Five Key Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015

Every year, we see trends in digital marketing. Some extend existing behavior, while others offer new opportunities. This year is expected by some to be a year of "digital marketing transformation."

Every year, we see trends in digital marketing. Some extend existing behavior, while others offer new opportunities. This year is expected by some to be a year of "digital marketing transformation."

1. Mobile

Back in 2012, marketing analyst firm BIA/Kelsey predicted that mobile searches would outpace desktop by 2015. Some claim this shift already took place last year. Merkle RKG made a recent announcement that mobile devices comprised 42% of all organic search activity that ended in a visit to a retail website. Any way you look at it, the global transition from desktop web activity is inevitable.

With over two thirds of mobile device users saying they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly site than from a traditional desktop site, you can't afford to delay adding mobile marketing to your strategy.

2. Omnichannel

Retailers have been more swift to move to the all-connected "omnichannel", an integrated multiple channel approach to marketing, customer support and other business practices. The omnichannel blends a consumer's online experience with a brand with its brick-and-mortar operations.

Customers in 2015 are much more savvy than just a few years ago. With strengthened search capabilities (desktop and mobile), social media and review site experience, and an informed approach to buying, you have to meet your customers using an omnichannel approach.

3. Marketing Platform Evolution

The digital marketing space has exploded with new and evolving marketing platforms, dashboards and tools that help with customer profile development, traffic data analysis, building digital assets (e.g. websites, landing pages, pay-per-click ads) and, in a broad way, managing the customer experience.

2015 is expected to be a year where marketing technology vendors such as Adobe, Oracle and hundreds of others will improve:

  • Mobile integration
  • Digital ad programmatic buying
  • Social media campaigns
  • Multi-device analytics
  • Much more

4. Customer Attribution

Because the overarching goal in digital marketing is "connecting" with the consumer, you'll need tounderstand your customer's journey to a purchase. Being good at that takes solid customer attribution practices. For instance, in 2015, you must have the ability to track how they found your brand online. Did they search using a mobile phone? What sources do they use for reviews? Do they purchase online or in-store? There is a lot of data that can be used to attribute how a consumer became a customer. This year, customer attribution may be critical to becoming better digital marketers.

5. Geolocation Marketing

Mobile technology is advancing rapidly. Some talk about the Internet of Things, which is expected (in the future) to enable marketers to better define customer habits. In 2015, leading brands will be focusing some of their budgets on geolocation marketing. The rise of indoor positioning systems, like Apple's iBeacon for example (which uses radio waves to track customers as they move through a store), enable marketers in retail and other business-to-consumer verticals to refine their message targeting and encourage more in-store sales.

Marketing through geolocation technology has been gaining momentum for the past two to three years. This year, we're likely to see more companies mesh together the digital and in-store experience through the use of geolocation marketing.

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