Novemberitis has hit hard and if you’re wondering why you’re feeling demotivated with a possible early onset of social media and digital fatigue, well, that’s because the year’s over and thank goodness for that.
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So, doing my best not to write a “Predictions for 2015 in digital” post, here are some of the things I think marketers need to be focusing on post 2014.
Immersion over integration
To integrate is not enough any more. A niche platform focus is being trumped by the need to create a common brand experience across all platforms, both on and offline. Customers have become more demanding than ever before and are consuming information across platforms, apps and devices with vigour. Brands need to have answers wherever buyers are looking, and if they don’t, they may need to refocus and listen harder to the now mobilised consumer.
Brands as publishers
Going beyond being useful, brands will have to move from being humorous, relevant and witty to being publishers of content that the customer will actually thank them for. This may seem like a strange aspect to focus on, but content marketing is becoming a place that most brands are experimenting in and those who can get it right for their consumers will be making waves in 2015.
Media and amplification
From AB testing to paid funnel strategies, we’ve all been there, so where does the real battle lie? Personally, I think it happens in the conversations between the status meetings. Questions like; “Is there a way we can shift bigger budget to paid mobile on Facebook? And “Where are we with Twitter Cards?” If you’re in digital, you would be aware that the media shift is happening, but without data centric motivation, will it happen in your (agency) lifetime? Test, report, analyse, optimise and then learn to motivate for more in a way that provides your client with the best way for them to motivate to their powers that be. Equip your client with the best knowledge they can stomach to make better decisions about their business.
Segmentation versus fragmentation
LSMs, right? We all hate that damned acronym. So, why do we continue to bow to an old measurement of segmentation when we all know that our targeted audience is now more fragmented than every before? I say it’s time to change that. Digital, social and CRM have given us the tools to understand who our brand’s customers are now more than ever before. Maybe it’s time we went back to basics, re-resourced in the right areas and re-evaluated the way we speak to specific audiences to maximise our client’s message.
Social CRM and the art of personalisation
Without having to play ‘the herder’, brands and marketers need to look internally at their loyalty programmes, existing databases, partners and look to improve their messaging by understanding their customers better than ever. From automation to direct response feedback, brands need to begin developing a more customised user experience for each and every person in the purchase lifecycle. Winning here is as easy as investing in where you decide to water the grass. I love analogies, okay?
Storytelling on ‘roids, boet
It’s not a term I like to mention that often anymore, because as soon as it’s mentioned, you become THAT guy. I’m not saying it’s a naughty word, but it needs to evolve from simply telling stories, to making it interactive and visual to the point that they inspire emotion and raise themselves beyond getting noticed, having their message amplified to communities greater than their own.
eComm is no longer shmeComm
2015 will be the year where brands begin to start understanding their customer user experience better than ever. Tracking customer acquisition and personalising that experience every step of the way will be the new stomping ground for eComm-orientated brands. The seamless experience both on desktop and mobile needs to be a focus point for brands looking to retain and churn in the purchase cycle.
What are we missing?
A lot, but without boring you to death, there are a ton of topics I simply couldn’t cover in this piece that deserve to be mentioned and without buzz-wording too much, here we go (real quick); Africa Vs. South Africa – someone tell somebody that one approach for a Sub-Saharan country cannot be duplicated across other regions. Just don’t. Wearables – whether this will feature predominantly in 2015 is yet to be seen, but the way I see it, we all already have a wearable, it’s called a phone. Data – the dreaded ‘D-word’ and it’s still on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Where I think marketers need to focus their efforts is in mobile instead of web. Because, when you think about it, it’s a window to their world, it’s time we kicked the breeze with them.
Feel free to add your own 2015 Digital and Social Predictions in the comments section below.