Every year, at the beginning of the year I like to peruse the Internet and find out what the predictions are for the year. Where do other marketers and designers think trends are going? What should we be looking out for? Learning more about? Educating ourselves and our clients on?

For the last couple of years all roads have led to relevant, inspirational and interesting content. Not just on your blog, but anywhere someone can find you.

That seems to be the case again in 2015 – Below I’ve created a summary of what I think we’ll see in Marketing and Design in the year ahead.

Marketing in 2015

Marketing Trend #1 – Content Creation

It’s all about the content. Talking to the right audience, showing that audience you CARE about them, not just SELLING, SELLING, SELLING at them. It’s about incorporating the personal/human side of your business into the stories you are telling. It’s about using clever and funny messaging to attract and engage your customers – getting them interested in what you have to say, and your product so you can retain them as a customer for years to come. Learn more about what top marketers had to say about content and digital marketing.

Marketing Trend #2 – Value Visuals

It’s time to focus on visual storytelling – with ever shorting attention spans, how else can you get your message seen and heard? This means, huge background images (static or video) which resize based on what device the user is viewing your website on. It means, vibrant, bold, graphical, typography based design that creates interest and dynamic. Add UI Animation on top of that, think CSS transitions and transformations and JS actions, and you’ve got some killer websites- that can help visually tell your story to your audience. Learn more about design trends on the Creative Bloq.

Marketing Trend #3 – Cards

I can’t tell you how many times I saw this mentioned. Tuts+ talked about it in their blog as did Envato. Cards are coming. Now, we just need to get an industry standard created, so we don’t need to create cards for every platform we’re on, but so we can create 1 card, to use on all platforms. Learn Why Cards are the Future of the Web and the best design patter for mobile devices.

Marketing Trend #4 – Integrated Strategy

If you haven’t integrated your marketing strategy yet, 2015 is the year you need to. Having an Integrated Strategy will help your business lay out a path to create valuable content and visuals. It will help you simplify and streamline your marketing so you have focus. This will inevitably allow you to create more content ahead of time, and keep your focus throughout the year. It will also allow you to identify your companies’ values and focus on communicating them in unique, but believable ways, to help you become a trusted source of information in your industry. This is the era of the convergence of Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising, They all MUST work together to create a unified presence across both digital and non-digital platforms.

Marketing Trend #5 – The Shift from Globalization to Personalization

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this called out in this Forbes article. Why? Because I’ve seen this, and believed this is coming since I started Creare Marketing back in 2012. It’s that local community feel people are looking for. They want to support local businesses, work with people they can actually sit down and meet for a cup of coffee or a meal, someone who cares about their business as much as they do. With the rise of mobile computing and now wearable technology, we’re also seeing how the connection to your physical location is gaining importance in digital platforms (think how your location can dictate what sale notifications you get at local stores). We’ll see this trend continue in 2015 as local business owners look to local marketing/design companies to help put them on the map. The good news is, it’s much easier to infiltrate a smaller market, and much more affordable, so it will be exciting to see where the technology can take us this year.

Here is another good Forbes article talking about the brand and marketing trends for 2015 if you’re interested in learning more. Do you agree with these trends? Would you call out any others? We’d love to know.

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