We recently got our hands on the very interesting Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2015 Digital Trends. I’ve picked out some of the leading digital marketing trends for 2015 – with added insights and examples.
1. Customer Experience (or CX if you need a marketing acronym)
In 2014 Customer Experience may not have reached the heights expected of it. But it will be big in 2015. Nearly half of companies think it will be the main way they differentiate themselves from the competition, trumping quality, price, and convenience.
In creating good customer experience most now agree that it means having the right tech, data, and skills. But as companies focus more on customer experience they are also starting to agree that the next steps are: having a well thought out strategy that has the buy-in from all key stakeholders, and having a unified team who buy into the company or brand’s identity and culture, and who know how to carry out the strategy in a creative and innovative way.
Take AO.com as an example, they have their marketing and customer service teams so closely integrated that they don’t just answer queries, they also attract more customers.
For more tips and integrating social media marketing and customer services in order to create good customer experience you might want to read our 5 ways to get started.
For many this is still very much in the future. But for the bold, 2015 will be the year many begin to launch and experiment with geo-targeting and location based marketing activities. The idea of advertising by location may seem too new, or intrusive a way of digital marketing to be starting on this year. In fact less than a quarter of companies currently use it or will be using it by the end of 2015. But with apps like Yowza sending location-based coupon offers into users’ smartphones, or with services like Google Now, the opportunity is here.
Geo-targeting will go further than Google Maps this year.
3. Getting to grips with Big Data
The more digital we become the more data we can gather. However, fewer than 40% of companies think they have the infrastructure in place to collect the data they need, or the analyst talent to understand the data they do collect. Examples of companies using Big Data effectively are increasingly obvious online. Services like Spotify, for example, use your music playing history and the patterns of similar users’ listening habits to suggest playlists you’ll enjoy (and many other things besides), build on your experience of their software, and increase usage. They even have built-in community functions, like sharing playlists to keep the data in-house and minimize users sharing their listening habits on other networks and reducing traceability.
This is a long term goal for many, but as we get to grips with data, geo-targeting, and social media, huge opportunities open up to create a personalised experience for your audience and to speak to them as individuals. It’s also an area where social and digital marketing can cross over to other areas, and has huge potential for marketing campaigns. One campaign that took personalisation viral last year was ‘TD Thanks You’ from TD, the Canadian bank. They created individual stories from information they had about customers and used it to create incredibly personalised ‘thank you’ gifts, filmed what was happening and then it went viral on YouTube.
Many consider personalisation their top priority for 2015 and a top area of opportunity over the next few years. In a way this follows on from big data – with better understanding of data comes the opportunity to start personalising your message to individuals rather than an ‘audience’ considered as a whole.
Companies are getting more comfortable with content, social, mobile, and video marketing. So digital experimentation and innovation will be essential this year to stay relevant to customers and ahead of the competition. Only a tenth of companies are unwilling to experiment with digital marketing in 2015, and those who will experiment will be focusing on social, mobile, content, and video marketing. As well as investigating personalisation, big data, and customer experience.
To see the power of experimental digital marketing, consider the Adidas World Cup campaign last year. They created a huge variety of content, from Q&As with footballers, to Google Hangouts, to tracking real-time conversations on Twitter. This level of experimentation helped them stand out in one of the most advert-crowded events of the year.