By now, you’ve got your 2015 marketing plan ready to roll, but have you covered all the bases? There’s still time to make adjustments, and if you’re having any second thoughts, take a look at these five top marketing trends that experts say will dominate in the year ahead:
- Email Marketing: Still Mighty — With more than 32 billion active email accounts worldwide, email is far from dead and, in fact, experts say it will remain the undisputed leader for marketing message delivery in 2015. According to a recent study, more than 60% of executives consider email marketing to be their top ROI generator. Beyond offering an easy and effective way to reach both customers and prospects, it’s also highly measureable. Respondents in the study said they track email marketing success in a variety of ways: 41% monitor click-through rates as their primary metric and 38% rely on open rates to determine results.
- Ready to Rage with Real-Time Email? – A big reason email marketing remains on fire is because the practices that make it so effective continue to improve. One trend on the rise is real-time email. It’s an evolving art, and it requires effort and insight to execute, but it provides a way to more accurately address your prospects’ points of pain as well as make adjustments for your business in real-time. For example, it might involve dynamically changing the offer in an email message based on the recipient’s location or their regional weather forecast; adapting an email offer in real time to address the type of device being used; and modifying offers on the fly in accordance with inventory levels. Imagine the possibilities—and the results that can be achieved—when your marketing messages reflect up-to-the-minute relevancy.
- A New Side to Responsive Design – The surge in mobile device usage has already had a huge impact on email marketing. According to DMNews, “the difference in 2015 will be marketers using their phones to both gather content and then immediately create and send their email campaigns.” As an example, an organization hosting a fundraising event can take photos as the festivities begin and— directly from their phones—marketers can send email campaign notifications to those registered guests who have not yet arrived as a reminder to come join the fun.
- Data Deep Dive – Marketers are always looking to improve their ROI and, in 2015, that goal will remain a top priority. A recent DMNews article reports that data will come into play more than ever for ROI improvements in the year ahead. In a study cited in the article, respondents said they plan to make greater use of analytics; improve segmentation and targeting; and centralize customer data and make it actionable, along with other data-focused activities. The message for marketers in 2015 is clear: get your data in order and make the most of it!
- Find New Data Sources – Speaking of data, as we posted here on this blog earlier this month, the Center for Media Research indicates that “2015 will be the year businesses take actionable second and third party data sources and apply them to the marketing ecosystems that they have been assembling.” By bringing new data in-house, you can extend your reach, gain insight and analytics on new prospects, and move one step closer to using big data – all of which puts your business in position to compete more effectively. Where will this outside data come from? Many marketers will begin augmenting their internal databases by turning to areputable business contacts service. These services provide email addresses and other qualified business contact data for new leads and prospects that fit your customer profile, giving you all the information you need to target and personalize your marketing messages to drive further ROI.
These trends are only the beginning when it comes to the constantly evolving marketing world. And keep in mind, they potentially apply to all industries and to businesses of all sizes – so don’t discount any of them unless your path to revenue gains and new customers is absolutely assured in 2015.
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