2014 has been a rapidly changing year for brands, in Ontario and abroad.
Certain organizations across the province needed to do additional work to ensure their new websites met the requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It was a good change, but additional work it was!
In July, the controversial Canadian Anti-Spam Law came into effect and CASL made it more difficult for companies to market their businesses.
On the social media front, we saw Facebook continue to claw back the amount of fans a brand can reach organically.
Here are 8 marketing trends I’m predicting in 2015 that will influence many businesses:
1. Print & Phone Marketing – With the introduction of the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL), B2B marketers won’t give up email marketing, but many will increase their phone outreach and print marketing (i.e., direct mail) if they’re feeling constrained from connecting with their marketplace.
2. Facebook Fizzles – According to a Social@Ogilvy study, as of February of 2014, the average Facebook post organically reached only 6% of its fans. As they put it, “organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time.” In light of this troubling trend, Facebook offers advertising products where you pay to reach your fans. In 2015, more brands will look at Facebook in one of two ways: Either as a paid media service (no longer free to play) or not a worthwhile medium to be on at all.
3. Marketing Automation – Almost contradicting #1, we will see much advancement in strategy and technology with email marketing in 2015. A big rise amongst businesses will be marketing automation where they will use content, list segmentation, scheduling, lead scoring and further analytics to help their email campaigns generate more revenue.
4. Analytics – In a London Free Press article in December 2013, I predicted that brands will place higher demand on the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing campaigns. This occurred in 2014, and I see this trend increasing further into 2015 with more data becoming available to marketers and brands than ever before. For instance, brands can now install phone analytical software on their websites and the phone number will change based on the traffic source of the lead (Google Adwords, a print campaign, social, Google’s search engine, etc.). This allows brands to measure what mediums are converting better than others.
5. Content Marketing – Content marketing is using blog articles, e-guides, webinars, podcasts, etc., to reach more of a marketplace and build a better relationship with an audience. Content marketing can have companies who understand it and stick with it long enough, see it take hold and resonate with their marketplace. In 2015, content marketing will become even more popular, but a defined chasm will be present between the minority of companies who have the understanding and resolve to see their campaigns through to measurable growth, and the majority of groups who give up on it too early to see any substantive returns.
6. Video and Image – At the 2014 DLD NY Conference, NYU Professor, Scott Galloway, profoundly said, “We’ve been listening to words for thousands of years, reading words for hundreds of years, but we’ve been absorbing imagery as a communication vehicle for millions of years.” Photo and video sharing websites like Instagram and YouTube will continue to become exceedingly popular in 2015. In fact, it was reported recently that Instagram surpassed Twitter in the size of its user base.
7. Mobile Ready – According to Litmus, a whopping 51% of people now open their emails from their mobile devices. According to Tech Crunch, 66% of users access social networking websites from mobile. In observing web analytics regularly for brands, in most cases I see 25-30% of website traffic now coming from mobile and tablet devices. In 2015, businesses will consider how mobile is influenced by their marketing decisions.
8. More Standardized Web Design – There is a brewing plethora of factors that are influencing the need for more standardized web design – certain companies needing their websites to meet the AODA, web forms needing to meet CASL, more traffic coming from various devices, browsers, etc., and more commerce being done online. These factors are all leading to a greater need for higher quality and standardized web design. In 2015, there doesn’t appear to be any further governmental regulations in Canada on website development but brands will begin demanding that more of their web teams and vendors adhere to best industry practices and existing regulations.
Did I miss any that you feel should be on the list? Share your thoughts below and good luck with marketing your business in 2015!
Andrew Schiestel is the President at the web design and digital marketing company, tbk Creative; Host of the podcast programs, Digital Marketing Canada™ and The CASL Series™; And Co-Founder of AODA Online. He may be followed on Twitter at @AndrewSchiestel.