rule. Marketers and specifically, social media managers, must concentrate on creating content that is relevant yet inspiring. The importance of content in 2015 can be multifold, but there are two extremely important contexts on which I want to focus. Firstly, the content on a website will be the deciding factor as to how customers locate and use the product or service (via Social and Search). Secondly, the change in the Facebook algorithm: with Facebook being the most widely explored social platform, it is important to post content in line with the new algorithm. The new parameters that determine reach are “Timeliness” & “Trending Topics”. Content created for Facebook must be relevant and along with regular scheduled posts must include real-time posts.
- My Brand Pick: I predict that one of the brands to ace content in 2015 will be Amul. Known for their excellent content, they will be able to use it wisely on different digital platforms.
- Industry Relevance: Content is important for all industries and sectors.
- Mobile will lead: Worldwide, there are close to 1.75 billion mobile users and there will an estimated 2 billion users in 2015 making mobile the next big platform. With more consumers accessing the internet through their smart phones, marketers will have the chance to target users for longer duration through different phases of the day. This year will see a rise in ad-spend on mobile; two specific areas that will see a leap are mobile payments & mobile videos. Online & mobile payments have found their place surpassing security issues. This is an opportunity for markets to target wisely. Videos were one of the predictions for 2014, and 2015 will take it to the mobile platform. As smart phone screen sizes are getting bigger and internet speeds are getting faster, mobile videos are getting more popular. Markets can use this as an innovative way to engage with customers. Videos in 2015 could be interactive videos & real time sharing campaigns. Mobile technology is more than apps--they are a requisite-- but markets should explore mobile for more than simple apps. The ripple effect of mobile technology will be an increase in mobile analytics. 2015 will witness deeper analysis to help brands understand mobile marketing better.
- My Brand Pick: Starbucks was one of the leaders to adapt to mobile technology. I predict that they will be among the first to innovatively use this platform. Tiffany & co. has made an impact with video content via Instagram already; this will give them a head start to try something new.
- Industry Relevance: Industries that need to dive into these are Retail, Health, B2B and small business. Small businesses that are just now setting up their digital activities must consider mobile apps and sites at the time of building their web presence.
- Data Driven Pre Targeting, Hyper Targeting and Analytics: Brands invest their time and money in digital for two reasons: one, they can target specifically and two, the analytics. Many brands take analytics very seriously and implement their findings in their strategy. 2015 brings reason to cheer for marketers, as targeting and analytics will see a dynamic rise. There is wealth of data available on the internet. People leave various pieces of information on websites; social media sites like Facebook & Twitter are valuable repositories. All this data can be used to segment and target more specifically so as to avoid spillage and reduce costs. Pre targeting has already been picked up in 2014 by many brands and more brands will join them in analyzing big data to give the consumers what they want.
- My Brand Pick: Big brands like Unilever and P&G can be the ones to revolutionize this trend in 2015. These are brands with various products under one parent brand that require hyper targeting & can use pre targeting as well. Big brands like these can spend funds on analytics and implement the findings.
- Industry Relevance: FMCG brands must utilize this trend to make the best of the available technology.
- One Single Platform: This year will finally give digital media the chance to be treated as one single platform. Marketers are to realize that to effectively sell, communicate, and engage with customers, one platform isn’t enough. Marketing strategy in 2015 will have to include all aspects of digital like Social, Display, Search & Mobile. This is especially mandatory for brands planning campaign strategy and budgeting so as to reap the maximum ROI. There is also an opportunity to explore in terms of cross promotion. Brands can pick and promote particular channels that give them most revenue.
- My Brand Pick: Oreo has always maintained consistency through all platforms. They have the opportunity to work on cross promotion and have used it to promote their social campaigns, content and contests.
- Industry Relevance: Recommended to all industries and sectors.
- Wearable Technology: This prediction was on the list of 2014; health trackers and smart watches did create the buzz, though, unfortunately, didn’t create the desired impact. Making it to 2015’s list, wearable technology will explode as many companies are putting out second and third generation products. Consumers are incorporating technology into their everyday life. This technology will give marketers a chance to build a new marketing strategy.
- My Brand Pick: Apple, as they have explored the market with the iWatch, giving them the perfect setting to explore marketing and branding for their other products.
- Industry Relevance: Healthcare Industry should explore this opportunity.
With these predictions and other changes in the digital industry, I hope brands will rethink their strategy and budgets and not reuse their 2014 plans.