‘Tis the season where companies look back at the year’s marketing activities to evaluate results. Agencies are working on closing one last deal before the new year, and everyone is  ramping up for a busy first quarter. If you’re lucky, some departments might even find themselves with a budget surplus. Holiday parties, anyone?

Nonetheless, it’s important to look ahead and break away from the norm, especially in digital marketing, a field that is ever-evolving and full of surprises. AgencySparks was curious to see what digital marketing trends and predictions the marketing community foresees emerging in 2015.

We designed a simple survey asking participants to describe their employer type (brand, agency, publisher, or service provider) and to predict trends for 2015 in the following discipline categories: social media, email/CRM, mobile, web, emerging technology, media planning/buying, or other. We received great responses, and we didn’t want to keep them to ourselves, so here they are.

Predictions in Social Media

Jason Dominy - Social Media Manager, Dalton Agency

“Social media will become even more personal, and you'll see lots more targeted paid media. All this data that's being collected will be used to create a more personalized social media experience on Facebook, Twitter and soon, Instagram. Platforms like Tumblr and Pinterest will continue to see large adoption rates because of great personalization and less clutter. Brands will hopefully move away from Facebook "Likes" and move into thinking about measuring platforms like Facebook and Twitter with impressions and eyeballs, rather just traditionally measured ‘engagements’."

Jeanette Gibson - VP of Customer Experience and Community, Hootsuite

“Social customer care will be a part of every company's customer service program.”

Drew Hawkins - Director of Digital and Social Media, DeMoss

“I believe we will see an increased importance on paid social media, especially on Facebook. It will only be a matter of time before we see a similar emphasis on other networks like Twitter as those companies will have to eventually impose more pay-to-play options in their platforms in order to monetize and please investors/shareholders. I think this will lead to three things seen by brands:

  • Social media managers will have to add media buying to their arsenal of abilities and daily tasks (if they haven't already).

  • Brands will be more strategic about where they spend time online, researching and looking at niche networks that better serve them instead of immediately jumping to a new shiny platform that the whole world seems to be talking about that week.

  • There will be more emphasis on driving consumers to a home website. Even TV commercials that used to drive people to a Facebook page/promotion are now starting to create small microsite experiences on their own. This gives brands an algorithm-free space (SEO excluded) that they completely own instead of playing by the rules set by other platforms.”

Predictions in Web

David Felfoldi - Chief Executive Officer and Founder, SHERPA Global

“Most websites will finally see 50% of their traffic occur from a mobile device.”

Patricia G.

“The TV channels as we know them are dying. It is all merging to the internet and we will be free will to pick out what you want to watch, including shows from other countries. Yay!”

Predictions in Media Planning/Buying

Raghu Kakarala - Former CTO, Moxie

“Big screen streaming video platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Google, Amazon, etc. will begin the inevitable personalization and interactivity of streaming video ad delivery in earnest in 2015. Much of the ad content within WatchESPN, and other streaming channels such as HULU is currently repetitive delivery of standard ads. With personalization data mixed in and the beginning of interactive formats next year the trend toward higher impact ads via streaming video on living room TV's will finally begin realizing its inherent advantages.”

Predictions in Email/CRM

Sandi Solow - Email Marketing Consultant, I Send Your Mail

“Small businesses are going to realize the importance of owning their marketing channels (thanks to Facebook for de-emphasizing unpaid page posts) and will make a greater effort to develop their email lists.”

Kyle Bumgardner - Vice President, Overground, Inc.

“Email and CRM retargeting via digital media.”

Predictions in Emerging Technologies and/or Mobile

Joe Koufman - Chief Executive Officer, AgencySparks

“Wearable technology will become more niche in nature. We will see devices that are singular in focus like Lumo Lift (helps with posture). These devices will become seamless so that consumers do not have to think about "putting them on" in the morning. They will be built into the things we are already buying (such as clothing).”

Darien LaBeach - Digital Account Executive, Nebo

“I think the trend will be a combination of mobile and emerging technologies. Mobile is the biggest shift in tech since the Internet with mobile users checking their phones over 150x per day. Wearable tech like the Apple Watch combined with the power of mobile devices will continue to offer more value to consumers. Also, services like BitCoin, Apple Pay, and now SnapCash will continue to make digital experiences more cohesive, comprehensive and seamless across devices. And, thanks to places like Atlanta Tech Village, companies like SalesForce and movements like Choose Atlanta, Atlanta has an amazing opportunity to draw the world’s attention for its world class tech initiatives.”

Unplugging

Steffan Pedersen - Director of Social Media and Digital Strategist, Object 9

“Wearables will certainly be increasingly popular and innovative, but what I've chosen to speculate on is unplugging. Certainly an "other" in terms of disciplines, but I do believe the practice of unplugging will become a trend in the near future. Humans require the freedom to evaluate, assess, and reflect on daily events, and cannot freely carry these out if we're constantly 'plugged-in' and preoccupied. The fear of missing out will begin to vanish as some of us take a step back, to the basics.”

Brands acting as publishers

Chris Stanfield - Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder, kaKaaw

“Brands will continue their quest to become effective - and more mature - publishers. It's no surprise that consumers continue to devour content specifically baked to whet the palates of individuals. The only constant is change, but all business is relational. With ingredients like empathy, humor and info-tainment, mixed with heaping piles of authenticity, the right recipe for branded content should yield many servings of delicious engagement in 2015.”

Katia Herrera - Marketing Coordinator, AgencySparks

“Personalized communications and relevant content will become much more important. Today’s marketer has to have exceptional writing skills that shows authenticity and purpose in every interaction and the way they communicate with the customer. There are endless amount of ways to communicate that are forcing us to be more strategic and thoughtful. It will be an incredibly intentional time due to the age of abundance. Especially in social media, a lot of people will not prioritize their time in core platforms anymore. Many consumers will gravitate towards upcoming location or format-based apps as they become more picky with the communities they join. This will catch the marketers’ eye, but they must work harder to create deeper conversations.”

 

This post originally appeared on AgencySparks.com. All rights reserved. © 2014

 

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