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MARKETING: Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015
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Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015

By Justin Toy

As we turn the page on 2014, it's time to look ahead to 2015 and see what marketing trends will be important in the New Year and beyond. From small start-ups, to large multinational corporations, keeping up with marketing trends will be a source of strength and competitive advantage for firms of all sizes and ages. The following is a list of 5 marketing trends for 2015 that are a combination of leading industry analyst insight and an analysis of recent marketing data.

BT 201501 34 Marketing 1 rise marketing technologistRise of Marketing Technologists
Marketing is a business function that is increasingly becoming more and more technology dependant. The term "marketing technologist" is one that has become common to describe technology professionals working in the marketing sector. These individuals are becoming increasingly important in today's digital age, so much so that some firms are hiring chief marketing technology officers (CMTO) to help bridge the gap between the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the Chief Information Officer (CIO). These marketing minded technology professionals are helping to guide organizations' marketing efforts into the digital era with their technical expertise. Expect to see this profession grow at a hot rate in 2015 as a number of programmers and other technical professionals join the marketing field to help increase their company's bottom line while increasing their pay check.

BT 201501 33 Marketing 2 maxresdefaultAugmented Reality & Wearable Technology
The opportunities presented by augmented reality (AR) and wearable technology promise to be extremely deep and ground breaking. Augmented reality and wearables allow marketers to creatively combine technology, the internet, and offline physical location in order to innovate new ways to help and engage consumers. Today, there are a number of clothing retailers using AR applications to help consumers save time and visualize what they would look like without actually having to try on any clothing. A few firms that are already embracing AR in a number of different capacities include Topshop, American Apparel, Converse, IKEA, and Burberry.

However, progress in this field has seen a dramatic setback as Google Glass, the most hyped up product in this space, has lost the interest of developers and early adopters. Google Glass is still quite rudimentary and expensive, especially compared to the price and functionality you can get out of your smartphone. Additionally, Glass's battery life is short and the device frequently overheats. Nevertheless, don't expect Google to give up on Glass just yet. Instead, expect Google to announce an improved Glass 2.0 product in the near future. Or perhaps Glass will integrate with a very secret project that Google recently invested USD 540 million in back in October. Magic Leap, a stealthy company out of Florida with some impressive credentials, is secretly working on a AR project that they say will "generate images indistinguishable from real objects and then being able to place those images seamlessly into the real world."

Another highly publicized and exciting AR project on the horizon is Oculus Rift which was purchased by Facebook back in March, 2014. Though Oculus Rift is often associated with video games, it's obvious that Facebook has plans beyond gaming for Oculus. Imagine being able to preview a vacation destination fully immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells. The possibilities would be endless with immersive marketing that could appeal to all of your senses.

Apple's iWatch, which is due out sometime in early 2015, could provide a huge push in the wearables market and in turn, has the potential to push wearables into the mainstream. Technological advancements in wearables and AR will allow marketers access to a wealth of real-time data ranging from location, to physical and mental health which could be used send custom tailored marketing messages at just the right time. With the exciting potential of wearables and AR technology, we are on the forefront of another ground breaking marketing revolution.

BT 201501 35 Marketing 3a eba8830b55a121b5e30c25df4ebece46 1Content Shock Fallout
Content marketing continues to be one of the fastest growing strategies for firms of all sizes and is expected expand for a number of years. Some analysts predict that by 2020, the amount of information on the web will increase by 600%. Today, marketers are spending on average a quarter of their marketing budgets on content marketing. However, marketers will have to spend an increasing amount of resources in order break through the glut of content in order to reach their customers.

Another repercussion of this content overload is the increasing prevalence of filters and curation websites and apps. In order to sort through the content clutter, more and more consumers will turn to some kind of filter to find fresh and unique content. Sites and mobile apps like Zite, Stumbleupon, and Flipboard already do this, even Siri for the iPhone acts as a kind of filter. Marketers will need to focus on making sure their content is making it through these filters if they want to maximize their reach.

BT 201501 37 Marketing 4 iStock 000025561239LargeMicro-Targeting and Personalization

Sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Amazon have access to an incredible amount of customer data that is collected from their sites. These silos of information, in combination with publicly available and purchased sources of big data, will allow marketers to better understand their target audience and to target niche audiences in real-time. The use of targeted advertising in 2015 will become more efficient and effective.

All this personal data will translate to a strong increase in personalizing marketing efforts down to the individual level. Personalized marketing campaigns help build a stronger connection with your customers and in turn leads to engaged consumers and better conversion rates. Personalized emails have a 14% higher click through rate and a 10% higher conversion rate. Integrating dynamic content in on certain sections of your website will also play a large role in increasing personalization. In general, there's a fair amount of acceptance for the use of data for online advertising as only 47% of American consumers opposed a law that limited the use of data for this purpose.

BT 201501 38 Marketing 5 Mobile phoneMobile Marketing Continues to Grow
Many analysts predict that mobile web use will overtake traditional desktop/laptop internet use during 2015. Forbes predicts that by 2017, 87% of connected devices sold will be either a smartphone or tablet. This means that firms must strongly consider marketing plans tailored specifically for mobile devices, not just utilizing a responsive web design for their website. Consumers browse, click, and interact with the internet much differently through their phone and mobile devices than they would on a desktop or laptop. All digital marketing efforts moving forward must be considered from the mobile prospective. Expect to see a growing number of creative and innovative marketing campaigns built specifically for mobile consumers in 2015 and beyond.


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