Trending in 2015: our predictions

Posted by: Line Up on December 16th, 2014 IN Experiential marketing

Without wishing to put this year to bed too early, we’re all starting to think about the year ahead. What are we going to be doing differently, who or what will the game-changers be and what trends will shape the year as far as the marketing community is concerned.

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With these questions in mind, here’s what we feel will drive our thinking, actions and business in 2015.

Storytelling

It feels oddly reassuring to start a ‘trends’ story with something that has been around for thousands of years. Something that is so fundamentally part of all of our lives. So why is it going to be so important to brands in the year to come?

As consumers become increasingly powerful brand ambassadors, giving them something relevant and meaningful to share is more and more important. Eliciting an emotional response is always going to boost the desire to share whether it’s via humour, intrigue, tugging at the heartstrings or a deep rooted empathy.

Sainsbury’s tells a familiar story with their own intriguing twist

The successful campaigns of 2015 will be those that tell a compelling and authentic story across multiple channels, creating fans along the way. Which brings us to our next 2015 buzz word….

Empathy

In this brave new world where every engagement is a two-way conversation, it is increasingly important to get under the skin of your audience and really understand them.

Never assume that consumers want to have a relationship with you. They don’t! What they are seeking is a sense of common values, particularly in our new sharing economy where ownership is not an issue and experience is everything. Witness brands such as Spotify, Uber and Zip Car who are defining new business models for success.

In 2015, don’t just get under the skin of your consumer. Walk in their shoes for a mile or two and see how it feels then build your experiences and relationships around them.

Mobile and data sharing

Another not-so-new concept creeping back onto our game-changing list for 2015. The reason is simple, in 2015, according to Business Insider, mobile internet usage will eclipse computer based internet usage.

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This fact alone has huge implications when it comes to personalisation and practices such as geo-targeting. 36% of global consumers are now willing to share their current location with retailers – double the number of just a year ago – and that is only set to grow. As agencies and marketers increasingly deliver a more relevant and rewarding permissioned experience the opportunities for mobile engagement grow.

YouTube

As Eric Schmidt, Google chairman, puts it: “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.”

So if we go back to everything that we’ve just been saying about empathy and storytelling, it goes without saying that YouTube has yet to have its real heyday. The rise and rise of YouTube Ambassadors such as Zoella in 2014 prove the point – Generation X broadcasting from their own bedrooms in a no-thrills style but dripping with the authenticity and empathy that today’s consumers are crying out for.

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It’s a platform that delivers in spades in the newly democratised relationship between brand and consumer. We can watch, comment, create and play our part. Let’s just hope that the channel doesn’t become a victim of the regulators as we move into the New Year.

Personalisation

With the kind of data sharing that we alluded to above comes a whole new world of personalisation potential. Personalisation works for consumers – as far as empathy goes, when it’s done well, it really hits the spot and makes us feel special. It forms a brand connection that is hard to beat.

This is because it provides the perfect solution to a modern paradox. As consumers we embrace choice, we embrace the fact that we have the power to exercise our choice as we buy in store, online or as we share using platforms like Spotify or Netflix. But, and here’s the paradox, sometimes that choice is just too overpowering, so we’re secretly delighted and flattered when Amazon suggests a book we might like. It just works and it’s only going to get better as complex algorithms, predictive models and data analysis work in our favour.

Sensors

Which brings us nicely to our last game-changer for 2015. As consumers, we’ve been making active choices via our smartphones for a while now. We’ve been in charge and had control over our exposure to brands. We might not think we want to change this state of play but sensors are going to offer us the option to sit back and let them do the talking for us.

It could be something as simple as a device in headphones that helps to select music based on our mood or a watch that monitors movement and heartbeat. Whatever the device, it’s no secret that in 2015 consumers will be able to tailor their experiences without actively asking.

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Pull all of this together and you are left in no doubt that 2015 will be the year of the consumer. A consumer with higher expectations, more power, infinite choice but also the ability to sift through the options.

An exciting year ahead for agencies and marketers – Happy 2015 to all of you from all of us at Line Up.

Line Up

Line Up

Line Up is an award-winning, creative communications agency, headquartered in London. We create engaging live and digital brand experiences for internal and external audiences all over the world.

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