At the start of any new year everyone is filled with anticipation and baited breath, waiting to see what will happen and what will be the trends that will drive the direction of activities in the upcoming year. Marketers find themselves under intense pressure to keep up with what other organisations are doing, and even to get ahead and lead the way in their field. The good news is that several industry pundits have made educated speculations about what marketers might do in this upcoming year, and this can give marketing professionals some foresight about the direction they may need to take and innovations they may consider.
One such set of predictions for marketing in 2015 was prepared by Rand Fishkin for the Moz Blog. Rand prides himself on not making predictions if his previous year’s predictions were inaccurate. Luckily for us his 2014 predictions were not bad at all, with two even achieving “spot on” status. That means we benefit from 2015 predictions from Fishkin. Some of the expected developments are predicted to be:
1. Internet Marketing degrees – it is thought that a not-for-profit university in the USA might offer a degree programme specialising in Internet Marketing. Such a programme would cover subjects such as search engine optimisation. The reason for this prediction is that so many marketing jobs require search engine optimisation or digital marketing and this type of degree programme would fill a gap.
2. More instant answers – it is believed that Google may build on their work on instant answers to provide more immediate answers to those carrying out searches. Google already provides instant answers to various questions such as conversions of figures from imperial to metric, among others, but it is anticipated that this will increase.
3. Facebook will include web content in its search – it is predicted that Facebook may start to include non-Facebook web data, specifically content in their searches.
4. Google will increase its indexing of Twitter – it is suggested that Google will increase its indexing of Twitter. This will mean that when you do a search you may come across Twitter tweets, hashtags and profiles. It is predicted that this could happen by the end of 2015. This will of course give Twitter greater standing in Google.
5. Search results in Europe may change – regulation may increase in Europe. This was a process that started in 2014 with the “right to be forgotten” debacle, and it is believed that this process is not yet finished. This can be considered to be good in some ways as it reduces Google’s considerable power, and could have the impact of starting to break down its almost monopoly.
6. Traffic source data will be more challenging – with mobile search, mobile devices, apps and other technological developments it is expected that it will be hard to get traffic source data due to the way that these technologies operate. This makes life harder for marketers who need to know where traffic came from to be able to show that campaigns were a success (or not).
7. Consolidation will continue in the content advertising/recommendation platforms sector – specifically the prediction is made that either Taboola or Outbrain could be acquired, or that either of these might do their own acquiring. Acquirers of Taboola or Outbrain could be Yahoo, Facebook, Google, AOL or Buzzfeed.
8. Pinterest will grow its base – it is expected that promoted pins will mean that Pinterest will continue to grow its level of prominence in social media and social advertising.
9. Foursquare and/or Swarm merge with other companies or close their doors – While Foursquare and Swarm are fun and interesting ideas, neither appears to be rating very highly at this stage. While they may not be doing as well as they were, the data that they have about check ins is considered to be quite valuable to potential purchasers, so a merger with other companies is possible for one or the other of these organisations.
10. Power and market share – while some think that Amazon could take search share from Google, it is predicted that in fact it will not. At the same time mobile search is thought to not be likely to have a grave impact on the advertising revenues that Google brings in.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.