Summer Trends 2015

Last summer I wrote a piece about trends, following the Internet Retailer Conference and Exposition (IRCE).  And now the first real summer of wearables is upon us.

Last year the trends suggested the mobile consumer will be even more mobile this summer, I think we can safely check that one off
your list as fact.  Also, mobile clicks aren’t all created equal, social is a hot playground and that rich media/video still sells.   Pretty safe bets.

Ironically, many deeply respected bloggers who attended IRCE this year came to the conclusion that the trends are so similar at the sound bite level:  personalization, video, social — yet when you dig under the covers of what’s happening it’s a pretty dramatic difference in view within the context of each.

For instance, video is still a hot topic.  But it’s not about creating video or the value of video and how to blog to create great SEO.    The smart phone and use of video is so pervasive, companies video strategies must evolve.  With 64% of Internet traffic coming from video,  marketers must refine their video strategy for their site and other video sites like Youtube and Facebook.



Social is still hot, and last year it was about advertising.   Today it’s not just posting to Facebook, and building a Twitter audience,  it’s a far more evolved content strategy that is challenging most to choose which platforms make the most sense for their business.  Where does Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, Periscope come into play, not to mention LinkedIn?  Each is its own animal.

The mobile consumer is now the connected consumer. Mobile has evolved with the Internet of Things, so people are asking, how do we apply this core data-driven strategy to all connected devices (smart home, smart car, smart “me” (wearables),  and how do you prepare for this next deluge of behavioral signals that might prove to be better indicators of a future behavior than a click.

And since all mobile clicks are not equal, the question has shifted from how to get people to click, to new discussions about mobile being somewhat cannibalistic of direct-response email.   We found that tablet clicks produced far conversions than mobile, but with the larger screen sizes and emergence of phablets, the next trend we will likely see is a convergence in mobile pay as the browse experience on devices becomes easier and larger.   

Moving on to trends for the summer of 2015:

Notifications will become more than informational:   This includes email, push, SMS notifications that will become smarter, more geo-driven and more intelligent as we identify customers in-home, out of home and in shopping modes.

Cross-device messaging will be attainable for the nimble:  Connecting an experience on a common device through different messaging protocols will be key.   The cross-functional departments may finally agree on attribution to pull this off.

Personalization will take new roots in real time:  We will finally centralize personalization so it’s a practice, not a proof of concept or mass customization in sheep’s clothing.  This 1:1 and contextual view of experiences will force marketers to focus on high-value interactions and near real-time ways to create personalized experiences that drive customer behavior we desire through email, mobile and web.

Stay cool and mobile this summer.

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