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12 Trends for 2015: What Marketers Should Be Thinking About in Digital

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This report covers 12 trends that digital marketers should have front of mind as they prepare for 2015.

Published in: Marketing

12 Trends for 2015: What Marketers Should Be Thinking About in Digital

  1. 1. 12 Trends for 2015 What Marketers Should Be Thinking About in Digital A Beyond Report
  2. 2. Introduction What’s in this report? In this report we will cover 12 trends we think will shape digital in 2015. In 2014 we saw marketing spend big on technology, a sharper focus on user experience design, and a resulting shortage in good UX designers. As predicted, 2014 was the year mobile finally became the primary way people consume digital in the US and UK. In 2015, successful marketing will become more dependent on the effective use of technology, but marketing technologists will need to better understand the human dimension of the experiences they digitise. They will also need to think more clearly about "little data" - and how brands can create more user value from the highly personal data they generate online. Lastly, all of this will be delivered through new user interfaces on devices we don't even have names for today. These broad themes are brought to life in the following 12 trends that will shape 2015. How to use it? We have divided these trends into timely priorities (Trends to Prepare for Now) and longer-term priorities (Trends to Start Thinking About). Trend To Prepare For Now Trend To Start Thinking About
  3. 3. Summary: The 12 Trends Strong image strategies will drive better conversion rates: smart brands will optimise for the growing image economy that is driving the shift to a visual web. 1 2 Bare your data, innovate faster: APIs and open data streams allow for faster and cheaper innovation, creating more value for users and boosting brand love in return. 3 Buying on mobile will be better than on a PC: 2015 will see m-commerce benefit from UI and payment integration improvements that will make buying on mobiles mainstream. 4 User Interfaces will simplify as everything becomes connected: in a world of mobiles and wearables, UIs will simplify dramatically, and Android/iOS changes will force developers to rethink how services are delivered to users.
  4. 4. Consumers will recognise their “data value”: the backlash against the collection of consumer data is growing and brands need to prove value and transparency or face being overlooked in favour of more trusted brands. 9 10 Your phone will become smarter than you: mobile services will use more contextual information to begin anticipating user needs before users have them. 11 Your data will do your work for you: brands will increasingly make behavioural data available to customers to aid them in their decision-making. 12 Automated marketing won't be good enough: as marketing becomes increasingly technology-driven, brands are increasingly at risk of losing the human touch. In-store digital experiences will revolutionise commerce: 2015 will see in-store digital experiences becoming more common, with online e-commerce leaders moving into physical spaces, sparking new innovations. 5 6 Sensors will drive super-smart, proactive products: Our mobiles are now packed with sensors giving developers the opportunity to use new personal data streams to mesh people’s physical and digital experiences. 7 Brands will still struggle to embrace digital: digital transformation is a key priority for brands, but without genuine investment from the C-suite, initiatives will struggle to make an impact. 8 Companies will waste money assimilating big data: deriving insights from big data has underappreciated pitfalls that will disappoint many.
  5. 5. - Hal Varian, Google Strong image strategies will drive better conversion rates1 Trend To Prepare For Now
  6. 6. - Hal Varian, Google Creation, engagement, and sharing of images driving transition to a visual web Photos taken in 1998: 8 Billion Photos taken in 2014 (est.): 880 Billion Images shared per day in 2014: 1.8 Billion - 150% increase from 2013 and 515% increase from 2012 Creation Engagement with brands Sharing Instagram Facebook Twitter G+ 0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 Engagement Rate Trend To Prepare For Now Sources: Kodak, Yahoo, L2,Kleiner Perkins
  7. 7. 1. Strong image strategies will drive better conversion rates What’s the trend? In 2015 brands need to think about visual optimisation of their content. Images communicate ideas at least 20 times faster than text (Potter et al, Kriegl et al) and consumers are far more inclined to click through to content which includes high quality images of their products and services. Where are we seeing it ? According to Bing, nearly 10% of all organic searches are for images, and 40% of all search results contain “some kind of visual component”. By September 2014, image search traffic had a conversion rate 11% higher than non-image organic search traffic. Trend To Prepare For Now
  8. 8. - Hal Varian, Google Bare your data, innovate faster 2 Trend To Prepare For Now
  9. 9. - Hal Varian, Google “Combine and recombine internet components in ways that create totally new innovations” Hal Varian, Google Combinatorial Innovation: 0 3500 7000 10500 14000 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013APIs Explosive use of web services which brings plug’n’play innovation based on combining data streams is key to driving fast new innovation Trend To Prepare For Now
  10. 10. 2. Bare your data, innovate faster Where are we seeing it ? We will see more companies following the example of Uber, which opened its API and allowed partners like Starbucks, Time Out and TripAdvisor to build on its functionality. Users can now see pickup times and fare estimates on these apps, rather than having to open the Uber app – evidently, shared data has improved functionality and user convenience. Trend To Prepare For Now Open API Build on Functionality What’s the trend? We will see brands achieve competitive advantage over their rivals by opening their data and functionality APIs up to the developer community. This digital trend counters the traditional closed R&D approach taken by offline brands for the last 100 years.
  11. 11. Buying on mobile will be better than on a PC3 Trend To Prepare For Now
  12. 12. 3. Buying on mobile will be better than on a PC What’s the trend? NFC mobile payments are finally here on both Android and IOS. But the biggest m-commerce breakthrough might come with Apple Pay’s eventual incorporation into Safari on the iPhone. This would allow people to purchase items seen on screen with a single fingerprint, removing the hassle of entering credit card numbers and customer details. Where are we seeing it ? Mobile device conversion rates for e-commerce have long lagged those on PCs with smartphone conversion rates often reported at a 1/3 of that of desktops. Conversion rates for smartphone on mobile optimised sites are 160% higher than on non-optimised equivalent. We expect to see UI and payment integration improvements coming in 2015 to further increase this differential. Trend To Prepare For Now
  13. 13. User interfaces will simplify as everything becomes connected 4 Trend To Prepare For Now
  14. 14. New devices, new UIs Micro-interactions Glanceable UI Hyper personalised moments that are easy to action with instant gratification Providing the minimal required information to elicit a meaningful action Trend To Prepare For Now
  15. 15. 4. User Interfaces will simplify as everything becomes connected What’s the trend? As more things become connected to the Internet featuring a wide range of non-standard displays and interfaces (from smart watches to Oculus Rift glasses), brands will need to re-think how they present information and deliver services to users across these devices. Where are we seeing it ? Mobile design has already started moving in the direction of greater simplicity. Glanceable user interfaces such as bite-size cards lend themselves to smaller devices and take friction out of user interactions. Both Apple and Android are redesigning their operating systems around the concept of notifications – that will let users fully engage with their surroundings without the need to open an app. Trend To Prepare For Now
  16. 16. In-store digital experiences will revolutionise commerce5 Trend To Prepare For Now
  17. 17. 5. In-store digital experiences will revolutionise commerce What’s the trend? With previously online-only brands such as Amazon, E-Bay and FourSquare starting to expand their offering into brick and mortar high street locations, the in-store retail experience will become increasingly driven by technology in 2015. Where are we seeing it ? Mirrors that double as massive touch screens can assimilate personal data and suggest complementary "looks" and accessories to the clothing you try on in front of them. Stores will recognise users of the brand’s mobile app as they enter, allowing staff to offer a more tailored service. As omni-channel retailing enters the mainstream, it will set the standard for more traditional high street brands who are playing catch-up on building their e- commerce offerings. Trend To Prepare For Now
  18. 18. Sensors will drive super- smart, proactive products6 Trend To Start Thinking About
  19. 19. The Wireless World Research organisation predicts 7 trillion sensors by 2017. Types of sensors used in smartphones: at least 14 Trend To Start Thinking About
  20. 20. 6. Sensors will drive super- smart, proactive products Where are we seeing it ? Gartner predicts that by 2017, smartphone sensors will reduce the costs of diabetic care by 10%, while by 2020, wireless health monitoring technology is expected to increase life expectancy in the developed world by six months. Beyond this, we are already seeing non-health related brands innovate within this space. Microsoft’s Septimu will use heart rate, temperature, and other biorhythm sensors to work in conjunction with a pair of earbuds. The associated mobile app called Musical Heart will select the most appropriate music based on the user’s mood informed by the Septimu sensors. The Chinese search-engine Baidu is launching “smart chopsticks” that can detect oils containing contamination - an appealing prospect to a country beset with food safety scandals. What’s the trend? We can expect to find sensors in everything from smart watches to patches on our skin, gathering data on heart rate, sweat composition and body temperature in real time. In 2015, brands will add huge value by tapping into sensor-gathered data. These sensors will be used far beyond health and fitness brands to provide experiences that are personalised through sensors. Trend To Start Thinking About
  21. 21. Brands will still struggle to embrace digital7 Trend To Start Thinking About
  22. 22. 7. Brands will still struggle to embrace digital What’s the trend? Without more direct and deep involvement from the C- suite and a willingness to adopt experimental approaches to digital development, many companies will fail to adapt. Where are we seeing it ? In established companies, digital is too often a function, department or a specialty, and therefore removed from core business strategy. It’s rare that CFOs and CEOs are deeply involved in digital initiatives – in fact, Gartner has predicted that by 2016, 50% of digital transformation initiatives will be unmanageable due to internal skills gaps. Trend To Start Thinking About
  23. 23. - Hal Varian, Google Companies will waste money assimilating big data8 Trend To Start Thinking About
  24. 24. - Hal Varian, Google By 2020 there will be 50 Billion things 
 exchanging 40,000,000,000 terabytes of data Will this greatly increase our ability to glean insights or will the data overwhelm us? Trend To Start Thinking About
  25. 25. 8. Companies will waste money assimilating big data Where are we seeing it ? As Nate Silver (author of The Signal and The Noise) puts it, “with very large data sets you start seeing more spurious correlations, more false positives, and erroneous answers. If the quantity of information is increasing by 2.5 quintillion bytes per day, the amount of useful information almost certainly isn’t.” Along the same lines, machine learning guru Michael Joran has predicted an epidemic of false positives coming out of big-data projects. In 2014 alone, big data accounted for nearly $30 billion of investment – it’s likely to cost companies even more in 2015 with many businesses struggling to achieve real value from the investment. What’s the trend? In 2015, it’s possible we’ll see disappointing results from big data initiatives, as companies use the technology in the search for new insights, but without the right expectations or scientific approach. Trend To Start Thinking About
  26. 26. Consumers will recognise their ‘data value’9 Trend To Start Thinking About
  27. 27. 9. Consumers will recognise their ‘data value’ Where are we seeing it ? In a recent Beyond study for HP, we found that only 18% of people say they feel comfortable sharing data with companies in return for a personalised experience. However, when given insight into how they can improve their own lives – such as with popular fitness trackers like FitBit – people are more than happy to supply personal data. There are now hundreds of self-tracking apps available, many with millions of users - such as Check (10 million users; personal finance tracking) and Azumio (7 million users; health tracking). This shows there is huge appetite to share even sensitive personal data as long as there is a clear value exchange - but with that comes an equally huge responsibility to not breach trust. What’s the trend? Consumers have accepted the adage that “if you don’t pay for a product, you are a product”, and continue to adopt free services like Facebook in their droves. Nonetheless, new networks like Whisper and Ello promise not to track users and their success shows that consumers are increasingly wary of their personal data being misused. Companies need to promote greater transparency and give consumers more direct control of their data, or face more backlash. Trend To Start Thinking About
  28. 28. Your phone will become smarter than you10 Trend To Start Thinking About
  29. 29. 10. Your phone will become smarter than you What’s the trend? Context is everything. And your mobile phone is becoming increasingly aware of context, sensing and reacting to changes in its environment - from weather, to traffic, to the time of day. Companies are increasingly using contextual design to create smarter products that understand the full story around the user in order to bring them exactly what they need, when they need it, possibly before they even know they need it. Where are we seeing it ? Whether its an automatic notification that you’ll be late for a meeting because of traffic or a notification that you have run out of milk when you enter a supermarket, your digital devices will anticipate your needs before the needs are needed. The possibilities are endless. Trend To Start Thinking About
  30. 30. Your data will do your work for you11 Trend To Start Thinking About
  31. 31. Key forces driving this trend: • Machine learning • Collaborative filtering • Predictive analytics • Quantified self • On-demand and cheap(ish) technology Trend To Start Thinking About
  32. 32. 11. Your data will do your work for you Where are we seeing it ? Amazon recommends products you should look at next, OKCupid pairs you with algorithmically compatible partners, and Google anticipates what you’re about to search for – so why can’t traditional, brick and mortar brands start doing the same with their online experiences? By exposing analytics data intelligently, digital experiences will only become better, delivering increased value for both brand and customer. And with new simple, low-cost predictive APIs like BigML and Google Prediction API it’s easier than ever to start experimenting now. What’s the trend? Algorithms - such as predictive analytics - have helped brands guess what you might buy, based on the traits you share with people like you. Over the past few years we’ve seen brands using this to target people with promotional offers based on their shopping patterns and preferences. But a few companies have pioneered the use of these algorithms to solve customer needs online by exposing user analytics to help with decision-making. Users are being increasingly conditioned to expect websites to automatically learn and anticipate what they need, automatically suggesting personalised solutions. Trend To Start Thinking About
  33. 33. / Automated marketing won't be good enough12 Trend To Start Thinking About
  34. 34. 12. Automated marketing won't be good enough Targeting users repeatedly with the same ads – regardless of where the user is in the buying journey – shows how easy it will be for automation to go wrong. In 2015, more brands will see the value of ensuring automation is designed and quality-controlled by humans, who can use expert insight and informed planning to ensure promotional messages fit into the greater overall customer experience. Otherwise, the benefits of automation could easily be outweighed by the damage done through annoying, inappropriate and irrelevant marketing. Where are we seeing it ? A recent study by RAPP and InSkin Media shows that over half of consumers are put off buying products or services if they see the same ad reappearing multiple times online. What’s the trend? In recent years, marketers have invested huge amounts in various forms of automated marketing – but as with all automation, there’s a danger of losing the human touch. Trend To Start Thinking About
  35. 35. Beyond is an experience design agency that creates digital products and services for companies. We create the experiences that define your brand by removing friction from the customer journey. Beyond believes in innovation through iteration and collaboration with our clients and users because products are the living expression of the brands we build. The company was started in 2010 and now employs 85 people with three offices, San Francisco, New York and London. Our client list includes Apple, Google, Novartis, Virgin, UBS, Facebook, Instagram, Sainsbury’s, HP, Amadeus, Hershey’s and Viacom amongst others. In 2012 Beyond was recognized by Marketing Magazine’s Revolution Awards as the Best Start Up citing our "innovative approach to digital" and growth rate as key factors in winning the award. In 2014, Beyond was shortlisted in Data Storytelling and Online Marketing by Marketing Week’s Data Strategy Awards for our work with Virgin and shortlisted twice for the 18th Annual Webby Awards: Virgin.com and Google. About Beyond
  36. 36. Thanks for reading. This trend report was brought to you by the research and strategy team at Beyond as part of our ongoing work to help create a world without friction. www.bynd.com

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