Marketing In 2015 – The Year Of People

We asked the question, “In 2015, what do you wish marketing would focus more on?” Dozens of marketers answered us… I’m pretty happy with the results, and seeing we all seem to be on the same page, I’m really pumped up to start the year!

The results of our survey show that in 2015, marketers wish the field would focus on three main categories: people, technology, and business impact. Since my personal response was centered around people, and influence marketing is my favorite kind of marketing, I decided to analyze this section of responses from our survey.

People, ppl, peeps

From building more one-to-one relationships, to strengthening social engagement, to utilizing participation marketing, marketers overwhelmingly agree that people and relationships should be a key focus of marketing strategies in 2015.

There are so many ways that people can become a focus of marketing strategies, but content marketing is a great place to start. Incorporating influencers in your content marketing strategies helps expand your brand’s reach through credible and trusted sources. As Lee Odden notes, the definition of an “influencer” doesn’t have to be such a narrow view, but can also include customers and prospects.

The value of co-creating content with the very audience you want to do business with is very powerful. – Lee Odden, TopRank

How to engage with the right people at the right time:

  • First, listen. Listen to your audience to find pain points, look for trends, and understand their buyers’ journey.
  • Next, identify the right influencers for your context. When 3% of people generate 90% of impact, it’s important to find the most relevant influencers who are driving the conversations and decisions in your topic area.
  • Listen again: now listen to your influencers, and seek opportunities to start a conversation, find common ground, and begin to build a relationship.

Care about the people you’re trying to connect with as people before prospects. – Andrew J. Coate, Kapost

  • After you’ve built a real relationship with those influential people, engage for the big ask: co-creating content that your audience wants to receive. And you know what they want to receive because you listened, right?

Content-Influence-Framework

Content marketing is just one way to add more people-centric tactics to your marketing strategy. What other ways are you focusing on people for marketing in 2015?

Not Just Another 2015 Prediction Post (but kinda)

By analyzing the results of our survey, we can start to assume some predictions for the future of marketing in 2015. More so than just wishes, many of the results submitted are what marketers are currently working to achieve. As Washington Irving said, “Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.”

So, based on the input from those great marketing minds, here’s what we might start to see this year:

  • TWEET THIS: In 2015, marketing will not only embrace, but embody relationship-centered practices. This is all about empathy and truly understanding people. At the end of the road, the goal of marketing is to reach customers and increase leads, right? If marketers truly base their strategies around people, this year we will see great results from humanizing brands and building real connections, leading to amplified visibility, stronger trust, and more fruitful relationships with influencers, customers, prospects. We will of course need to come up with a new buzzword for this in 2015, but this kind of strategic social selling/empathy/people-centric marketing hybrid will ultimately bring more leads through the funnel.
  • This may be a year for the books in marketing technology. As more and more technology is developed for marketers, stronger is the need for smart, intuitive and useful cross-platform integration. There are so many necessary buckets of technology for marketers that navigating the landscape is becoming quite the task. It would be helpful for the marketing field to start seeing even more strategic martech integration.
  • Successful marketing makes an impact – Impact on your audience that ultimately impacts sales and business success. Up until now, measuring ROI and the success of digital marketing practices has been a struggle to say the least. Now that digital marketing is really becoming regular ol’ marketing, this may be the year that more solid success measurement standards are developed.

That’s what I’ve summed up based solely on the results of our survey. Do you think we’re on point?

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