Looking back: 4 marketing trends of 2015

Dec 17, 2015

Martha France

2015 marketing trends help shape 2016 strategyTaking a look back at some of 2015’s biggest marketing trends can be a great way to review the year, and think toward 2016 marketing strategy – if you haven’t already done so.

We informally reviewed a few of our favorite blogs in the industry (HubSpot, Forester, Gartner – among others) to see what topics people were discussing and covering the last 12 months.

Here are four marketing topics that we found covered across all blogs:

1. Personalized marketing

Today, consumers want relevant information at their fingertips. They no longer have patience to wade through ads, commercials or articles that do not directly reflect their interests.

In this vein, personalized marketing is becoming a critical strategy to adopt. Study after study demonstrates that need. In fact, one study found that consumers are willing to spend 6x more on purchases if emails are personalized.

Personalization can be accomplished more easily than many think through direct mail, addressing consumers by name over email and even personalized in-store experiences.

2. Simplification

As consumers demand more and more personalized marketing, marketers are seeking a way to deliver that customized, relevant experience, efficiently. Marketers want to feel less overwhelmed as they search for ways to simplify their daily tasks. Technology and automation are two major trends from 2015 that will continue to dominate discussions and present solutions to simplify the marketing process and help marketers stay ahead of the curve.

3. Content Marketing

No surprise here with content marketing loudly and widely being proclaimed the “king” of all marketing efforts. From the basics of content marketing to best practices and award-winning campaigns, content did reign supreme on many marketing blogs, including our own, “Can branded content really help generate leads?”

4. Direct mail

Direct mail continues to be a favorite marketing tactic for good reason. It works, and companies are willing to invest money to reach consumers through innovative, effective direct mail pieces.

Research shows that 42 percent of direct mail recipients read or scan direct mail pieces. Comparatively speaking, email open rates generally fall anywhere between 20-30 percent, depending on the industry.

A common theme we have seen first hand with clients is a focus on developing innovative, targeted materials to ensure direct mail pieces stand out. Trends dominating direct mail include personalized mailers, dimensional mailers, effectively understanding and utilizing Every Day Direct Mail (EDDM) versus targeted mailing.

Overall, it seems marketers faced two major challenges in 2015: reach more consumers with personalized, relevant messages and a need to simplify the marketing process so that can happen.

Personalization can occur in popular marketing tactics like direct mail, email or even content marketing. It’s also clear from looking at 2015 blogs that marketers are hoping technology can provide the solutions to make the marketing process less overwhelming and more efficient.

What have been your favorite trends of 2015, and what are you looking forward to in 2016? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @vya_systems. 

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Tags: financial services, marketing strategy, personalized marketing

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