Organizational strategy, structure, and culture have changed quickly in the past five years and 2015 will witness acceleration. As consumers demand parity of experience across digital channels, organizations will strive to move at the speed of marketing. The marketing technologist - part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher - will be an essential stakeholder. 2015 promises to be the break out year for firms that start to get it right. And for others, disruption will occur.
Below are four key predictions for 2015:
1. Brand investment in digital transformation will accelerate as tech budgets continue to shift to marketing.
Technology is being leveraged as a business accelerator to communicate with customers, inform business decision-making and meet the changing needs and experiences demanded by the customer. Firms are focused on streamlining the brand promise across the digital context. Marketing planning and investment in digital transformation are spawning website redesigns, app rebuilds and demand for third party products to meet the needs of the multi-context consumer. From content normalization and management, to data and analytics and beyond, initiatives are being scrutinized through the lens of the brand promise and the ability to provide consistency, differentiation and insight to the business.
2. Experience Design (XD) will differentiate leaders from the rest of the pack.
With the proliferation of context demands by consumers, designing products, processes, services, events, and environments with a focus on the quality of the user experience has become essential. Brands who are able to bring together the elements of interaction design, user experience, compelling content and creative will differentiate themselves. This uniqueness will result in disruption by both existing companies and new entrants into the marketplace.
3. Marketing technologists will assume greater responsibilities and become essential to leading brands.
Technology and business are inextricably linked due to the accelerating scale and diversity of technology solutions across the marketing and business landscape. Given the need for greater experimentation and more agile management of capabilities, marketing technologists will serve as change agents, working across the company to create competitive advantage.
4. Social business will be a "must do" in 2015.
Leading firms will appoint a social business leader, develop an overall social business strategy, prioritize social among competing priorities and focus on outcomes like brand awareness and employee training as step one. Developing the discipline in house, with the help of external and collaborative experts as needed, will be the long term formula to success.
2015 will see growth in the appetite of consumers for better experiences and service. The marketing technology landscape will broaden and scale to meet these needs. In a world in which technology fills the gap between the brand promise and serving the needs of customers, the marketing technologist will obsess and be passionate about both business and technology as a member of the corporate leadership team.