Did They Come True? Revisiting Our 2014 Marketing Predictions
Before we share with you our predictions for 2015, we would like to go back to 2013. Unfortunately here at Demodia we don’t like crystal balls so we needed other ways to predict the future last year. It’s been one whole trip around the sun, with lots of exciting new products ( yeah, I’m talking about the iPhone6 at your desk because it’s too big to fit in your pocket), events taking us to the future (OpenText is getting ready for the Digital-first world of 2020) and the steady rise of big data in our regular workday. Here is what we had in mind for 2014.
1. Clear Definition of an Inbound Marketing Agency
Since Inbound Marketing became trendy, we were afraid companies will start to abuse the definition of marketing agencies because the term is so broad and covers different marketing components. However, what we saw in 2014 was a challenge to the structure of the Marketing Agency. The most obvious problem became the management: as an agency grows, it starts needing more agencies. But more managers inevitably means more cost. Thus, there are three things that slow down agencies: more time wasted in meetings, more interruptions, and makes the connection between the client and the team more layered and thus, slow. Managers interrupt the flow of work. As the Guardian put it:
“We are built on an anachronistic structure from the days when we were funded by commission and aligned to media channels that no longer exist.”
The real problem is that we order our entire workflow and budgets around the irrelevant pipe. So we got that right: clear definition, but with a heavy structure.
2. New Job Titles
In 2013 Content Marketing was a new term in the business dictionary. But soon it started assigning particular job titles like Content Creator, Content Marketing Officer, Senior Content Manager etc. In 2014 we saw (and met) many more: Mobile Marketer, Content Librarian, Community Executive, Digital Ad Manager and many more. Not to forget all Inbound Marketing Data Analysts and Inbound Strategists. So we get full points for getting this one right.
3. Technology: The Rise of Full-Service Inbound Marketing Suites
We got that one right: 2014 was definitely big for Inbound Marketing. Large vendors partnered or acquired smaller ones in order to developing full-service inbound marketing suites or offer services to support every aspect of Inbound Marketing. Marketing Automation tops the list for where most Marketers increased budgets, according to ExactTarget: 73% of those surveyed are currently using SEO/SEM in their marketing efforts and 71% are using some form of Content Management platform.
4. Sales Enablement Becomes Part of Inbound Marketing
In 2014 marketing and sales were still two separate disciplines. However, brands became more mature and experienced in good practices on sales and marketing alignment. In 2014, sales reps admitted to never following through on 70% of the leads. There’s a serious disconnect there, wasting time, money, and opportunity. The easy access to information has changed the B2B buying cycle: B2B customers now complete 60% of the buying cycle before they’ll even talk to a person in your company. So a good SEO, social media, and content strategy is essential. In 2015, i’s important for everyone, Sales and Marketing alike, to understand where the targets are and maybe we will see a more full integration of the two. But we are on the right track.
5. Multilingual Content
Yes, English is the most widely used language online, but it represents around a quarter of total usage. As the world is getting connected, more people are using languages such as Arabic, Russian, Chinese and Spanish are growing. Content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla help bloggers to adapt their content by supporting multiple languages. In 2014 you probably started working on your multilingual strategy. In 2015, you might consider taking your brand consistency up a notch by centralizing all global content in one translation management system. You might also want to standardize the tone and style of your writing across the organization, preferably by creating a style guide for content development.
So we think we scored a B+ and we feel confident in sharing our predictions for 2015. How did 2014 treat you? What do you expect from 2015?