The evolution of digital marketing will enter a new phase in 2015. Mega trends that would take decades to fully play out will see a start this year. The digital industry trends are being driven by trifecta of technology trends, changing business models and evolving consumer behavior.
On the technology front, wearable technology is going to be the next big thing this year. Devices like Google Glass, Apple iWatch and Samsung Gear were major talking points last year and will continue to remain in the news. However, we are expecting Occulus Rift (now bought out by Facebook) to be the biggest conversation driver. The geek fantasy of living in theâ€œMatrixâ€ may finally come to fruition this year.
Wearable technology is also likely to impact the health sector with patientsâ€™ increasing capability of real-time monitoring through smartphones. The pressure of real patient centered healthcare will challenge traditional method and an emerging mega-trend of phone as the EMR and patients treating patients (p2p) will begin to take shape.
Additionally, this year expect brands to increasingly experiment with drones for delivering of products and recording events. 3D printing will open an arena for artists and brands to use it as a tool for self-expression. Old-school products from thermostats to refrigerators will start to converge into the internet ecosystem, a mega-trend that will culminate in the next few years.
On the business front, weâ€™re expecting mobile wallets and digital currency to go mainstream this year. While 2013-14 were the years of mass adoption of e-commerce, brands will need to start thinkingâ€™ mobile firstâ€™ from transaction point of view.The key issue however, will be Cybersecurity. Nothing accentuated the importance of cybersecurity than â€œThe Interviewâ€ incident in 2014; brands will be well advised toascertain security first. Social payments too will see a major facelift with tweet to buy with one-click ordering from Instagram.Social media will stand for more than fan engagement this year with quantifiable sales through social being set by brands.
From a communication standpoint, business owners will increasingly invest time in connecting with consumers directly. Weâ€™ll see more CXO level employees handle their own social accounts and build a personal rapport with consumers through writing articles/papers themselves to showcase thought-leadership.
Consumer behavior has consistently given us the most fertile grounds to base our ideas on. Weâ€™ve seen a remarkable growth in vloggers in the last few years and we expect the upswing to continue this year. To stay ahead of the curve, brands should increasingly invest in digital only video content. Alternatively, content partnerships with vloggers will help in incremental reach on digital medium for brands.
Call it multi-tasking or a milder form of AD, consumers will invest more time across devices and simultaneously this year. Spontaneous disruptions on different screens is the need of the hour. It wonâ€™t surprise us that multi-screen advertising will become the obvious part of media plan by end of the year. Brands will no longer invest in mobile only or tablet only campaigns but look at holistic bursts on TV + Mobiles + Tablets + radio this year.
Another emerging key trend to watch out for will be vernacular advertising. While urban consumer provided the up-thrust in sales in 2000s, there is now a saturation in urban demand. Bigger conglomerates are thus looking at the untapped rural market as a source of business expansion. With Google recently adding â€˜hindi languageâ€™ sites to its inventory, expect brands to invest strategically in reaching out to the rural audience through vernacular languages in 2015.
Also, we expect mobile data and insights to make mobile marketing even more hyperlocal. With easy discovery through search, brands may start investing in-the-aisle shopping offers utilizing data around consumer journey through mobile.In rural context as well, feature phones will play a more prominent role in the consumerâ€™s purchase journey.
While the aforementioned are the key trends, the list is to â€˜trendsâ€™ is exhaustive. Brands will need to constantly assess performance versus KPIs to attain maximum return on investment from digital. All in all, the digital industry is set for an exciting 2015.