DTC marketing trends for 2015

time to changePOST SUMMARY: Just when you thought you had a handle on digital marketing along come new changes that are going to force you to rethink how you think about digital marketing.

What I love most about digital marketing is that it’s challenging of ensuring that our marketing remains relevant admidt rapid change.  Here are some changes that DTC marketers should be made aware of…

1ne: Marketing 3.0 – Marketing 3.0’ are ‘human-centric’, appealing to customers’ compassion and showing they truly care about their broader impact on the world through positive action to address sustainability and ethical issues.


2wo:  Disruptive Innovation – “Your business is likely to be disrupted and you should spend time thinking about how that will happen and what you can do about it,” Kotler warned in a recent article  He recommended companies undertake the following three steps:

1. Vulnerability analysis: list weaknesses in your offering and all the ways a competitor might be able to hurt your business,

2. Opportunity analysis: list all the other businesses that you could get into, and

3. Scenario planning: come up with three possible scenarios and plan a course of action. “The world is too uncertain to predict exactly what’s going to happen”, but this process will build your team’s skills and make the business more flexible in future uncertainty, Kotler said.

3hree: The power of social media. Social networks are the places where connected consumers spend the largest amount of their time online. Social networks and social marketing are very effective in generating brand interest and purchases among younger consumers. However, the number of users on a social network is not necessarily an indication for engagement or, importantly, purchases. Furthermore, different social media sites display different usage patterns in different countries.

Social Media Logotype Background

4our: The Evolution of Responsive Design – Only a few years ago, making a site “responsive” merely required that it work on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. With smart watches, TVs, and home appliances booming, the definition of responsive design is expanding rapidly.   While each platform has its unique challenges, tablets and smartphones have very familiar interaction systems and the main problem has been ensuring that content is appropriately sized and easy to navigate.

But on a smart watch, for example, even the navigation system has to be completely rethought to accommodate how we use the device. Watches won’t be able to use smartphone site designs, and a site optimized for desktops won’t necessarily work when viewed on a smart TV. Solutions to these new problems will take some time to emerge, but, by the end of 2015, the sheer breadth of the smart device market will force web designers to adapt their techniques.

5ive: USEO – USEO is the next wave of marketing help for your website. We came up with the term USEO, figuring that if we’re going to keep throwing around acronyms, why don’t we stick with something pretty close to what we already know? Here’s what we’re talking about:

OLD: SEO – Search Engine Optimization
NEW: USEO – User Site Experience Optimization

USEO doesn’t focus on what some algorithm thinks about the text or layout of your site – it focuses on the actual users.

6ix: Transparency will become the most important tool of marketing. Consumers are going to continue to exert power and influence. The idea of radical transparency is something that few brands are taking advantage of now, and most brands fight it. Next year the best brands won’t be those with the best stories, or sort of made up fictional stories, but those that will give an accurate and real time picture of what they are doing in the interest of the consumer, at any given time.

7even: The winners will be adept at agility marketing. Social media produced a different, more elusive consumer with short-term thinking. Marketers are now chasing their daily meanderings in “likes”, “shares”, “tweets”, click-through rates, and ever more immediate but pointless metrics. The best marketers will have ever more consumer data, capable of faster adaption, shorter lead times, and always-on, real-time marketing. Instead of the next month or next quarter the focal point for the winners becomes the next hour.


8ight:  Customer journeys trump the traditional sales cycle. – The sales cycle has been an inside-out process, tied primarily to sales goals and operations. The customer lifecycle with a company comprises an ongoing journey before, during and after individual sales events. Sales and marketing teams need to be part of continuous customer engagement for the entire journey. Persistent nurturing of customer experiences also plays an important role in customer retention and advocacy, and sales has a responsibility here.

Change is constant and those organizations that respond best to change are going to win the battle of share of customers.