Corporate Eye

Marketing in 2015: What’s Hot and What’s Not

digital marketingThe good news for marketing in 2015 is that 93% of enterprise marketing leaders for global brands plan to increase or maintain their marketing budgets in the next 12 months. The bad news is that some programs are falling way down on the priorities list in 2015.

Offline Marketing: Not Hot in 2015

According to research from StrongView, three marketing programs will see significantly decreased spending in the new year. In a survey of 400 marketing executives for global brands, 33% indicated their budgets for print advertising would drop in 2015. Direct mail will also decrease for 22% of respondents, and radio and television advertising spending will decrease for 18% of marketers.

Digital Marketing: Hot in 2015

On the other hand, digital marketing will thrive in 2015 with 61% of respondents indicating their email marketing budgets will go up in the new year. Social media will see a spending increase among 49% of respondents, and mobile marketing will increase for 40% of marketers who responded to the StrongView survey.

Inbound marketing and automation will be at the top of many marketers’ priority lists in 2015. In total, 42% of respondents indicated that triggered/transactional programs will see an increased investment in 2015, and 41% will increase investments in lifestyle programs. These lifecycle programs will focus on four key touchpoints:

  • Loyalty: 45%
  • Welcome: 36%
  • Winback/Re-engagement: 27%
  • Post-Purchase: 27%

2015 Marketing Concerns

Despite the planned increase in marketing budgets in 2015, marketers still have big concerns. The top three concerns among leading marketers for 2015 are related to data and integration:

  • Accessing and leveraging customer data from multiple channels and data sources: 30%
  • Coordination across marketing channels: 16%
  • Developing more relevant engagements: 13%

Data challenges for marketers are plentiful with the biggest problems among respondents to the StrongView survey identified as data cleanliness (14%), lack of budget (12%), and lack of resources (12%). With this in mind, it’s not surprising that only 51% of the survey respondents use the demographic data that they have access to in their marketing campaigns and only 48% use the purchase history data that they have access to.

The problem with data is harnessing it to improve ROI. Marketers indicated that the data they struggle the most to leverage are:

  • Web behavior: 31%
  • Sentiment: 20%
  • Life stage: 19%
  • Shopping/browsing behavior: 19%
  • External feeds: 14%

Based on this research, it is clear that digital marketing trumps offline marketing in terms of prioritization in 2015. Marketing budgets are shifting more and more towards digital and away from offline every year, but the same problems remain year after year: data and integration. Perhaps we’ll see some solutions to overcome those problems on a wide-scale debut in 2015. What do you think?

Image: Svilen Milev

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.