So What’s Happening This Year? 2015 Digital Marketing Trends

This blog posting is my favorite series to author; I’ve been posting a list of 10 digital marketing trends in ’11, ’12, ’13 and ’14.  So what’s happening this year?

1. Mobile consumption of websites should overtake desktop volumes.

This isn’t exactly new, but is a trend everyone needs to be aware of: In the past year, websites have now only seen 30% of traffic, and mobile traffic will continue to overtake online traffic for most websites.

According to Cisco’s Mobile Data Traffic Forecast:

  • There will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015.
  • Global mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015.
  • World mobile data grew by a factor of 2.6 in 2010 from 2009.
  • Average smartphone usage doubled: 79 MB per month, up from 35 MB per month in 2009.
  • Android operating system data use is rapidly catching up to the iPhone.
  • In 2010 almost a third of smartphone traffic was offloaded onto fixed networks via dual-mode or Femtocells.
  • Millions of people around the world have cell phones but no electricity, and by 2015 a majority in the Middle East and Southeast Asia will live “off-grid, on-net.”

There is also a 92% CAGR, or compounded annual growth rate, for mobile usage. I have never seen a CAGR that high before. It represents a tremendous challenge and an incredibly lucrative opportunity for the companies that get it right.

2. Continued explosion of Tag Management Systems due to appetite for personalization, it’s the foundation.

According to Mark Mountan [link:],  “It is estimated that 50% of leading websites will have adopted tag management technology by 2017. Tag management use by the world’s top 100,000 websites has already increased 600% since May 2012, according to eConsultancy. Many digital marketing agencies have already declared 2014 as the “year of tag management” based on projected investments that their clients are planning to make in tag management as a means of controlling the efficiency of on-site technologies.”


3. New acquisitions.

 Candidates include Marketo, Tableau, Constant Contact, Hubspot. Acquiring companies include SAP, Oracle, IBM, Adobe, Salesforce, and Ensighten.


4. New categories of connections. 

If you thought that businesses to consumer connections would be big, you should take a look at business to business connections. There will be a boom in devices that have app-connectivity, such as the iWatch, thermostats, fire detectors, garage doors, and more. Machines will start to take over tasks even more. Take the healthcare industry, for example. In a hospital, instead of humans watching what’s normal looking for the abnormal, machines will partner with big data algorithms to alert humans of what’s abnormal.


5. Internet-enabled cars

We will start to see cars that have operating systems that update over the internet.


6. Proliferation of apps for these hardware devices

Apple is allowing anyone to make an app to use on their device. There will soon be applications for everything. Companies will be able to make apps, as well as individual people.


7. Apple Pay will spur a revolution in payment processing technologies.

2015 will be the year you will use Apple Pay for the first time. In 10 years, you won’t even be able to imagine what your life was like without it. People will finally stop carrying a wallet as everything becomes synced with their smartphone.

As of today, 37 states let you show proof of insurance on your phone. Some states are even working towards creating an app for your driver’s license.


8. Use of drones in e-commerce will pilot in a few cities

I believe we are going to have a drone for every person. This year we are going to start to see regulation behind drones, the way states regulate motorcycles and weapons and boats, for the under 400 foot airspace. We will see the first nationally reported crimes used in drones and the licensing of drones. An ecommerce company is going to use drone delivery this year, and I think it will be Amazon.


9. Gamification

 Gaming consoles will find increased competition from first internet based TVs allowing games to be played via the internet, thereby bypassing the console, something called “cloud gaming.” Whatever gaming console you have in your home may be the last one you’ll ever buy. Games will be played through browsers, which will be accessible on any device, including internet connected televisions.


10. Offline and online analytics improve

With the partnership between Neilson and Adobe Analytics, digital marketers are going to be able see the convergence of analytics between consumption of content via Television and consumption of content via desktop, mobile and social. And this isn’t just happening in the US. The traditional TV monitoring services in every continent are taking note. In Brazil, IBOPE has a long and inter-twined history with WPP, the largest advertising group by revenues and number of employees. WPP may acquire IBOPE. Other companies throughout Europe and Asia (AGB, TNS, AGB, BARB, Auditel, and Videoresearch) are actively partnering with web analytics firms to combine online and television analytics.

So what does this mean for marketers? Attribution modeling can now cross channels. Marketers will be able to build attribution models to see how TV ads, radio ads on digital devices and digital ads all influenced consumer behavior. The level of personalization will increase.

Imagine the day when you go to a website on your mobile phone which triggers an ad for the same company to air while you are watching your favorite television show.

The term digital marketer will fade away. We are now marketing in a digital world.

11. Big data tools will bring self-service to consumers of data

Data visualization tools will grow 2.5 times faster than the rest of the Business Intelligence market.  That’s why LCG partnered with DOMO in 2010 to bring data visualization to teams that need to act on data quickly.  In one customer alone, LCG replaced 5 people that used to generate monthly reports with a part time resource that managed a dashboard similar to this:

12. Data Security becomes a “needed to win” differentiator for many consumers

We’re going to have a cyber attack that will become a national crisis. Not even the Pentagon can secure its networks. Security architecture is extending beyond a “perimeter” defense (say a VPN or firewall) and has moved to a layered schema, where each program, each app, and each transaction has security checkpoints sprinkled throughout the customer journey.

Security companies and need for security experts will increase and become some of the Nation’s highest paying jobs.

I wrote this trend prior to the challenges that Sony faced, but after the challenges that the big retailers faced regarding credit card security breaches. Marketers frequently hear about security from their IT counterparts within the enterprise, but this issue is a competitive imperative; that is, consumers will evaluate this feature as “needed to play”, but it may not be a competitive differentiator and regarded as a “needed to win” criteria in their decision making hierarchy. Over time, this will change for many consumers as more security breaches of consumer data become more frequent. The day is coming when marketers will promote their IT infrastructure and security as a competitive differentiator in their advertisements as this factor becomes more important to consumers.

To see a list of the current security attacks going on right now, visit:

13. Need for Big Data Scientists – over 1MM unfulfilled jobs by the end of the 2015.

First, let’s address how big data is finding its way in the enterprise. Even though companies are eager to learn about big data, few are taking action. Big data is over-exposed in the media and under-assessed in the C Suite.

America simply isn’t producing enough data scientists. There is no silver bullet when trying to capture the value of data. Hiring a PhD in operations research, math, data mining, systems engineering, and even newer programs now officially called Data Science will not provide a sustainable competitive edge.

Data science is a team effort. It requires several skills. To unlock the value of data managers should form a team that has the following capabilities: advanced analytics, business process engineering, marketing, creative, graphic design, software development, systems administration, data integration, data visualization, and business unit subject-matter expertise.

Organizations that understand the value of data generally build the business case for the investment. And it pays handsomely. “Return On Investment (ROI) for analytics and business intelligence solutions is increasing and currently delivering on average $13.01 for every dollar spent, according to a new analysis by Nucleus Research. The study analyzes the actual costs and benefits of Nucleus published case studies on individual companies’ analytics deployments.”


Companies are going to need to compete using their data.  They will need to create experiences that capture the value that is stored in their data and unlock it.  But they have never done it before, they won’t be able to find the right people because they don’t exist.

By 2015, it is expected to create 4.4 million IT jobs globally, of which 1.9 million will be in the U.S.–by-2015–says-gartner.html


“Applying an economic multiplier to those jobs, Gartner expects that each big data IT job added to the economy will create employment for three more people outside the tech industry in the U.S., adding six million jobs to the economy. That’s the kind of estimate that presidential candidates, if they focused on IT’s impact on the economy instead of fossil fuel fracking and pipelines, might jump on.”–by-2015–says-gartner.html

So if you’re looking for a second career or have an opportunity to mentor a young professional, consider sharing this matrix of future work skills as published by the elite team of futurists at the Institute of the Future.

By Paul Lima, Managing Partner at Lima Consulting Group


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *