Based on what we've seen in 2014, what can we expect in the marketing world in the coming year? How should marketers prepare themselves?
It's the season of tinsel and top 10 lists, plum pudding and predictions — the time when marketers look ahead and resolve to evolve in the year to come. If you thought 2014 was full of surprises, wait until you see what the new year has in store.
1. Original Video Content
GoPro, Red Bull, Chipotle, Samsung, and Dove racked up the video views again this year. Their peers were watching. New video projects like Activia and Shakira's La La La (Brazil 2014) in support of the World Food Programme and School Meals Programme and UPS's Your Wishes Delivered campaign engaged and delighted viewers by focusing on telling good stories. Given the consumer response to original video content from brands (the below video generated more than 1 million views in a week), we're likely to see much more of this in 2015.
2. Owned Stories
Spending on native ads is rising, with marketers expected to spend $4.3 billion on the format in 2015. At the same time, we're seeing greater investments in owned content. This year alone Microsoft launched Microsoft Stories, Apple built a rich collection of original videos, and both Net-a-Porter and Airbnb launched print magazines. Native ads may be going strong, but brands are starting to appreciate that owned content – and the dedicated community that comes along with it – has its own rewards.
3. Mobile-First Marketing
You'd be hard-pressed to find a list of marketing trends that doesn't include a mobile-first strategy. Most analysts agree that brands will have to put more thought into leveraging mobile technology in the coming months in order to create experiences that serve consumers' needs.
Kathy Stromberg, vice president of marketing at Webtrends, agrees. "Marketers now have to find a way to make media concise and digestible enough to resonate for consumers who are on the go and viewing from a 3-inch screen," she says. "Best practices are still being developed, so the opportunity is around defining what works and what doesn’t in the evolving space of mobile."
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