Fashionable wearables. Pinterest-inspired design. New audiences for video. Major shifts in how your business is found in search.
In 2015, new opportunities exist for businesses to reach their customers who increasingly want to be connected by the devices they wear. Marketers must update how they present their brands online to look and organize their content more like wildly popular social channels, and there’s no end in sight for the growth of audiences for compelling stories told well.
The coming year has much more in store, and gyro’s leaders have identified what’s relevant to business-to-business companies and their customers. Our team shared these insights during a recent webinar, “6 Essential B2B Marketing Trends for 2015.” Highlights from that program:
Trend 1: Use It or Lose It
What’s New: Wearable technologies are at the top of our watch list. Fitness bands with companion mobile apps track our every step, calorie burned and hour of sleep. These gadgets remain, however, geeky looking. That’s about to change.
“A welcome, emerging trend ties this technology and fashion together. It’s no longer just industrial design that’s important, but the fashion design, too,” said Cristina Heise, vice president of buyer experience planning, gyro Cincinnati.
Take, for example, the My Intelligent Communication Accessory (MICA) smart bracelet. Crafted by the fashion brand Opening Ceremony, powered by Intel and connected to AT&T’s broadband network, MICA delivers a wearer’s personal information on the go. Its curved sapphire glass touch screen displays a calendar, messages and reminders. And it looks quite refined in its 18-carat gold coating.
What It Means: Businesses should develop strategies to collect, understand and act on all the data about consumers generated by their wearables.
Trend 2: The Eyes Have It
What’s New: Most people don’t know or care about front-end user interface design, but they are increasingly influenced by it. Everywhere online, designers and developers are taking their cue from social sites like Pinterest, which organizes and displays users’ information in card-like formats.
What It Means: Look for more businesses to adopt the Pinterest look and feel, but don’t be surprised that it becomes more difficult for businesses to break through to consumers when competitors update their websites with this modular approach.
Trend 3: Battle of the Bots
Google is still the king of search—but its kingdom is shrinking.
The catalyst for losing market share came in November, when Firefox dropped Google for Yahoo as its default search engine. Google’s share of online searches fell from 72 to 66 percent, and Yahoo grew from 6 to 9 percent as a result. Yahoo’s share could keep increasing if Apple decides to forgo Google as its Safari browser’s default search engine this year, said Melissa Mackey, search supervisor, gyro Cincinnati.
What It Means: “This really impacts how people are searching, where they are searching and how traffic is getting to your website,” Mackey said.
Trend 4: Revive and Revamp
What’s New: Look for a resurgence in emotionally driven marketing, said Amber Long, vice president of engagement, gyro Cincinnati.
Data has been all the buzz for the past several years. Businesses found ways to track consumers’ every move and feed them tailored and data-driven messages. However, as this surge of information has expanded, it has had a numbing effect on decision-makers, Long said.
In gyro’s recent study with the FORTUNE Knowledge Group, it was found that primary decision-makers increasingly rely on their gut instincts instead of looking into the data, when they make business decisions. They really want powerful, humanly relevant stories.
What It Means: “We’re not saying that data is going anywhere. It is an extremely important piece of the marketing puzzle, but in 2015 we will be calling on our tried-and-true emotional ties to come out of data’s shadow,” Long said.
Trend 5: Shout from the Rooftop
What’s New: Last year was all about content creation. Now, if a brand wants to stand out, it’s going to have to go beyond the quantity of its content.
Case in point: Companies find video to be among their most popular content. Most businesses host their videos on YouTube and link them to their other social sites. In 2015, Long expects Facebook and other social channels to give preferential treatment to videos posted on their platforms.
What It Means: Marketers need to think beyond YouTube for hosting. Look for companies to create separate video experiences, each with distinct purposes, messages and lengths for different online channels.
Trend 6: Embrace the Ambiguous
What’s New: Marketers think in terms of data and ROI. As a result, they shy away from anything that can be perceived as ambiguous, but many marketers ought to reconsider this approach.
A great example is “Dark Social,” the sharing that occurs online in private channels—forums, instant messaging and anonymous social channels, like Secret, Whisper and Snapchat. “Dark Social” accounts for three times as much activity as Facebook and 70 percent of all social sharing worldwide.
What It Means: Look for marketers to work on breaking into “Dark Social” spaces to learn what they can and even join the conversations, said Emily Guthrie, vice president of media, gyro Cincinnati.
A full replay of gyro’s Jan. 27 presentation, “6 Essential B2B Marketing Trends for 2015,” along with the slide deck, provides more detail and additional insights. Click here for more information.
Michael Agnello – Business Development Manager, gyro Cincinnati
In his current role, Michael heads business development for the gyro Cincinnati office. Spending his entire professional career in advertising, Michael’s expertise lies in discerning the best possible marketing mix for clients and prospects alike. Michael has an incredibly passionate personality and readily embraces any client /prospect challenge. In addition, his high-energy, always-on approach has earned him the respect of colleagues and clients alike.
Michael has received numerous awards including the 2014 AAF Cincinnati “Suit” award for Sales Achievement. He earned a BSBA, with a focus in marketing, from Xavier University in 2010.