David Clarke – get personal in 2015 – that’s my recommendation for the year ahead
As businesses compete on a more level playing field – with small companies using much the same communications channels as their larger competitors – the challenge will be to treat everyone as individuals and not as some generic anonymous mass.
A study late last year showed that more than 80 per cent of marketers report that ‘personalisation’ impacts positively on customer retention and loyalty – which is why nearly 60 per cent of businesses surveyed are increasing their spend on site optimisation tools.
Of course, if you run a local shop, this won’t be news at all. Greeting Mrs Smith by name when she enters your store will be second nature to you.
The trick is to do it across the board. We are after all, individuals – and appreciate being acknowledged as such.
Mark Whitehouse – timing of PR will be crucial in 2015
I think 2015 will be a year when PR professionals and therefore our clients will need to focus as much on when they reach their audience as what they’re reaching them with.
Think about our TV viewing habits. A few short years ago we’d watch when the schedule dictated; now, it’s the other way around. Through innovations like catch-up TV we fit the schedules around our busy lives.
Through the many ways we now communicate with our audience, the targets have become more fragmented but the numbers have increased. Twitter doesn’t sleep, and because of the technology at our disposal the lines between when we’re officially “at work” and not are ever more blurred. Timing, as well as message, will be king.
Mark Binnersley – social media – be original and genuine in 2015
2015 will be the year that social media marketing starts to become much more challenging. Whilst harnessing popular hashtags or social media crazes, like #selfie and the Ice Bucket Challenge, was a great way to get noticed in 2014, audiences will expect much more this year.
Therefore those who want to get talked about the most will need to focus on generating original and innovative ideas, whether that be a hashtag or a video, that have the potential to go viral.
Of course, if you lack the capacity to do this, then concentrate efforts instead on having meaningful, non-sales-oriented conversations with your followers, in order to increase impact.
Penny Thorp – digital marketing – what’s important is what’s next
There is only one constant in digital marketing – and that’s change.
2015 will see changing business models alongside evolving consumer behaviour – there’s a lot to consider, in order to really have a handle on both what’s important this year and what’s around the corner.
Newsletters will be bigger than ever in 2015. We’ve seen a rise in email marketing – particularly with SMEs, and many companies will look to exploit their databases in 2015 – and to grow them. I think we will see some creative strategies to encourage e-marketing opt-ins and don’t forget to keep it personal – there are lots of data capture tools available and it is important to use these in order to make our emails stand out and retain the attention of our audience.
One thing’s for sure – mobile will continue to have a big influence this year; mobile readiness and responsive designs are a must.
Ian Cooper – design – the world of web in 2015
The number of people using mobile devices to access the web is increasing every day, and mobile websites are fast becoming more important than desktop versions, especially in the business to consumer market.
Having a website that can be easily viewed on a phone or a tablet, alongside desktops, is a must, with reports saying that 90 per cent of people move between devices, or “multi-screening”, to accomplish a task. Consumers want products or services to be accessible at all times of the day and on the go.
Responsive designs will continue to evolve and adapt as new technology is released over the next year.
Ralph Green – content generation – get more personal in 2015
In 2014 over 48 hours of YouTube videos, 347 WordPress blogs, 3,600 Instagram photos, 100,000 Tweets and 684,478 Facebook shares were posted every minute. Now more than ever we will have to generate relevant content that appeals to our followers on a personal level.
Only 43 per cent of business to consumer companies are successfully tracking their content marketing strategy. Content is being produced with little relevance to its target audience and failing to build deeper relationships with consumers.
Use 2015 to track the likes, dislikes and engagement of your consumers to produce more targeted, relevant content for your followers. Followers engage well with visual content such as pictures and videos so use the dominance of visual content to help personalise your content. You can also use user-submitted content to drive engagement and encourage other followers to participate.
Finally, don’t forget to keep an eye on which content engages your consumers. Facebook analytics, Twitter analytics, TweetReach are all free analytical tools which can help monitor how well you’re communicating with your followers.