The start of a new year is always an exciting time in marketing, because it gets industry experts talking about what trends are predicted for the coming twelve months. 2014 was an innovative year; among other things, the pop-up shop really came into its own as a marketing and branding tool, and it's going to be interesting to see how that trend, and others, expand in the coming year.
Wearable tech products like the Apple Watch and Google glasses are still very new on the scene, but it's not going to be long before industry innovators start creating marketing applications and advertisements targeted to these devices. In fact, it's been predicted that by 2020, around 20% of sales will be generated by the use of wearable devices; in particular, by data collected from people who wear them.
Authenticity and customer relationships
Customer relationships continue to be crucial, as they always are, and it's more important than ever that brands figure out exactly who they're trying to reach, to effectively understand their needs and motivations. Along similar lines, brands need to be able to target and interact with customers in ways that establish an authentic image and authentic relationships.
This potentially creates a significant paradox. The more a brand thinks about authenticity and takes steps to transmit it the more there is a risk that it manufactures its identity rather then allows the real one to come to the fore. Consumers are very good at smelling a phoney, and this is the challenge that brands face. Genuinely authentic brands just are.
Further integration of digital tech
In terms of marketing and branding, most companies still think of digital technology as a separate entity, instead of what it should be: part of a cohesive strategy that involves both online and offline media. In 2015, companies must embrace the idea that digital marketing is more than a tactic or a gimmick, and integrate digital tech more fully into an overall marketing campaign.
Immersive and personal customer experiences
Customers always want more novelty and more unique experiences from their brands, and the pop-up shop has so far been a great way for both small and large brands to provide this. The pop-up shop is almost certainly going to be an even bigger player in the coming year, and it's likely that the most innovative brands will find ways of making them bigger, better, and more exciting.
Pop-ups also signal a return to a more personal level of marketing; while online, it's all about creating viral content and getting marketing media out to as many people as possible, the popularity and success of the pop-up shop shows that smaller-scale personal interactions are still highly valued.
So, 2015 is going to be another exciting year for marketing. The pace of change has increased and it is continuing to do so exponentially. This creates opportunities and challenges for marketers.