It is that time of year again! Businesses are wrapping up and reviewing this year’s successes while planning for 2015. What digital marketing plans do you have in the works for 2015, and are they in line with what is changing in the industry? In this blog post, we provide a recap of 2014 highlights and let you know what you can keep an eye out for in 2015!
Digital Marketing Highlights from 2014:
Below is a recap of 2014 digital marketing highlights:
- Real-Time Marketing and Personalization: Businesses are seeing positive results from highly targeted, personalized marketing campaigns — engaging in an in-depth analysis of each buyer/target audience persona to find out when, where and how they are engaging with content, and customizing relevant messages and push notifications to target at a moment an individual is most likely to have interest. Research has shown this increases customer engagement (by 81%) and conversation rates (by 59%).
- Permission vs. Disruptive Marketing: Through active research, audience members have become wise to traditional marketing tactics and more wary of their purchase choices. In an effort to build trust, marketers are stepping away from the disruptive marketing approach (e.g. using banner ads) to a more permission-based approach before distributing content to him or her. This way, when a purchase or action takes place, the individual feels like he or she had more of a choice in the matter.
- Content Marketing: The sales funnel isn’t linear anymore — several digital marketing and traditional channels playing a part in attribution (whether directly or indirectly) for a sale or conversion. In a more people-focused mindset, marketers have found that by first providing info. that benefits the consumer and building a relationship with him/her, this person is more likely to be receptive when a direct sales promo/pitch is presented.
- Mobile Devices: Mobile devices have been known to be the digital marketing wave of the future for some time now. In 2014, mobile search advertising grew and social media was highly consumed by users via their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices — and mobile spend is projected to increase to $31.1 billion by 2017.
Now that we have looked at where we have been, let’s look at where we will be going…
What Businesses Can Expect in the New Year:
There are many digital marketing predictions as to what will change in 2015. Here are some from our team:
- Participatory Approach. With the hopes of limiting bounce rates and building an invested, active audience, marketers will continue to look for ways to keep visitors engaged on company websites. Some will look to digital marketing “gamification” (e.g. by creating competitive leaderboards) while others will build more interactive, dynamic content on their landing pages. These are just two examples of how the “participatory approach” will (and has already begun) to take off!
- Semantic Search. Semantic search (i.e. taking into account keyword context and user intent) will become even more important. Digital marketing data visualizations will provide marketers not only insight into target audience interests, but insight into what affiliate marketing or sales funnel stage an individual might be in. Businesses can utilize predictive analytics to better their chances of finding that zero moment of truth (ZMOT) and addressing an individual’s specific pain points at the right time. Daniel Newman, a contributor at Forbes, says “this trend [semantic search] is in motion and irreversible.”
- Multiple Touchpoints. Thinking of the mix of traditional and digital marketing in real-time for a multi-channel, multi-platform strategy is going to become even more challenging. Thus, we anticipate an increase of investment in marketing automation software in 2015.
How Businesses Can Adapt to Digital Changes in 2015:
Nowadays, companies are starting to realize that communication between departments is even more important. With the “Internet of things,” businesses have an opportunity to cut through the clutter and continually meet the needs of a digitally savvy generation through integration across multiple digital touchpoints. Take advantage of the technology available to you!
The Ad Firm team recommends businesses making a conscious effort in 2015 to break down the silos within an organization. It’s not enough just to know any one particular area of marketing — businesses are now expected to find overlap between sales, marketing and technology. Metaphorically, it’s a puzzle with several pieces coming together to complete a picture — all simultaneously working together with knowledge of other’s contributions to the greater whole.
As businesses look to increase their bottom line, Google and other search engines have and will continue to make changes that impact online properties in their efforts to perfect their algorithm. Users will continue to try to break through the noise and find valuable digital consumption and integrated participatory experiences. When optimizing for both search engines and Internet users, it is important for businesses to keep up-to-date on these new digital marketing changes going into 2015! Get in touch with The Ad Firm at 949-535-3776 and we will get you going for the new year!