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State of Digital Marketing in 2015: 7 Realistic Predictions

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Digital Marketing Predictions

Digital Marketing is composed of two words: Digital & Marketing; and there is only one rule which can optimally define these two terms:

“The Only Constant Is Change”

If I were to explain digital marketing to a complete newbie, it would be something like, “Connect the dots”, as shared by Steve Jobs. Digital Marketing is the bridge, the platform which connects businesses with the consumers, using Internet.

Considering that there are so many developments happening in the world of Internet and Businesses; and the dynamics of customer behavior and trends, it becomes quite interesting to assume what lies in the future; how will consumers react to a strategy and how will brands achieve their objectives.

Like last year, we are again attempting to see the future, to make calculated risks concerning Digital Marketing for the year 2015.

Here is my top 7 predictions:

1) Marketing Intelligence Will Increase

There are close to a 3 billion people on the Internet right now. As you are reading my predictions, there are millions of people who are checking their emails, posting images, viewing videos and shopping stuff which they need; all with a click and a tap of finger.

Big data will closely integrate with marketing this year, thereby giving rise to marketing intelligence which has never been experienced or seen before.

Data driven marketing campaigns will be the choice of businesses, and marketing intelligence will inform the marketers when, how and why should a message be conveyed, and more importantly, how much money should be spend.

Calculating ROI on marketing campaign will reach a new level of sophistication with Marketing Intelligence.

And this leads us to the second prediction: Why do we need big data in Marketing?

2) Personalization & Localization Will Become The Norm

Imagine walking at an offline market place such as Connaught Place in Delhi or JM Road in Pune or say a shopping mall in Navi Mumbai, and as you approach a shop selling shoes, your mobile suddenly beeps with a message announcing an exclusive discount of 50%, only for you. The message says that this discount is being provided to you considering that you are about to walk past us!

This personalization, based on localized information about you is the next big thing to happen. Startups like Foursquare will be increasingly used to deliver personalized, localized content for the users, thereby forming a special bond.

3) Mobile Will Continue to Soar

There is not even an ounce of doubt with this one: Mobile is here to stay. Online businesses which are ignoring mobile analytics and mobile based traffic, will be extinct just like dinosaurs in the coming days.

More and more people are opting for mobile to access content, information and deals on the web, and they are increasingly shedding their apprehensions to buy via mobile. Youngsters are increasingly using mobile wallet to make purchases, and I see no reason that this trend will stop.

Basics like having a mobile responsive site have actually become the norm, and the mobile usage will only increase from here.

4) Brand Will Convert Into Publishers

Seth Godin has famously said that content is the only marketing left now. Content, which is laser targeted for the targeted audience of the business is the new gold of Internet. Increasingly, brands are realizing that producing content with the help of third party agencies is becoming expensive, and time taking.

Brands will have to become publishers in 2015, if they want to dominate the content based marketing approach, and to engage deeper with the end user.

In-house brand content production (including text, videos, images, games and more) is all set to explode in the coming days, and basics like blogging, podcasts and webinars will become the necessities of a business.

5) The Power Lies In Brand Community

Human being is a social animal, and it thrives in communities and groups. Maybe this is the reason prisons were devised: The harshest punishment which you can give to a man is to leave him alone without any human contact.

There have been communities and forums since the early days of Internet, and this gave rise to social networks. But creating a group or page in a huge social network like Facebook is not enough for the brand anymore. They need their own communities, their own tribe to thrive.

Just like branded content is the future, branded communities is the new future for digital marketing. Brands will need to invest in nurturing and growing their communities, and to make their users feel that they are part of a big family.

Apple did it beautifully with the help of Steve Jobs, and now, every company needs such cult following, a thriving community to survive. We can see a rise of specific, mini-portals and small micro-sites designed specifically for the community, which will give boost to the concept of nurturing tribes.

Jobs such as Community Managers and Tribe Leader will come up in the coming days, replacing Social Media Managers, which has almost expired now.

6) Ad Spending On Social Networks Will Increase

Being a person who always advocates content based organic marketing, this may come as a surprise for many. But, the fact is that, there is no other option left.

A company’s Facebook page has converted more like a broadcasting channel for the brand, and non-paid campaigns can bury your posts into history, very soon. If a brand needs its massive presence on Facebook or any other social network quickly, then it will have to spend.

The budget can be minimal to start with, but there is no alternative left. Targeted, theme based campaigns combined with an advertisement budget is the secret recipe which can help businesses to stay alive on social networks. The budget may vary as per the business objectives, but it has to be there.

In a way, it sounds doom for social networks because once money comes into play, the factor of trust and brand loyalty can take a hit. But with the current scenario, we can’t predict much into that aspect. As per some estimates, spending on social networks will match advertisement spending on TV!

The basic rules remain the same: Create engaging, thoughtful and powerful posts on social networks, but take it with a pinch of salt: You need to spend some money to make it visible as well.

7) Wearable Technology & Marketing Will Shake Hands

If 2014 was the year when wearable technology made its presence felt, then 2015 would be the year when marketing shakes hands with it.

Apple watch, Google Glass and other such high profile wearable tech products can be experimented to induce subtle marketing messages for the end user.

Imagine wearing a Google Glass, and going on a date with a beautiful woman at a sea side retreat. As you are talking with her, Google Glass automatically presents the preferences of your date, and with a blink, you order her favorite drink which the waiter brings next instant. She is impressed, and you are the winner. Now imagine the same with brands and consumers. Wearable technology can connect everyone, and make everyone a winner.

When it comes to marketing & technology, possibilities are endless.

Do share your predictions for digital marketing in 2015 by commenting right here!

[Image Src: Shutterstock.com]

  1. […] no such thing as digital marketing. If there is, there might be random bursts of paid advertising (maybe we should thank god for at […]

  2. James Sullivan says

    Mohul Ghosh, What an informative post, thanks! James Sullivan

  3. Kaxil says

    Well Written, Also with Changing trends in SEO, Marketing Agencies need to stay updated with algo changes. And Even Facebook Ads is now mandatory as Page Reach has fallen badly.

    1. Mohul Ghosh says

      Thanks Kaxil. Yes, for greater visibility, and reach, Facebook ads have now become almost mandatory. But for SEO, I have deliberately left the topic. As for me, I believe that the only way to do SEO right now is dont do it. Once the basic website tweaks (on-page) is over, just leave it and keep on creating mind blowing content. Google will take care of your site :)

      1. Arun Prabhudesai says

        Second your point about SEO completely. Infact, I have seen more cases where after spending a lot of effort on SEO, the traffic is fallen!

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