As the final days of 2014 come to a close, click baiting marketers everywhere are releasing their “Top 10 Marketing Trend Predictions for 2015” – which annoys me every year. We all know the trends because we’re the ones creating the trends. Either way, I felt inspired to add my two cents this year and share what my predictions are for this beautifully odd numbered year in the digital marketing landscape. Oddly enough – I’ve read through about 3,487 of these articles and no one is really mentioning these, though personally I view them as some of the most important things to take note of in 2015. 2014 showed us that our conversations are more meaningful than they ever have been before, that people are listening, and that underneath all the bells and whistles of apps and interactive content – people are still just people; emotions and all.
The other day I was watching a TED talk and this 9-year-old kid walked on stage with an iPad. He proceeded to explain how he feels he is at a disadvantage in his younger years by not learning node.js and iOS coding as a part of his daily curriculum – he has to learn it on his extracurricular time. This is a huge bummer because he also has to manage his 3 already successful apps in the spare hour he gets between homework and bed. You can imagine my face.
This 9 year old can out-code you. He can out-code me. The point is the digital world is growing rapidly and becoming so incredibly advanced that if you don’t learn the new language in 2015 you probably never will and therefore you’ll be left behind with the non-coders and the grandma’s of the Internet. This goes for every prong of digital – content, social, SEO, PPC, etc. The positive side of this is that with more demand comes more opportunity, so high quality education will become easier and easier to access on a daily basis.
Us marketers have evolved our taste similarly to the consumers when it comes to what and who is important to us – we’re over the marketing celebs of the world. Corporate ad agencies are no longer cool. Coca-cola no longer produces the most innovative winter campaigns. Why? Because it takes them too long to do things. We’re interested in the code that’s being released in 5 minutes, the social platform that was built by two 12 year olds for a junior year project-turned societal movement. Point is – we need to be constantly fed, and we’re so hungry we’ll take a craft burger and chilled IPA out of almost anyone’s hand.
Now is the time to create.
We’ve evolved the marketing landscape, pushed it to the limits. So, naturally, consumers have evolved as well. It’s no surprise that they’ve gone right back to what feels the most natural and pure – conversation. Consumers are more likely to buy your product after hearing the adventurous and heartbreaking story of your adopted childhood Golden Retriever than after seeing a cool ad in their favorite magazine.
This means that you must actually speak to people on a real level in order to get their attention, interest, and eventual loyalty. No more robotic production. Brands are publishers, brands are people, and brands are now an avenue for connection and personal growth. Your content must be human and genuine, but also high quality and valuable. This new demand leads us to the eventual shift in focus, and my New Year prediction: 2015 will be about people – not projects.
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