By Bob West
Right about this time last year, I penned a blog post looking at the trends we at Meister Media saw brewing, based on the questions clients were asking us during their 2014 planning. That turned out to be the most viewed post on the blog for the entire year, so.â€¦ Trends Heading into 2015.
- Direct / Email-based marketing
While we continue to see an increasing number of clients buying digital media (and buying more of it), the email rental business grew dramatically faster than any other digital offering in 2014. And this growth is not just about more clients allocating dollars to direct email marketing. Marketers are buying more sends, theyâ€™re increasingly targeting audiences, and theyâ€™re using advanced techniques such as A/B subject line testing, personalization and trigger campaigns.
Getting into growersâ€™ and retailersâ€™ in boxes is worth more than ever, and the battle will likely only continue intensifying.
- A lot of website redesign
Not surprisingly, many companies are re-evaluating their current websites these days. I recently spoke with one marketer looking for help with her website targeting the greenhouse / nursery market, and when I told her sheâ€™s got one of the better sites Iâ€™ve seen in the market, she replied, â€œThatâ€™s good to know, but the current site is two years old so we need to refresh it and make it even better.â€
She understands that her website has never been more critical than it is today, and sheâ€™s not alone. Weâ€™ve talked to clients this year with a range of web needs (more on this below), and theyâ€™re often looking to make a good site better rather than just get an initial site built.
Competitive pressure will undoubtedly keep driving this trend.
- Engaging via content
This trend certainly goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned spike weâ€™re seeing in web work. The No. 1 complaint companies have on their current site is the difficulty of posting content. The marketing team simply has to be able to update the site without involving IT / the web team.
This stems from the burgeoning use of content marketing. (If you donâ€™t get this concept, check out The Content Marketing Institute for an education.) Weâ€™ve got the data that illustrates how much more often audiences click on content-oriented ads vs. traditional, graphic-focused creative. This concept of engaging the audience by educating them makes particular sense in a B2B world where products are so critical to a buyerâ€™s future. Buying the wrong product from the wrong supplier has real ramifications for your customer â€“ he or she wants as much information as possible before deciding. That means content.
- More rich media
Our ag and specialty horticulture markets continue lagging behind many other industries in the use of various digital media. Nowhere is this more obvious than the lack of rich media ads employed on industry websites, but this, too, is changing. Expanding ads, in-ad video and dynamic animation will only become more common as companies strive to stand out from the crowd.
Ultimately, the most important trend remains the increased use of digital media by marketers. We estimate that roughly three-fourths of our clients have yet to embrace digital media â€“ a number that is certain to climb.
The author is Director of Interactive Sales at Meister Media, and he can be reach at 440-602-9129.