3 marketing trends to watch in 2015

Mobile dataAs 2014 comes to a close in a rapidly-evolving industry, the year ahead looks as dynamic as ever for marketers.

Nick Rappolt, chief executive officer of experience design agency Beyond, looks ahead to three of the marketing trends with the biggest business potential.

Sensors will be pivotal for proactive marketing

Soon, we will find sensors in everything from smart watches to patches on our skin, gathering data on heart rate, sweat composition and body temperature in real time.

In 2015, brands will tap into this sensor-gathered data to add real value, building loyalty by helping consumers make better decisions based on the analysis of their behaviour.

Healthcare is the most obvious area in which such technology will improve customer relationships, with increasingly intelligent apps able to detect health problems early and change lives.

Gartner predicts that by 2017 smartphone sensors will reduce the costs of diabetic care by 10%, while by 2020, wireless health monitoring technology will increase life expectancy in the developed world by six months.

Brands that share more will gain more

In 2015 there will be huge potential for brands that are willing to rethink the role of data in their business model.

Those that are willing to share and receive data from peer companies will gain greater exposure for their own offering with minimal investment, while increased external data streams will allow them to develop and improve their own services, gaining competitive advantage.

We will see more companies following the example of Uber, which opened its API and allowed partners like Starbucks, Time Out and TripAdvisor to use its data at any time. Users can now see pickup times and fare estimates on these apps, rather than having to go through Uber.

Evidently, shared data has improved functionality and user convenience.

The human touch will return to automated marketing

In recent years, marketers have invested huge amounts of money in automated marketing – but always with a danger of losing the human touch from their efforts.

Retargeting shows how easily automation can go wrong, with a recent study showing that over half of consumers are put off buying a product when they see the same ad reappearing multiple times online.

In 2015 more brands will see the value of ensuring automation is designed and quality-controlled by humans, using expert insight and sound planning to ensure promotional messages fit into a greater overall customer experience.

Otherwise, the benefits of automation could easily be outweighed by the damage done by irritating marketing.

Nick Rappolt is the chief executive officer and founding partner at Beyond, an experience design agency with offices in London, San Francisco and New York.