Welcome back to part two in our blog on 2015 marketing trends to look out for and here we have it, part two.

Content Marketing

Traditional marketing is becoming less effective as consumers have the power to skip television and magazine advertising, and are more able to ignore online advertising. Content marketing is the technique of creating relevant and important content with the objective of reaching and attracting a distinct target audience of consumers. Although organisations hit us with information all the time, what sets content marketing apart is the ‘relevant’ and ‘important’ part; things people actually want to know. Blogs are a brilliant way to grab people’s attention; B2B businesses with blogs get 67% more leads.

Gamification

Gamification, involving the application of game mechanics and design to other areas of activity, adding point-scoring, competition etc. to non-game contexts such as number of vitamins taken, or number of steps walked, is on the rise. Most global organisations are expected to have some sort of gamification in place in the next couple of years.

Newsletters

With certain types of marketing being more volatile, people are expected to search for forms of media they can control which means the comeback of the good old fashioned newsletter! It is likely that 2015 will see a return of the newsletter as a steady form of communication in rapidly changing climate.

Creating, Experimenting and Adapting

With the DIY and customisation trend ever on the increase, 2015 offers the chance to start up something a little different. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, blog sites, SoundCloud and Spotify offer the chance for interaction and experimentation while the constantly changing world of social media means adaptation is essential. A few platforms to keep your eye on next year include the open blogging platform, Medium, which encourages the inspirational and altruistic, and is ideal for content bloggers, and Thumb.it which allows you to like, dislike and share views. Learni.st is similar to Pinterest but focuses on learning, allowing information to be obtained from the experts; make the most of it with a focused content board. Quora, a question and answer forum is a good opportunity for lesser known businesses to boost their image by answering relevant questions as experts while the enormously successful Snapchat will require innovative thinking on the part of businesses.

Big Data

Referring to sets of data so enormous that it becomes difficult to process and manage them, big data gives the opportunity to gain significant insights. While important to have an effective infrastructure in place to manage it, it is becoming more and more important to make use of big data, not be daunted by the prospect and exploit it effectively.

Everyday Feminism

Consumers are becoming more and more interested in equal respect and opportunities for women, and in 2015 companies will be expected to counter ‘everyday sexism’, a trend identified in a blog with the same name by feminist, Laura Bates, with ‘everyday feminism’. Not only significant due to consumers’ growing concerns in the issue and an increasing desire to see women enabled to make central decisions in businesses and organisations, marketing professor and academic, Gloria Moss says that women prefer things designed by women and men prefer things designed by men. This means that by having a majority of brands or products designed by men, a company is more likely to miss out on appealing to women.

Dark Social

Dark social is web traffic which analytics can’t track due to the sharing of content through private means of communication. Nearly one third of people globally only share online content through dark social, while 91% of all those who share online content in the UK sometimes use dark social. Being unable to harvest data about how people reach a website impacts digital marketing and customer journey analytics, leading to a need to manage, analyse and understand dark traffic.

Rejection of Established Industries

Traditional supply chains and established industries are being rejected by consumers in favour of smaller businesses and brands which allow consumers to deal directly with producers, something which is starting to move from finance to other sectors. Larger organisations are often considered to be overly concerned with numbers and not about personal service, leading to a desire for brands which consumers feel interact with them and which they can trust.

Honesty, Happiness and Social Good

Growing issues of brand safety, transparency and honesty have led many consumers to search for brands which they feel are reliable and organisations which are open and trustworthy have the opportunity to gain the edge. Advertising agency Isobel carried out a study in association with Cog Research which asked people to rank businesses on the five characteristics of playfulness, happiness, trustworthiness, generosity and optimism, coming to the conclusion that ‘happy brands’, determined by these five criteria, have a better connection with consumers. Coming across as human and honest will be important for organisations in the coming year.


Social responsibility is also becoming a more notable trend. Positive behaviour, and a sense of being socially and morally dependable in brands, breeds positive reactions from consumers and staff. Just think of Barclays UK Retail Bank who faced resistance over using new technology until they started an initiative to involve staff in helping customers, children, teenagers and elderly people use digital services.
To summarise, this year we will be seeing the increase of new technology and new social media platforms, and different ways of looking at consumer demographics but, unsurprisingly, the key trends are that people want services which are convenient and relevant, and make them feel empowered and engaged. Swamped under a rising tide of more information than ever, with less time than ever to take it in, a relational, relatable way of marketing can be what finally catches the consumer’s eye.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our little forecast into the year ahead and if you would like to chat to one of the team about your business needs for 2015 you can do so here.