Let me begin the new year by saying that 2015 will be the year that new means old, optimized. I don’t see dramatic changes in consumer patterns, but there were some 2014 trends that should make all of us optimistic about this year, starting with the following:
1. Since virtually everything around us centers on the financial services industry, I see what they do as leading indicators of what will shape all of us, regardless of industry. And “in 2015, twice as many customers will look for financial products via mobile,” according to Forrester. That’s a mega shift in consumer trust/behavior, when a security-conscious consumer will shop financial products (mortgage rates, insurance premiums, credit card comparisons, auto loans, consumer banking) and do it on the run. This change from work/home research activity to mobile behavior proves you can move past superficial reading to real trusted engagements online.
2. Video is still important, so figure it out! Video works, if you have it, can produce it, use it wherever you can. It allows you to carry a more evolved message and retain brand consistency.
3. App to Wap. I’m more than optimistic about the connection between the push/pull of email and mobile apps. While apps are going through the cycle windows software went through many years ago, the banks are spending a lot of effort connecting the three experiences (web, app, email). Each offer value at various points in the customer lifecycle.
4. Mobile payments will be the mayonnaise on your sandwich. With Bitcoin, Apple Pay and better peer-to-peer payment solutions, I firmly believe this is the year that scale and expectations finally take a leap forward. Embrace it and begin to think about one-click commerce. For email marketers, this may completely change your world from 50% off to BUY with one click. Make it Amazon simple!
5. The core challenge we all don’t want to address is security. Pick your spots, tout how secure you are and build trust. This isn’t just an IT problem, it’s a consumer fear you must address head on.
6. You will spend more on every customer in 2015, so better get more efficient. Translated, this means, more value, more content, more discounts, more rewards -- and customers will expect this value exchange in more efficient ways. Predictive analytics will drive much of this scoring and direction for you this year.
7. Expect digital disruptions from smaller competitors. Regardless of the size of your business, there will be more businesses doing what you do through digital channels, with a voice and reach similar to yours. This is the year to learn from the small and cultivate speed, agility, creativity. Remember, you must be faster and better, not bigger and more recognized.
8. Drive innovation through partnerships. Marketing can seem very isolated, but doesn’t have to be. Think of possibilities to create products through partnerships.
9. Customer Analytics is the key EVERYWHERE. Get your quant hat on; this is the year it will pay off, if you can operationalize it at the speed of your day-to-day.
10. Millennials are growing up. 2015 may be the year to address this segment head-on in new and progressive ways (mobile first).
I leave you with a thought from singer Brad Paisley: “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”