Most Important Marketing Trends of 2015: Don’t Get Left in the Dust
Like our clients, we know that as you jump into 2015, the last thing you’ll have time to do is read through thousands of blog posts and industry marketing journals. So, we’ve made the process as simple as we can for you. We’ve put together a roundup of the five most important marketing trends for 2015. In no particular order, they are:
5. Know Your Audience (We Mean It This Time.)
As inbound marketing professionals, we are constantly talking about who we’re targeting. You should know everything about your audience, including where they hang out, what hobbies they’re into and what makes them tick. Talk to them directly.
In his latest “trends” blog post, social media strategist Jeff Bullas says that focusing on how and where content is consumed is the old way of doing things in social media. The new focus is going to be on what type of content is consumed. In other words, it’s great if you know where your audience is hanging out online, but it really isn’t going to matter as long as you are speaking directly to them and their needs, wants, desires, and interests.
The point here is that if your target market is a group of bookworms, then posting and being active on a social network related to motorcycle drivers isn’t really going to do it. Whoever can find a member of Hell’s Angels that loves Jane Austen scores ten points- leave us a note in the comments!
4. Marketers and Consumers: “So Happy Together….”
Alright, so we were not around in 1967 when the Turtles recorded their famous song. But what we do agree with is that consumers should be the focus of your marketing efforts. Potential and current customers should be at the center of the discussion. Avi Dan, founder of Avidan Strategies, LLC tells Forbes that in 2015, companies will be more “transparent” with their marketing efforts and that stories of customer success and questions will be given in real time. In other words, customers will play an active part in the marketing process. In the past, Dan posits that many of these interactions were just “fictional stories” of sorts. If you want to succeed in this area, keep it as real as possible.
3. B2B Takes Notes From B2C
Each year, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Market Institute starts his “predictions” post for the following year with some of his own predictions, and says that each year he will most likely be proved wrong. This year, he’s predicting that larger companies are going to acquire what he calls “niche media companies” in order to create more personal relationships with their target markets. In the B2B world, speaking to other business owners can be a bit of chore if you really don’t know your audience. Since the conversation is really about “business” you don’t get to know as much about your potential or current customer as you would in the B2C world. By companies taking on smaller niche firms or working with companies like Penguin Strategies, they’re able to teach their clients how to reach their target market in a personable, friendly way. Will this actually work? We’ve already got the statistics from LinkedIn prepared for you. ;)
2. Time is Money: Give the Work to Your Writers
Visual.ly’s Lizetta Staplefoote hits the nail on the head with this powerful B2B content marketing suggestion for 2015. We keep hearing that “Content is King” and yes, that’s true, large amounts of content need to be produced. However, Staplefoote’s point is that well-thought out content targeted towards specific buyer personas can only be created if writers have the time and expertise to do so. Asking your already overburdened marketing and product management teams to write is not best practice. Even if you have some talented writers on your team, they won’t have the time to determine the strategy, focus and then actually write the content itself. It’s simply too much. To make your content as effective as possible, outsource to writers who can do the work well and have the time to complete it. Strategy, planning and the actual writing can be given to reputable inbound marketing firms with these capabilities.
1. Millennials March to the Tune of their Own Drummer
While we’ve been writing about the millennial generation here for ages now, it’s good to see we’re right on target for 2015. Shafqat Islam writes for Mashable that millennials are not just a generation, they’re a group that should be treated as individuals and they are fighting hard not to be addressed as a pack, but distinct people with different interests and needs. This goes back to #5 above. Your potential customers’ interests and how you speak to them is going to be way more important than just hoping you’re finding them in the right place at the right time. In our opinion, it’s already a little late for this. How are you addressing the “new kid on the block”?
We’ve tried to keep the list nice and short so you can focus on just these five suggestions. It’s possible you may already be doing some of this in your day-to-day work. Did we make any mistakes? Do you have any quick tips or predictions for 2015 that you or your team are putting into practice? Tell us in the comments below!