6 PREDICTIONS ABOUT THE STATE OF DIGITAL MARKETING IN 2015

 

Sujan Patel / Forbes

With 2015 just around the corner, you might be making an initial plan that outlines how you’ll spend your marketing and advertising dollars next year. If you’re thinking about simply copying your digital marketing strategy and budget over and doing the same thing you did in 2014—think again. Times are changing. If you want to continue reaching prospective customers online, you need to follow the trends. You need to stay ahead of the game when it comes to connecting with people through your digital marketing efforts.

Want to get ahead? Keep reading. In this article, twenty seasoned digital marketing experts chime in on how they think digital marketing will change in 2015.

Based on their responses, I came up with 6 key predictions about what digital marketing will be like next year. Take a look and use the predictions below to get the most out of digital marketing in 2015:

Prediction 1: Content Will Be More Important Than Ever

“As Google GOOGL +0.89% continues to get better at connecting related search queries, long, in-depth content will become more of a trend. These pages will rank for both broad head terms and long tail terms Pages that are hyper-targeted towards long tail terms will die, and you’ll see more and more sites start to consolidate their pages.” — Danny Tran, Online Marketing Manager, QuinStreet

“Digital marketing in 2015 will definitely focus on caring customers/clients with all the available resources the brand could provide in its website. Content will make it easy for new and existing customers to locate and use the best products and services they intend to look for in various channels (search, social, paid advertising, etc..) Educating the target audience will now become the top selling point of many brands from whatever industry they are in.” — Venchito Tampon, Content Marketer and Link Building Specialist, Digital Philippines

“The emphasis on helpful content with paid visibility will continue to grow. Content will always be a priority but getting visibility to it will not be as free because Google and other properties will continue their push to keep the visitors on their sites giving users direct answers such as contact info, stats, game scores, etc. Site owners will have to pay for visibility for their entire web presence which extends far beyond their website and social properties and includes how they look in the SERPs, review sites, etc.” — Geoff Karcher, President, The Karcher Group, Inc.

Prediction 2: Marketing Channels Will Be Even More Connected

“Content creation, search optimization and social media will be less siloed as specific departments and treated more like skills that exist across the organization. Optimization will move beyond individual tactics and focus more on overall customer experience across channels. Marketing is everybody’s job and more companies will leverage internal resources through social business and collaboration platforms as well as participation marketing with their community to integrate scaled content creation and social media engagement.” — Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing

“2015 will be the year that companies start to pay attention to multi-channel attribution modeling. Historically, attribution modeling has been a rarely touched topic in most companies due to the difficulty measuring and understanding the full conversion path. But with more and more inter-connectivity between ad networks and advanced measurement capabilities, marketers are close to being able to get a clearer picture of how customers interact with their brand before converting.” — Soso Sazesh, Founder, Growth Pilots

“2015 will be all about tracking the 1:1 buyers journey! Marketers are continuing to connect all of their digital demand generations channels and tools. In 2015 we’ll get closer to being able to track exactly how we earn each customer from the top of the conversion funnel to the bottom. For example, companies will be able to track a single prospect through the time they saw an ad, came to the website, followed on Twitter TWTR +0.5%, downloaded a whitepaper, signed up for a trial, engaged with a salesperson and eventually became a paying customer.” — Aseem Badshah, Founder & CEO, Socedo

“As devices become more integrated within each other and the home, and as more and more viewers ditch cable for on online and pay-as-you go models such as Netflix NFLX +0.18%, brands will continue to shift more of their traditional TV and online advertising budgets to accommodate Preroll and interactive video advertising.” — Anthony Cerreta, Senior Interactive Producer, matrixx

“Brands will continue to increase the cost of media buying, and more savvy digital marketers will lean more and more on the social aspects of online marketing. There will be less separation between online and the real world, and marketing will reflect that.” — Chris Hooley Co-founder, reKindle Charity

“As digital marketing is extended through and more tightly integrated with technology, the walls between Marketing and IT are weakening. If marketers are truly to harness the power of our content management, customer relationship and measurement platforms, we must not only communicate but “co-operate” with IT. We must build a common vision, leverage one another’s skills, and be respectful of each other’s resource and time pressures. And it won’t be easy. In fact, it will be culturally disruptive for many companies – but absolutely crucial to the success of technology-enhanced digital marketing.” — Denise Dilworth, Content Strategist, Fusion Alliance

“Your messaging will be lost in the future if you aren’t optimizing content across channels and keeping in mind the unique nuances of each community and platform, while remaining consistent. It’s not about focusing on SEO over social and vice versa, it’s about ensuring one piece of content your company produces lives on each of your marketing channels in the right format to better scale your efforts so your organization can make quicker actions that reap more results. This doesn’t mean it’s important to be active on every channel, but it is important to create a consistent experience where your audience is active and make smarter marketing moves to stay relevant with the resources and talent at your disposal.” — Brian Honigman, Marketing Consultant, Honigman Media

Prediction 3: Mobile Will Take Over

“Mobile analytics is going to become a much bigger factor in 2015. No one is doing a great job of tackling this right since the world is still transitioning to a more mobile world.” — Eric Siu, CEO, Single Grain

“We’ve already seen the massive ripple effects mobile has had on the digital marketing industry. I believe we’re going to see this accelerate in 2015 and beyond. We’re going to see further advancements in how Google indexes apps in search. And we’ll see it become harder and harder to track and measure important data across users and devices.” — Dan Shure, Owner, Evolving SEO

“Cross-device attribution will become more important in 2015 as mobile traffic continues to increase dramatically and competition grows as non-gaming advertisers keep entering the space. Cross-device modeling runs on people-based, data-driven attribution (led by Facebook and Google’s Adometry) and as it gains more prevalence we are going to see a lot less reliance on click-based/cookie tracking. Digital marketers will be looking to gather additional behavior data to understand how mobile is assisting conversions on other devices & offline. True lift will be achieved by those who successfully combine these insights with techniques like audience segmentation and full funnel optimization.” — Dario Derna Head of Online Marketing, ZenPayroll

“I think that wearable tech will surge (Apple Watch, Athos, etc.) – and this surge will put an even greater emphasis on mobile for many companies. There will be more integration of technology with our daily lives and habits – which means more chances of hitting me with hyper-relevant messages when they actually matter, and even less effectiveness of broad message blasts.” — William Harris, Marketing Manager, When I Work

“From a search standpoint, user experience will influence Google mobile search engine results. Providing customized experiences for more mobile connected devices, such as wearables, will be key.” — Jon Heinl, Co-Founder, SEO Savvy
“In 2015, marketers will find out calls are the new clicks. Mobile traffic has already exploded and calls driven by mobile search are expected to be 65B by 2016. Marketers will invest to track calls and optimize that experience.” — John Gagnon, Bing Ads Evangelist, Microsoft

“I predict that B2B marketers will see their audiences cross over to “mobile first” for the first time in 2015 where greater than 50% of their marketing content will be consumed on mobile or tablet device.” — Russell Glass, Head of B2B Products, LinkedIn

Prediction 4: Marketing Campaigns Will Be More Data-Driven & More Hyper-Targeted

“As usual data will get better, but in 2015 you will see proximity messaging take off. With so many mobile payments options that track your purchases, location and everything else about you, I expect to see targeted messaging based on who, what and where I am. “Hey Dan, don’t forget to pickup Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.” goes the push notification from my iPhone as I walk into the grocery store.” — Dan McGaw CEO and Founder, Fuelzee

“2015 will be the year when B2B marketers will wake up to hyper-targeting. Only 10% of online visitors find what they are looking for when interacting with online content. Savvy digital marketers will be able to match traffic with business attributes, identify segments they want to grow and serve them with a very targeted message.” — Christophe Primault, CEO, GetApp

“2015 will be the year of data-driven marketing. All design, advertising and social media will focused on driving measurable results using cutting edge tracking and predictive analytics. Websites will focus more on optimizing conversion rates then increasing website traffic.” — Alex Harris HRS -0.01%, Conversion Optimization Consultant, AlexDesigns.com

Prediction 5: The Laggards Will Finally Adopt

“Businesses will finally wake up to the fact that social media and mobile marketing are no longer new phenomena and should be integrated right from the start of any marketing campaign or inbound initiative. The future of digital lies in companies being social and mobile by design!” — Mel Carson, Founder, Delightful Communications

“Digital Marketing will start to be accepted by traditionally late arrivals to new technology, specifically business to business manufacturers. Search, ad placement and social media will become staples of manufacturers’ marketing plans. More manufacturing executives will embrace what they have scorned for the past five years. Having cross-platform campaigns with increasingly content-rich video and instruction will appear. On the cutting block will be QR codes, texting campaigns and the practice of spam (not to be confused with legitimate email marketing).” — Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

Prediction 6: Google Plus Will Go Extinct

“In 2015 I think there’s about a 50% chance that Google could completely kill of Google Plus. I do not recommend companies spend much time investing in the platform.” — Ross Hudgens, Founder, Siege Media