Digital Trends to Watch in 2015

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It’s no surprise that the smartphone was the biggest single influence on consumer change in 2014. Acting as a pocket portal to the world, mobile was the biggest opportunity – and challenge – to marketers. 

Fast forward the next 12 months and you can bet your bottom dollar that mobile and its technical evolutions will be the face of marketing in 2015. What’s more, you can expect increasingly confident consumers expecting brands to work around them, rather than dictate to them.

Here’s some trends already landscaping digital marketing over the next year…

Connected kids

According to Ericsson, 90% of the world’s population over the age of six will have a mobile phone by 2020. A study by Vodafone also found that 93% of UK parents allow their children to use their smartphones and tablets.

Expect to see more child-orientated content and a wave of brands decreasing the reading ages of their websites.

Connected kids

Digital high culture

Live streaming and other digital technologies are opening up high art, opera and theatre screenings to mass audiences. You only have to look as far as London Fashion Week to see exclusive, highbrow content served up to the masses on a silver platter.

burberry runway to reality

Image: u-note.me

Experiential marketing for the brave

With experientialism becoming mainstream, brands are having to work harder than ever to wow customers. The latest trend? Dark and twisted experiences designed to thrill.

From zombie invasion experiences to immersive games involving clues and countdowns, brands are getting in on the action. Absolut Vodka teamed up with artist Nadim Abbas to create Apocalypse Postponed, a Hong Kong bar laid out like a concrete bunker, where revellers can party like it’s the end of the world.

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Image: Absolut

Combining social good with sales and marketing

Incremental savings and charitable donations look set to rise in 2015, with brands teaming up with charities to boost donation initiatives while improving brand perception and ethics.

You can already donate to charity via cashpoints and online shopping carts, and platforms like Penny for London are now encouraging commuters to use contactless payments to donate a small amount to charity when they make journeys on the London Underground.

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Tactile internet

Haptic technology, which combines internet connectivity with physical action, will enable the internet to deliver remote tactile experiences.

According to Mischa Dohler, professor of wireless communications at King’s College London, haptic technology will see medical diagnoses and treatments being delivered remotely via the power of the internet.

UWA introduces Haptics and Fighter Pilot technology to dentistry

Bringing the luxury online

High-end luxury brands like Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion have excelled in ecommerce, yet 40% of luxury brands are still not on the web according to research from Bain & Company.  Exclusivity adds to luxury’s allure, which might explain why brands are resisting the internet.

Described as “the next China”, e-commerce will potentially add $43 billion in sales through 2020, forecasts BNP Paribas.

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Image: Net-a-Porter

Deep personalisation

Expect a new iteration of bespoke for 2015. Adopting personality questions and abstract surveys, brands are increasingly matchmaking shoppers with products.

Trailblazer brand Burberry is already leading the way in personalisation with its #MyBurberry monogramming campaign as well as 2013 digital letter sending initiative Burberry Kisses, yet has not managed to pair its products with customers in the last year.

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Image: eConsultancy

Artificial Intelligence

Intuitive systems that learn to predict human desires are set to take off 2015. We’ve already seen Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Ok Google but new systems that ‘know what you want before you ask for it’ are being trialled by Viv Labs, whose founders helped create Siri.

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Mobile everything

Users will be able to control household appliances via their smartphones. Nest was fast off the mark with its Learning Thermostat, that allows homeowners to control home heating from anywhere in the world just by using their smartphones. With technologies like Cosy even allowing homeowners to switch lights on and off remotely, the mobile phone is set to become the remote control of modern life.

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