Marketing in 2015: The Force Was Strong With This One

It’s that time of the year: not only to sing Christmas carols, do the last minute present shopping, and spin our wheel of fortune with Christmas gifts for marketers. It’s time to look back at 2015 and remember why it was important and what happened. 

Content marketing rules!

Content marketing is still on top of traditional marketing, especially when it comes to user-generated content. Marketers have abandoned the traditional digital marketing tactics in favor of creating more relevant and inspiring content. Companies have been more concerned with customer experience and curated content in a more emphatic, client-oriented way.

Budgets for content marketing rose and will keep rising (our latest report showed that help is on the way for 58% of marketers who say their lead generation budget will increase), as does the value companies put on the reach out to their customers in writing. High-quality and relevant content was the key to digital marketing in 2015.

What you were supposed to get this year?

Great marketing resources can be difficult to find and use effectively within small to middle-sized organisations. And the bigger and more globally dispersed an organisation becomes, the more you hear the question of whether resources should be centralised or regional.

One sustainable way to go about the effective management of resources is to explore outsourcing work to a virtual demand centre: a hub of shared marketing services, infrastructure and processes, designed to enable organisations to bring programs to market by leveraging key corporate assets and best practices.

Although the concept of a demand centre is relatively new within the marketing ecosystem, but it is quickly becoming a key organisational component for elevating marketing performance by driving consistent, repeatable and scalable demand creation efforts.

Here are the 5 ways your organisation can benefit from a Virtual Demand Centre.

Did you show instead of tell?

The use of videos for marketing purposes has been steadily growing, and this year was no exception. In 2015 more and more companies started creating explainer videos.

Marketers have been exploring another medium due to the increase in marketing noise. That’s how “visual storytelling” was created. Perfect for nurturing and engaging consumer communities, visual storytelling is being employed to reveal the brand’s philosophy and aesthetics. It sends a clear message about the brand to its consumer communities and helps to define it against the surrounding surge of noise. So you can guarantee that we will see more of it in 2016.

Did you personalize?

The best way to increase engagement is to provide your audience with something relevant. By offering personalised content during 2015, companies increased the number of sales, lowered the costs of operation, inspired users to stay longer on their websites and fostered customer satisfaction.

Did you hear that?

The more content, the better, right? Nope. The increased interest in content creation created a lot of marketing noise in 2015: all that low-quality content that didn’t really add any value. Hopefully, with more budget being allocated for content marketing, more quality content will be created in 2016.

Another trend we saw in 2015 was the increase of long copy over short. The length and value of the content was even more essential than ever for effective SEO since Google labels content of less than 200 words as Thin Content. Plus, two special search algorithms are in force, Panda 4.2 and Pay Day 3.0, which are specifically aimed at reducing the ranks of low-quality content.

The big change…Yet to come

One of the big challenges that jumped to the forefront in 2015 was the Safe Harbour agreement between the United States Department of Commerce and the European Union (E.U.). The current agreement was suddenly terminated by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on October 6, 2015. It regulated the way that US companies export and handle personal data (such as names and addresses) of European citizens.

The termination has disrupted the work of over 5,000 US businesses which relied on Safe Harbour to receive personal data from EU member countries. There are three main ways of validating the data transfer:

  • getting personal consent to data transfers
  • implementing strict corporate rules for intra-company transfer
  • using model contract clauses including the EU Directives principles.

A replacement agreement is scheduled for completion in Jan 2016. Let’s see what that brings…

What do you think were the most important marketing happenings in 2015?

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