I know, I know. I’ve only just gotten used to writing 2014 as well. But, it’s time we all faced the truth: 2014 is drawing to a close. As such, we thought it fitting to spend some time reflecting on the year that was, and posing some predictions for the year ahead. That’s right folks, it’s time to take an educated guess at what 2015 holds in store for the marketing industry in Australia. So, in no particular order, we bring you our marketing predictions for 2015.
Content Marketing is Here to Stay…
The popularity of content marketing shows no sign of abating in 2015. So, marketing professionals will continue to shy away from the more traditional forms of marketing, in favour of generating engaging, entertaining, and compelling content; content that tells the story of the brand, and brings consumers real value, rather than hard selling tactics. High-quality content of real value will continue to be all the rage. We may even see large corporates finally dedicate real budgets to content marketing this year, particularly given that B2B companies that have a blog tend to generate 67% more leads through their website than companies who don’t.
…Which Will Lead to More Marketing Noise Than Ever…
For every piece of engaging, high-quality piece of content, you can bet your bottom dollar that there’ll be half a dozen pieces that add no discernable value: marketing noise. Over the last few years, long form content (blog posts up around the 1,200 word mark and white papers galore) has grown in popularity and effectiveness. 2015 is most likely to see this trend continue, particularly with the algorithm changes rolled out by Google this year. Panda and Pay Day both specifically target (and fail to rank) low quality content.
…Which Will Mean More Paid Amplification
If there is a barrage of noise in the online marketing sphere, then one of the most effective ways to ensure cut-through is via paid amplification: Twitter and Facebook advertising, and Google Adwords campaigns and any other paid online marketing tactics. While social media may have originally been a free means of communication, it is becoming more and more difficult to reach your target market without some sort of advertising spend.
Client Focused Marketing Will Be A Winner
Client focused marketing goes hand-in-hand with content marketing, so it should come as no surprise that it will be all about the client (and not your brand) in 2015. Rather than rely on traditional, ‘best-practice’ marketing solutions, marketers will lean towards testing customer experience, analysing data from the here and now, and curating a marketing program tailored to their client’s wants and needs.
Marketing Analytics and Automation Will Come Into Their Own
So, if you need client focused marketing, then you need the marketing analytics on which to base your client focused marketing programs. Makes complete sense, right? Some industry experts have estimated that spending on marketing analytics will jump by as much as 60% over the next 12 months. In addition, the use of marketing automation technologies will increase by approximately 50%, particularly social media marketing automation. In a nutshell, the acquisition of marketing analytics, and the needs to run agile, responsive and automated campaigns will boom.
Technological Advancements Will Make An Appearance
Hear us out. This one isn’t just for the super nerds. It’s going to have a big impact on the world of marketing as well. New technological advancements will see the current gap between the online and offline worlds close. So, of what technology do I speak? Well, we have Apple’s new iBeacon. So far, this has only been rolled out to developers. It is an indoor positioning system, which allows iPhones and other Apple devices to perform certain actions. Then you’ve got the Apple Watch, which was launched in September this year, and Microsoft’s Band, a wrist-mounted health and fitness tracker.
And then there’s the daddy of all technological advancements…Google Glass. Developed by (you guessed it!) Google, this is a wearable technology that incorporates an Optical Head-Mounted Display (OHMD). It is able to display information via hands-free and is voice activated. This type of wearable technology will revolutionise the way that we use and interact with the internet. Marketing professionals will be compelled to keep up.
Visual and Video Will Rule
Video and imagery-based content (think inspirational quotes overlaid on a picture of a beach at sunset) has been growing and growing over recent years. Both of these formats are able to cut through the marketing noise quickly and efficiently, in a way that written and long form content cannot. The old saying is true: a picture tells a thousand words. Imagery, whether it’s video or static, helps brands to stand out from the crowd.
Mobile Will Dominate
If haven’t already done so, make sure that your website, and every single aspect of your online presence (marketing included) is mobile friendly. Use of mobile devices is continuing to grow year-on-year, and will very soon surpass desktop usage rates. So, when thinking about your digital marketing strategies, make sure you take into consideration the particular preferences and behaviour patterns that your customers have when using mobile devices.
The Lines Will Start (or Continue) to Blur
Even more so in 2015, we will see the convergence of some of the more traditional marketing disciplines. The differences between advertising, public relations, marketing, and content marketing will continue to dissolve. All of the new, 21st century marketing functions will need to work together, more than ever, to create consolidated, successful campaigns. Public relations professionals will become content marketers, who will have to work alongside SEO experts and web developers to ensure perfect user experience, and to get the best possible search rankings. Marketing in 2015 will be all about collaboration.
If you are feeling nostalgic and want to reflect on the predictions from this year, make sure you check out our predictions for 2014 which covered areas to consider for your marketing budget spend. Turns out the predictions were right on target.
Good luck for a successful 2015!
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