Digital marketing is constantly changing, so it is very important to keep up-to-date on the latest trends and changes, to make sure that you know exactly what consumers are doing and just how to reach them. With the opening of the 2015 second quarter, now is a better time than any to brush up on the latest trends and see how the strategies than you’ve been using are stacking up.
If you want to study these stats in detail, you should read the Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing to have all of your more detailed questions answered, but I will provide a quick overview of what has happened in the previous quarter of 2015 and what it means for your marketing strategy.
Experimentation is Over
One thing is for certain, and that is that the experimentation phase of digital marketing has come to a close (or should have come to a close). If your company is still experimenting with the idea of digital marketing or determining whether it is a good step for your company, that question is answered: every company should be implementing a digital marketing strategy by the second quarter of 2015.
If you are still experimenting with the digital marketing world, your time and money would be better spent in implementation and improvement, rather than experimentation. Last year, statistics show that 64% of businesses will be “experimenting heavily” with digital marketing over the course of the year.
This year, that statistic rose to 69%. With digital marketing proven to be an invaluable piece of companies’ overall marketing campaigns, these 69% of businesses should stop experimenting and start implementing a great online digital campaign.
Video is Taking Over
Video advertising has risen significantly from 2014 to 2015. This includes explainer videos and YouTube videos. Videos bring in more customers and allow those customers to retain information longer, which means they are more likely to pass on the word of your product to their friends and family members, and also makes them more likely to remember your product when they need to purchase a product of that type. Statistics show that 5% of marketers now feel that video marketing is newest and most exciting trend in 2015, versus 3% of marketers in 2014.
Content Marketing is not Growing
Content marketing remains a very exciting trend for marketers who are entering or expanding in the digital marketing space, but it has not grown since 2014. Statistics about company excitement about content marketing show that 15% of marketers think that content marketing is the absolute best and most exciting means of advertising in 2015, which is the same as it was (15%) in 2014. Although content marketing has not risen through the ranks as one of most exciting up-and-coming marketing features, it is still highly important, and your business should not ignore this part of digital marketing.
Customer experience remains the number-one most important thing. Even with marketing analytic tools growing, which seem to focus on search engines and numbers, and clicks, customer experience is no less important. With more opportunities, like content and video, as well as more analytic capabilities to determine what customers like and dislike, companies can cater to what their customers need and improve customers’ experience of their website.
This means using tools to decrease load time, compact images, reduce bounce-rate, and improve usability on mobile devices. In the first quarter of 2015, 22% of marketers stated that they were most excited about improved customer experience initiatives in 2015.
Decreased Focus on Price Differentiation
Far fewer marketers now feel that they would be able to set themselves apart from the competition by simply offering their product at a more affordable rate. Only 5%, in fact, stated that they think pricing strategies are a very important aspect in differentiation.
This means that customers are putting more emphasis, and basing their decisions to buy or not buy, based on other marketing initiatives—especially customer experience. Experience has mostly filled in the position of price differentiation in the digital marketing realm.
44% of marketers think that customer service and/or experience is the main way that they will try to set their company apart from the competition in 2015. An important aspect of this is customer advocacy: by improving customer experience in 2015, your company can gain numerous customer advocates, who market your product through social media and word-of-mouth for free, simply because they so enjoyed your product, and more importantly, the experience of purchasing with your company.
Interaction with Customers
Marketing is no longer one-sided. In 2015, it is becoming ever more apparent that consumers value relatability in the companies they purchase from. This is more possible than ever with social media sites like Twitter, which allow your marketing team to easily and quickly help customers, answer questions, and most importantly, communicate with customers about things that are un-related to marketing your company. Consumers value posts from companies that are non-promotional and conversational.
Mobile marketing continues to grow, and is going to continue growing through the remainder of 2015. 33% of marketers stated that they were going to focus on making customer experience their top priority in 2015, but only 4% reported that they would be placing an emphasis on making their sites mobile friendly, or improving their sites for mobile use.
In the remainder of 2015, these two concepts must be joined for a truly successful digital marketing campaign, since the rise of mobile web-viewing can’t be denied. Each year, more and more people view sites on their phones, and less and less people view sites on their desktop machines and laptops. Sites that are better optimized for mobile viewing will trump those that are not optimized in the year 2015 and beyond.
In conclusion, looking forward to the second quarter of 2015, companies will need to invest more into implementation and stop experimenting with digital marketing. They will need to focus on customer experience above all, put an emphasis and invest more into mobile optimization so as not to lose out to competitors, and they will also need to continue to create high-quality content and video marketing assets.