What's Important In Digital For 2015

Now that January's 2015 predictions have been said, it's time to look at what's expected for this year in the Digital arena.

As we come to the end of January 2015 and we self-manage our expectations for the delivery of flying cars and funky trainers that Back to the Future promised us, I felt it was time to look at what’s expected for this year in the Digital arena.

Big Changes In Social
The amount of content on social channels is huge. As brands we’ve been beavering away and creating so much content in fact, that platforms now need to filter this through dynamic algorithms. Facebook has had an algorithm for a while now, pushing down organic reach and putting the demand on relevant, invested content. The prediction is Twitter will follow suit soon too, and the rumour is trialing is already underway.

These are frustrating times for Social Media Managers, Strategists and Marketers alike but it’s important to remember why these changes are now taking place, and why they were always going to take place. If platforms are throwing all content at all users, they’ll quickly find themselves without said users and devalue everything up to that point. As an industry it’s important we adapt to this change and realise that the era of ‘free’ social marketing is coming to an end - certainly on platforms with such large userbases anyway. This isn’t isn’t to say organic reach is over, just that investment is needed to support those activities.

Experience Is Everything
As brands become more aware of the importance of digital, so they create better experiences for users. The byproduct of this is that users become less tolerant of poor experiences and we can expect this to continue in 2015. That means if your research shows people are frustrated with your site or your app, it’s time to make a change.

The importance of UX (User Experience) has become more evident in the last few years, which is fantastic news. With this, there’s been a realisation that the UX is part of the overall experience a customer receives and has a direct affect on their brand association. We’ll start to see CX (Customer Experience) and CEM (Customer Experience Management) terms being used more, which essentially map the overall journey of customers.

Strategic, Integrated Approaches Will Grow
Accordingly to a recent eConsultancy survey, 50% of businesses don’t have a digital strategy; although these brands will certainly enjoy an element of success, they’ll be missing out when compared to competitors with longer-term views and strategy.

As the digital space becomes more crowded with marketing messages, we’ll see strategic, integrated approaches grow as their value becomes more evident. These integrated approaches, encompassing the delivery of messages across multiple channels will have an effect on the CX (Customer Experience, remember?) too, enveloping things like display marketing and social into that area of responsibility.

Longer term, I’d predict Brand Managers will take much more control over digital and the two will become less independently defined.

In summary There are some big changes in social, a focus on experience and more importance resting on strategy. It’s an exciting but challenging time to be in digital and as time progresses more is expected from us to deliver a high-quality, unique, considered and intelligent service.

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