Digital Trends 2015

Digital Trends 2015

Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe has published 2015 Digital Trends report.

More than 6,000 business professionals with an interest in digital business took part in this year’s survey. Customer experience is seen as the standout imperative for 2015 and beyond, with 22% saying it is the single most exciting opportunity this year. There is now daylight between CX and content marketing, which is still undoubtedly in the ascendancy but some distance behind with 15% of the vote. As has been identified by Econsultancy analysts in the report, other areas of focus such as data-driven business, personalization, mobile and crosschannel marketing are all vitally important for business success in their own right but their roles are ultimately subordinate to an organization’s over-arching efforts to ensure that the customer experience is a good one.

Strategy and culture are widely identified in all corners of the world as the most important building blocks for a successfully integrated customer experience across an increasing number of customer touch points. The importance of technology, data and skills should not be under-estimated, but the right direction from the top of the business and a conducive business environment are fundamental to success. A well thought-out approach is becoming even more important in a world where mobile devices and even wearable technology mean that the digital and physical worlds are no longer separate.

Another highlight of the report is the emergence of targeting and personalization (30%) as the highest digital-related priority area, narrowly ahead of content optimization (29%) which has also climbed up the pecking order. The technology has long been available for marketers to target optimized content at website prospects and customers across the right mix of channels in a way which is timely and highly relevant to their implicit and explicit needs. In the context of the innovation adoption curve, 2014 was the year when the early majority of marketers joined the early adopters in embracing areas such as personalization and content optimization. This year may well be the year when the late majority start to prioritize these areas as well. Make sure you’re not behind the curve!

Each year, dozens of respected industry commentators give their opinion on the trends we can expect during the year ahead, with varying degrees of accuracy and insight. What we believe differentiates our own perspective on the year ahead is the grounding that this research has in primary data from those in the engine rooms of business. While the research is forward-looking, it is also intentionally anchored to the realities of the present day, and based on the experience of marketers across thousands of companies and a wide range of business sectors across the worlds of both B2B and B2C. It is about trends which are attainable in the here and now, rather than futuregazing into a world where driverless cars abound and delivery of our post by drones is the rule and not the exception.

Before we look at the key trends for the year ahead, it is worth comparing what marketers said a year ago with what actually transpired. Customer experience (CX) emerged as the most exciting opportunity for the year, just ahead of mobile and with content marketing third in the pecking order. For this year’s survey we asked marketers which opportunity, with the benefit of hindsight had actually turned out to be the most exciting during 2014.

As Figure 1, shows, the field was more evenly spread than had been predicted with only one percentage point separating four areas of focus, namely customer experience, content marketing, mobile and social.


Social, which perhaps some marketers had started to dismiss as yesterday’s news or at least regard as ‘business as usual’, turned out to be a much bigger deal and more exciting than predicted. As well as customer experience, other areas which turned out retrospectively to have been over-indexed a year ago included multichannel campaign management, personalization and big data. These are all themes explored in the report, with this year’s data suggesting that their time has now come.

As 2015 gets under way, it is clear that the opportunities for marketers have never been greater. According to Scott Brinker, author of the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog: “The nature of marketing has exploded from an ancillary communications function to the Grand Central Station of customer experience.”

It is the increasingly digital nature of the world that has been the catalyst for propelling marketing into an even more elevated role within the organization, and it is unusual now for digital marketing to be treated as its own silo.

Source: Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends 2015

Maya Roeland

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