Trends To Watch In 2015

Intuit’s Christine Morrison admits that she doesn’t get too caught up in the latest marketing trends. “I think about timeless human behavior and how to capitalize on it,” says the company’s group social media marketing manager. However, if she had to choose one trend to keep an eye on in 2015, she points to the continued evolution of Twitter — specifically, “which Facebook tactics Twitter adopts and whether they will work as well in that very different social network.”

Twitter’s growth as a valuable social media platform is among the intriguing trends identified by a cross-section of Association of National Advertisers committee chairs. In fact, Brian Maynard, head of marketing for the Jenn-Air business unit at Whirlpool Corp., says he will also be following advances in the social space to see if the “continued explosion of social media tools” make sense for his brand and target. Here’s what five other ANA members believe are the trends that bear watching in 2015.

Michael Kelly, media and consumer communications manager, American Licorice:

One major trend is the evolving dynamic between agencies and advertisers as clients bring traditional agency functions in-house and many agencies struggle to find ways to add value to roles they traditionally owned. Three years ago, Marc Andreessen (cofounder of Netscape Communications) wrote that software is eating the world. It seems we’ve certainly reached the point where software has eaten the advertising industry as brands awaken to the promise of working with programmatic vendors to build efficiencies in workflow and cost, while getting more targeted and relevant with their media buys. The major evolutions in advertising technology over recent years are prompting advertisers to radically rethink their agency relationships, internal organizational structures, budgeting, media planning, and buying. Whether on the agency or client side, the players who will thrive are those with the specialized capabilities and skill sets to support the diversification of tactics required to develop effective marketing strategies in the world of big data and mobile devices.

John Lick, executive producer of broadcast production, Target:

The trend I’m closely watching is the evolution of personalization in marketing — creating customized content for every media channel the consumer interacts with: television, digital and social media, mobile, in-store, out-of-home, etc. Long gone are the days of producing content for one or two media channels. We now look at each channel individually, evaluating which content will be most effective and what our guests want to hear from Target.

Bill Stabile, executive director of brand marketing communications, Siemens:

The trend I’m watching is the yin and yang of being both customer and technology focused. In reality, technology should help marketers be more relevant to customers and engage them with authentic marketing content. But sometimes technology takes on a life of its own, and the use of technology is around trying new things under the guise of reaching customers better. The reality is that if technology is employed for its own sake, then we fail; if technology is used for brands to become more relevant to our audiences, then we will benefit. In a sense, it’s a throwback: put the audience (and the customer) first and the strategies/plans to reach them will follow.

Kellie Krug, senior vice president of enterprise marketing services, Wells Fargo & Co.:

A key marketing trend worth paying attention to is the focus on customer experience. If done right, customer experience can be a differentiator, delivering stronger loyalty, engagement, and value. With so many channels to connect with customers, along with the opportunity to engage in a two-way conversation with customers, the customer experience can be an area where brands meet and exceed customer expectations.

Gerald Johnson, chief diversity officer and senior vice president of engagement marketing, American Heart Association:

From my perspective the evolution of deeper, more meaningful engagement with the customer is an important area to watch. Specifically, who’s investing in “what matters metrics” and, more importantly, how they are turning the data into actionable insights, leading to continuous program evolution, better results, and more relevance with the customer.

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