With the relatively recent explosion of social and mobile tools, digital marketing has passed its adolescent stage and is moving into adulthood. Barely existent 15 years ago, the field of digital marketing has undergone a remarkable transformation and period of lightening-speed growth.
While the main focus for brands over the last several years was to become more conversational, today, it’s about directing those conversations. Brands need to reach consumers through channels and platforms they use most. The coming year is the perfect time to do this and make marketing even more effective.
2015 will be a culmination of years of progress and development for the digital marketing community. It will also no doubt be a step forward in exciting new technologies.
To keep up with the increasingly evolving digital landscape, the following trends ought to be top-of-mind for marketers and their brands going into 2015:
Digitally Optimize Everything
As an industry, it is time to focus on execution when it comes to cross-channel marketing. In order to do this, we must become “digitally optimized marketers” – a term I like to use that refers to being a marketer in a digital world and looking at the entire marketing function through a digital lens.
Whether it is research, planning, developing creative or account management, every marketing function must be digitally optimized. It is time to get beyond the concept of cross-channel optimization and really put it into practice – fully integrating digital into everything we touch.
Mobile is not a device . . . it is the device
Even if you do not believe you need a digital presence, 63 percent of consumers are conducting local business searches on mobile – and of those, 80 percent result in a purchase, according to research by Neustar and 15miles. Those are numbers that can’t be ignored.
We have hit the inflexion point where mobile has become our primary device used to do so much more than in the past. In fact, according to Pew Research, nearly one-third of cell Internet users (34 percent) go online mostly with their phones – not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop.
From researching and purchasing products to using technology to track health, fitness and location, mobile devices are empowering every aspect of our lives and will continue to do so in 2015.
The “Uberization” of Business
We are moving towards a paradigm in which consumers come to expect that in the palm of their hand, they can find a product, purchase it, and get it delivered faster than the time it takes to go to the store.
This is the “uberization” of business and a mindset that consumers will increasingly adopt. It is using mobile to connect with the physical and the belief of consumers that they can get what they want at anytime through their connected device.
Furthermore, the use of NFC through ApplePay and the potential reemergence of QR codes will enable mobile to become a reliable scanning and payment device – strengthening the connection between the digital and physical.
Minding the Millennials
Whether your brand targets seniors or new moms, a strategy that is mindful of the millennial generation is your best bet for success in 2015. Having a millennial strategy, whether or not they are current targets for your company, is key because it will help you identify and stay on top of current market trends.
For example, adoption rates for technology are rapidly increasing. While this trend may have started with the younger crowd, adoption of technology by older consumers is steadily growing.
What is trending with young people – whether it is social media or wearables – will always carryover into older generations. It’s just a matter of time.
And there is no better time to prepare for the future than the present.