A Take on 2015 Marketing Trends (5 months early)

A Take on 2015 Marketing Trends (5 months early)

As Christmas in July winds down, I thought it only fitting to proclaim August as Lets-Forecast-Mega-Trends-for-2015 month. (Rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?) So five months before all the pundits proclaim the next-best-greatest digital trend to hit planet earth, let me offer a sneak peak of what to anticipate in 2015:

Big Data Moves from a Feature to an Actual Consumer Benefit

How many times do you feel yourself rolling your eyes when someone mentions big data?  There is a saying on the net: When a person monitors a database, it is called small data, and when a database monitors a person, it is called big data.

The reality is, if you asked a hundred people in a room to describe “big data” they would give you a hundred very different answers. Expect 2015 to be the year when companies start talking less about big data as an internal process and more about how all this information can be transformed into a an actual consumer benefit.

A good example of this is Unilever’s YouTube page, All Things Hair. Today, there are over 11 billion annual searches for “hair.” Unilever partnered with Google to use data to predict a trend before it actually happens. Google then forwards these queries on to a team of video bloggers who create instructional films. The Unilever/Google team says it can predict with 90% accuracy what the next big trend is three months before it happens. Using this information, the CPG giant started a YouTube channel called “All Things Hair‘ featuring popular video bloggers. Launched in two markets in 2013, the channel became the #1 hair care channel in those markets with over 17 million views.

At Cannes Lions earlier this summer, Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, summarized it. “What this is is a cool application of big data. We talk a lot about big data, but what this is big insights with real consumer benefit,” Weed said.

YouTube Kills (OK, maybe not “kills” but seriously wounds) the Cable TV Star

It is not a happy coincidence that Unilever is looking to YouTube to deliver big  customer benefits. YouTube growth is staggering.

  • Every month, more than one billion unique users visit YouTube.
  • Every day, more than 100 million Internet users watch an online video—40% from mobile.
  • Every minute, users upload more than 100 hours of content onto YouTube.
According to Nielson, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any other cable network.

And according to Nielson, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any other cable network.  To be fair, U.S. advertisers still plan to spend over $70 billion on television vs. $6 billion on digital video ads. But that is changing. Expect this trend to accelerate.

Why? First, for digital natives, YouTube is their television; they prefer the online video network above all other digital platforms. Brands are beginning to understand the power of YouTube.  In an eMarketer report, it predicts that by 2017, advertisers should be spending 15% of their ad budgets on digital video.  Adknowledge CEO Ben Legg mentioned in his recent post, Digital Video Advertising: The Next Frontier for Brands, that the CMOs he’s talking to are looking to shift even more—upwards of 20 to 30%.  Moreover, video content is ubiquitous, the online platform is global and advertisers can attain reach at a very low cost.

Eric Schmidt, Google chairman, puts it this way: “I thought that YouTube was like TV, but it isn’t. I was wrong. TV is one-way. YouTube talks back. TV means reach. YouTube means engagement.”

The First Battle is Not Consideration, but Attention

In the end, creativity will trump optimization.

Structured experimentation and optimized digital marketing is an important part of any company’s strategy. Indeed, I work for a company that is obsessed (but I may be understating) with ROI and data. But in the brave new world, that’s necessary but wildly inefficient. Every day, we humans make more than 400 billion Google searches, send a half-billion tweets, and more than 55 million Facebook status updates.

To break through, brands must present ideas that are unexpected and then must participate, said 2014 Cannes Lions speaker Chuck Porter, chairman of Crispin Porter & Bogusky. In 2015, marketers will realize that creativity should be a core capability not relegated to the agency or copy writer working in the proverbial basement. By creativity, I don’t mean creating an Internet meme of singing cats in nine different languages. Procter & Gamble’s Global Marketing Officer Mark Prichard summarizes it well. He asks all of his marketers to 1.) start with a human insight, something that really connects with people, 2.) consider why anyone would “give a crap” about your idea and present creative that is relevant, transparent and authentic. Good examples of that are P&G’s “Not Sorry” campaign. The campaign showcases real life scenarios where women apologize for things that they shouldn’t. The video has been viewed more than 11 million times and resonates because it’s a universal issue most women relate to.

Developing an company culture that puts creativity at the heart of the organization is paramount. Indeed, creativity is the antidote for a cluttered, confusing marketplace. The task of marketing leaders is to find people who can think creativity—whether it is the message or medium. This will be one of the most important tasks for marketing organizations in the coming years.

What trends do you think will be important next year?

The Future of CPG Advertising: What Marketing’s Seismic Shifts Mean for Your Brand Strategy

The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is an advertising force of nature. Brands like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Rimmel London and L’Oreal—to name a few—have deployed some of the most innovative marketing campaigns in history.

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In tandem with the world’s most creative agencies, CPG brands are constantly looking for new and engaging ways to reach their audiences, which is an ever-increasing challenge since human attention spans are shrinking.

Hey Pay Attention.

The competition for audience attention—and the fact that consumers are bombarded with marketing—has created a paradigm shift in online advertising: one that prioritizes engagement over reach. Here’s why:


From the Trenches: 3 Lessons for Better Media Buying

For new and experienced media buyers, nothing feels more exciting than the opportunity to manage a significant ad budget. At large agencies—and within marketing roles at large organizations—these leaders are empowered with six to seven-figure budgets. What’s even more exciting is the seemingly infinite freedom that media buyers have to spend their budgets.


5 Tips for Getting into the Inbox

People have been saying that email marketing is “dead” for quite some time, but with a quick look at some statistics from 2014, it becomes obvious that email continues to be one of the most effective marketing tools available. In fact, it’s reported that 95% of consumers use email, and 91% of users check their inbox at least once a day. That’s a pretty convincing argument as to why you should be using email marketing to further your business.