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While the Thanksgiving turkey may not be carved, and the tree not yet decorated, companies are already preparing budgets and projections for 2015.  Digital marketing is clearly flexing its muscle and companies interested in growing need to begin revising their marketing strategies for the coming year.

Digital marketing is on the rise. According to emarketing predictions, digital spending is already on pace to surpass traditional marketing efforts for the first time.

With digital being the new method of engaging and communicating with today’s consumers, companies looking to succeed in 2015, need to increase their efforts on digital channels.

What does a digital marketing strategy look like for 2015?

Here are 4 digital marketing predictions that offer insight on where companies should be spending their digital dollars.

Content/ Context Still Rule

Valuable content pushed via paid promotion. That’s the secret this year.

It sounds rather obvious. But even in 2015, content and context will continue to remain the dominant force of any digital marketing campaign. Clearly, Google is still fine tuning its ability to bridge the gap between content and context. With that, long-tail and in-depth content will push its way to the forefront of content marketing. Why? Because the longer, more value focused content, will enable companies to increase their digital position and user search potential. The content will need to be shared across digital channels (social, paid, search) but the concept of educating the target market will shift to become the focus of many brands.

Content will always remain important. The difference in 2015 will be that as the search engines are fighting to keep users on their properties, the value of brand visibility will become even more critical. Content and social will remain important but these channels will require a bit of a paid boost. Websites will have to invest more time, and money, in promoting their company by increasing their listening and awareness on less brand focused sites, like review sites or other secondary web properties.

Cross Platform Marketing will Grow

In 2015, digital marketing, with a strong assist from technology, will continue to blur the lines between marketing and IT.

Marketing in a content driven digital world means collaborating and communicating with IT departments towards a common vision. The challenge, of course, is respecting each others’s knowledge base, value to the company, and limitations. This new approach of internal collaboration may be a drastic shift in a company’s current marketing strategy but it will be critical for its success. With technology and digital marketing so closely related, the communication between the two departments will define the growth of the company.

Content, search and social were never destined to remain in a silo. But, in 2015, this will become very clear. Marketing this year will turn into  a critical aspect of the growth of an organization, forcing everyone to become a brand manager of sort.

The focus this year will be on engaging the virtual community and providing cross marketing customer experiences.

In short, 2015 will be the year that brands begin tracking customer journeys on a 1:1 scale. Over the past few years, digital marketing has slowly integrated cross platform marketing. In 2o15, brands will be able to gain much more insight, with the help of more sophisticated analytic and tracking software, on the unique journey each customer took through the conversion funnel. Especially with the rich micro data that so many social media platforms are providing, brands will be able to connect the dots and follow the digital conversion trail for each user.

Digital marketers aware of the importance of social, will shift their efforts to social selling. As consumers spend more time online, marketing efforts will capitalize on this trend by continuing to weaken the online/ offline barrier.

While cross platform marketing will take the lead in 2015, this form of engagement can only succeed if a brand is creating content that is native to each platform, while weaving a consistent brand narrative across channels. Social, search, content are all important. Brands can no longer emphasize one over the other. Instead, each piece of content should be unique. Respecting the etiquette and nuances of each channel will prove to be important. Granted, not every channel is appropriate for each brand, but whichever channels a company chooses, they should focus on providing a consistent user experience that activates and engages the community.

Go Mobile or Go Home

The trends of mobile usage are outstanding. The surging mobile market is directly affecting the marketing industry. In 2015, the marketing industry will be forced to its limits as users shift to primarily consume content across multiple mobile devices. The mobile device is closely related to the growth of the wearable tech market.

Together, these two trends are creating a new reality for marketing- a reality that is hyper focused around data and simple user interface to enable optimal conversions on smaller, mobile, screens. As technology continues to merge into the life of consumers, only the most pertinent, valuable content will remain relevant. Sending messages to a broad base of users, without the necessary data to support the marketing strategy, will prove to be ineffective.

How Google approaches indexing apps in their search engine will be an interesting development this year. This will only be a part of the challenge as brands will face a challenge tracking, analyzing and measuring data across digital channels.

With the growth of mobile/ wearable devices, the best markets will integrate the few mobile analytics software early on in this trend to better position their brand and reach their target audience while the competition is figuring all of this out.

Digital marketers will gather the rich mobile data to gain insight into consumer behaviors and how these mobile patters can shape and complement  online/ offline conversions. The brands able to merge these data sets into tangible marketing tactics, like segmenting markets or identifying unique marketing opportunities, will tighten the conversion funnel and dominate the young mobile/ wearable market.

Data and Personalization

If 2014 focused on Big Data, 2015 will be all about data driven marketing efforts. Analysts are already predicting that in 2015, marketing anlytics spending will rise by nearly 60%!

2015 will be the year when marketers, both B2B and B2C, will embark in communicating to targeted consumers on an extremely granular level that is a direct result of pairing data with core target segments.

This will be the year data drives all marketing efforts. All digital marketing will focus on transforming data into measurable results that prioritize conversions over traffic.

Marketing to the masses is becoming passe. It’s time for companies to invest in customizing content and personalizing marketing tactics to niche markets that offer the highest yield of profitability. Creating the personal experience means that brands need to distill their messaging to evoke a 1:1 communication style. A consumer-centered, and hyper-targeted, marketing strategy enables brands to create meaningful content that speaks and responds to core consumer motivations. While the investment of such focused targeting seems daunting, the benefits of crafting marketing messages and content that is relevant, engaging and personal will clearly benefit any company in the long-term.


Are there any other marketing trends that you can think of? Does 2015 digital marketing look differently to you? Add your input below.