Peering Into Digital Marketing’s Crystal Ball For 2015


Your in-box probably is full of bold predictions for the future — not the “you will meet a tall dark stranger” type, but the type that identifies the “next big thing” for your business.

Marketers are laser-focused on digital marketing, so here are tidbits gleaned from my in-box.

The good folks at eMarketer published their “Key Digital Trends for 2015” and offer these five observations.

1. The need for responsiveness.

For the past couple of years, “responsive” has referred to whether your website works on all screens. It means something else today. Marketers need to be responsive themselves and provide consumers with real-time information and reaction to current events. This requires attention, skill and planning.

2. Growth of mobile search.

2015 will be the year where the majority of search spending, organic search results and paid clicks will come from tablets or smartphones instead of desktop computers.

3. Programmatic media buying.

eMarketer projects that more than half of all digital display advertising will be purchased via programmatic or automated advertising buying systems. Look for purchase technology to gain in traditional media, too, especially broadcast.

4. Rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Do not be disheartened if this prediction puzzles you. A recent survey for GE found that close to half of all business executives did not understand the meaning of IoT. A simple explanation: IoT is the scope of connected products and services sold to both businesses and consumers. Think of the exercise band that automatically “talks” to your computer to track your exercise habits.

For marketers, the IoT can provide a mass of data showing how people interact with multiple devices. The opportunity for insights into consumer behavior has never been better.

5. Cross-platform targeting.

Until now, true cross-platform targeting has been extremely difficult. Digital publishers now can offer marketers the ability to buy audiences, not just channels, through advances in user identification, retargeting and location data.

Marketing Trends Survey

StrongView, a Redwood City, Calif., supplier of cross-channel marketing solutions, just released its “2015 Marketing Trends Survey” of global marketers. The survey showed marketing spending would increase in these areas in 2015:

• Email marketing

• Social media

• Mobile marketing

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

• Line display advertising

“Marketers consider email the fulcrum of their digital marketing campaigns. ... (They) are making inroads in using automation,” said Shawn Myers, vice president of marketing at StrongView in Media Post.

As you might expect, direct mail budgets are predicted to decline as spending on email marketing increases. Similarly, increased spending on digital display advertising is expected to cause a reduction in print advertising..

The StrongView survey also revealed brand marketers’ three top concerns for 2015:

• Accessing and leveraging customer data

• Cross-channel marketing coordination

• Developing more relevant engagements with consumers

Here are two final predictions I found, and these concern topics not to worry about in 2015.

First, while the use of QR codes will continue, consumers have not embraced QR technology. It just does not work in many situations.

Second, if digital security systems inhibit consumers’ online behavior, they will give up privacy for utility and speed.

Now, go looking into your own crystal ball.