It’s that time of year again! The time when marketers around the world attempt to make sense of all the ‘social noise’ from the year gone by. For, in amongst all that static, lie key indicators of what did and didn’t work, from which we can draw conclusions and make predictions about what to expect in 2015. My own experiences this year have inspired me to write this feature about the key trends to watch out and plan for in the year ahead.
It’s been around for a while, sitting at the back on the cheap seats, but now it’s ready to strut its stuff and start a whole new interactive revolution. The proliferation of powerful, wearable technology finally presents augmented reality with the right vehicle to take centre stage in enterprise and consumer mobility. As a result, there is a huge interest in investing in enterprise-level app development using augmented reality, with adoption numbers expected to be mammoth. A study by Juniper research predicts enterprise applications with augmented reality elements to account for the third-largest proportion of revenues by end of 2015. Couple its interactive potential with the immediacy of social media sharing and yes, this could well be the ‘love affair of the year’.
An interesting report from Google in 2014 stated that 71% of shoppers found that digital marketing enhanced their retail experience. This made my ears ‘prick up’ as I have suspected for a while that proximity marketing is set to rocket over the next couple of years. Leading retailers have already begun to endorse geo-location based mobile beacons as the way to keep the in-store shopping experience from becoming antiquated. “Personalised, location-based offers will be served to consumers via their mobile devices based on what and where they’re shopping.” (Entrepreneur Magazine 2014). And the same goes for online shopping to combat the dreaded “abandoned shopping cart.” Consumers will be re-targeted on social media channels for products they put in their cart to edge them closer to clicking that all important “Checkout” button.
The widespread success of Paper.li digital publications has taken curation to a whole new interactive level and I believe that this is set to continue into 2015 with the creation of mini-digital newsrooms offering both mainstream and niche content to subscribers who, of course, will be sharing as they consume. Look out for opportunities that combine streaming video content and you’re on the right tracks.
Pinterest and Instagram will evolve
Pinterest and Instagram are establishing themselves as the ultimate B2C marketing tools, based on the power of imagery in instantly conveying brand sentiment. I see 2015 as the year in which both platforms evolve further and allow for deeper interaction with their follower base. Such evolution could include editing and responsive overlays that allow for inside app purchases.
This is very much a ‘wildcard’ prediction, as I do still have some doubts and much of what is being discussed is shrouded in rumour. However, given the research funding allowed by team Zuckerberg, I anticipate LinkedIn being given a run for their money in the months following its launch. LinkedIn does need some healthy competition so this may well benefit both users of FB@Work and LinkedIn. My guess is that FB@Work will be invite-only upon launch to add to the hysteria and hype surrounding Facebook’s new baby.