The Marketing Landscape in 2015
Marketing is possibly one of the most diverse jobs to be in right now. At the most fundamental level, it breaks down into online and offline and can be broken down even further, leading to specialisations within specialisations. So where should you be looking to spend your budget in 2015?
Digital spend is increasing
Nearly every blog you will have read in the last year or so is reporting that digital marketing, as a channel, is seeing increased spends year on year. A report from Gartner in November 2014 found that 51% of companies intend to increase their digital marketing budget, with the average increase being around 17%.
Quality content will be King
Content has always been the staple of any marketing company, but with shifts in buyer behaviour leading to increased research time and search engines looking to deliver the most rewarding results to their users, it is becoming more critical.
Whereas over the past few years the trend has been to generate content at all costs, marketers will now need to move away from this mentality and look to create something that really matters to their target audience.
Rightly or wrongly, we live in an age where celebrity status is revered more and more, be they musicians, sports personalities or business leaders. Decision makers at all levels look to this endorsement as a sign of trust and recognition. With reality TV here to stay, new stars are born every week giving companies new opportunities to leverage this than ever before.
B2C or B2B? No, it’s all H2H
While it is a little clichéd, H2H (human-to-human) communication is becoming the focus again. In the rush to get on board with digital channels and all they offered, the actual concept of marketing to people was forgotten. Nowhere was this more evident than in SEO, where the search engines and rankings came first.
This is changing and marketers are using all the channels available to develop real human interaction, either through in-house sales and account management teams or by outsourcing to telemarketing agencies. The simple fact is, that no matter how clever your campaign is, a real conversation can deliver far more than just being a point of contact.
Marketing automation and CRM
Utilising a marketing automation platform or CRM is becoming essential. Even for the smallest businesses, the opportunity to develop leads from anywhere is a reality and managing and understanding that is a must.
Software like this used to be an expensive investment but with technology always progressing there are now solutions to meet all budgets. We actually wrote about this in our blog post: 5 ways marketing automation can help your sales.
Mobile and the internet of things
Nearly everyone has a mobile phone, tablet or smart device – this is a simple fact of modern life. We live in an extremely connected world. In this connected world something as simple as a photo or status update can be shared and seen faster than it can be stopped.
We can consume all the data we want and even link multiple devices to enhance the experience. We can no longer assume that everyone will be interacting with us in the same way, and as marketers we need to ensure the prospect’s experience is seamless from one interaction to the next.
The decline of buzz words
The world is getting busier, deadlines are tighter, working hours are getting longer and we expect more from everything.
For so long in marketing we have developed new terms and phrases to help separate ourselves from the crowds, but in doing so we have potentially confused the audience we want to reach.
If you want to target senior decision makers then make sure they can quickly and easily understand what it is you offer in order to retain their precious time. This is also true of the researchers if you want to even make it onto their shortlist.
To help you, Marketing Magazine recently wrote about The 10 most annoying words in marketing.
Multi-channel is the standard
All marketing is multi-channel, regardless of how you plan it – users can share everything and anything at will. Not every channel can own the lead, so getting your lead attribution process defined will become invaluable. For example, do you fully understand how your analytics package defines where the lead came from? How are you recording this information and is it accurate?
Paid social media will rise
The organic reach of brands on social media will continue to decline. The simple fact is that social sites need to make money like anyone else. The natural target is companies because users are unlikely to pay to use a site. Anyone remember Friends Reunited and the pay to play model they used?
Facebook, Twitter and the other big players are slowly forcing advertisers to pay to promote more content. Yes, users can subscribe to get notifications but this is unlikely to happen on a large enough scale to remove the need to pay.
So where does this leave us in 2015? Potentially, despite how complex the landscape sounds, it could actually be that simpler marketing strategies and messages will be the ones that work.
Some extra reading
If you are looking for some extra reading and inspiration here are some great articles…
- 10 predictions for content marketing in 2015 – Mashable.com
- 2015 Predictions For CMOs And Digital Marketing – Forbes.com
- What Does The Future Hold For Marketers? 16 CMOs Share Their Predictions For 2015 – MarketingLand.com