8 marketing trends to look for in 2015

I see… I see… branding and messaging working across many channels. Yes...

I see… I see… branding and messaging working across many channels. Yes…

A preemptive apology here. You’ve probably seen 100 posts like this in the past week. You may have scoured every word or promptly ignored them to watch “The Interview” debacle go down. (Free speech vs. safety, once again. It seems to be the battle of our times.) Either way, I did read a lot of them, with a certain purpose in mind: To look for common threads in the marketing fabric we’re about to slip into in the New Year. (You look fabulous, by the way.)

Here are some interesting findings, from a variety of sources I trust…

  1. Responsive web design is now the norm. For you cave dwellers among us, RWD’s aim is to make a site adapt to the device it’s viewed on—so it’s easy to read and navigate, without pinching, swiping, scrolling, waiting and cursing. If your site isn’t responsive, this deserves a place on your 2015 to-do list, near the top.
  2. Awesome typography is taking over websites, too. I started noticing this earlier this year—so many sites using great typography, especially over large imagery or videos. The technology (like WordPress) has caught up, and you can see the beautiful results everywhere.
  3. The content craze will continue. Good content is now a way of life for consumers—whether it’s B2B or B2C. People expect you to share good stuff, for free, all the time. Get used to it, and make good stuff. I think famed art director Alex Bogusky put it best: Make things that are beautiful, useful or entertaining.
  4. Getting it right across the board. Make that many boards. The challenge for marketers these days is making their brands, messages and strategies work across multiple mediums—websites, email, social media, print, broadcast, apps, in person, yadda, yadda. As media evolves, fragments, gets cheaper and grows, I think we’ll need to see a rise in bigger picture thinking. The past few years have been a lot about execution, and some brands have been as fragmented as their media. To really reach people and be memorable, that’s got to change. Maybe this will be the year.
  5. The visual dial will get turned up even higher. This has been a growing trend in marketing for several years now—the rise of more pictures, videos, infographics, slideshows and the like. Even with the great typography in websites (see number 2, above)—words are being treated visually.
  6. Mobile will rise. We mean it this time. People have been predicting the takeover of mobile for about five years now, but it hasn’t quite gelled like the prophecies said. But every year brings us closer, and 2015 will likely accelerate this trend. Mobile devices are the primary means for accessing the Internet, so strategies that involve search, location-based marketing, apps, mobile ads and more will likely bloom.
  7. Data will rule the school. It’s getting easier, by the day, to get our hands on quality data and analytics. To me, it’s not a question of getting the numbers, but figuring out the story behind the numbers. Most of us can interpret basic trends and data, but there are math savants out there who see things none of us can. Those people are going to be very rich.
  8. Wearables finally arrive. Apple will introduce its interactive watch in 2015. Everyone will go nuts, camp out at stores for days, fight over them, and look really “early adopter” if they get one. Techno geeks warn that the technology will take a good year and a version or two to really change the world, but once all that happens, the world will indeed change. Can’t wait to see this one.

The only real prediction anyone can make—for certain—is this: The people who write these prediction posts hope you don’t come back in a year and check how right (or not-so-right) they were. That includes me.

Cheers, and happy 2015 to you and yours.

– Andy Badalamenti is the creative director for CI-Group

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