Four Words for 2015 and What You Need to Know About Them

December 19, 2014

 

By the time December rolls around, business talk starts to get buzzy. A whole bunch of people are reading blog posts and Forbes articles about trends for the new year, becoming prognosticators themselves, and serving as armchair experts on what you need to focus on once your calendar flips to 2015.

If you’re not reading those articles, though, you might feel out of the loop. And that can be tough, especially since talking shop is all but guaranteed during the upcoming holiday party tour season.

That being the case, here are four words that are showing up a lot in those “2015 predictions” conversations … and how to use them yourself.

Privacy

Practically a no-brainer. Apple has hinged its Apple Pay go-to-market strategy on privacy, Home Depot is still counting the number of lawsuits that it’ll face for its recent credit card breach and a recent Gallup poll found that Americans are more worried about being the victim of credit card information theft than any other crime.

In other words, keeping lead and customer data private has to be a key initiative for Marketing and IT.

How to use it in a sentence (or two): We really take our customer’s privacy seriously. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do for our business. We can’t afford to expose ourselves to the risks—or costs—associated with a data breach.

Analytics

In our “5 Tips to Become a More Effective Marketer” post, three of the five tips Adam Figueira lays out are rooted in analytics. Smart marketers aren’t relying on intuition or gut feelings anymore. They’re looking at numbers, finding baselines and trends and forecasting what type of revenue impact they’ll be able to have.

Also, fair warning: the more you hear “analytics,” the more likely you are to also hear the phrase “data-driven marketing.”

How to use it in a sentence (or two): You know that old John Wannamaker quote about “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted”? There’s no excuse to operate that way. But if we want to understand what channels are best for our lead generation program, we need to put more of a focus on analytics.

Transparency

This is probably the buzziest, most loaded word on the list, so think about it this way: If you’re not playing it straight with your customers or prospects, how are you going to win their trust?

In B2B, this can be as simple as making sure you’re delivering the value in your content marketing that you implicitly promise when you ask a prospect to fill out a lead generation form. In B2C, it can be avoiding misleading claims and refusing to squeeze extra money out of your customer because your data shows that person will likely pay it.

How to use it in a sentence (or two): People are tired of being blasted with traditional marketing tactics, and I can’t blame them. But what if we were transparent with them? What if we tried being helpful and authentic? I think we could have better success reaching them.

Simplicity

Simplicity can apply to business management as much as it can apply to corporate strategy, but in this case it’s biggest value applies to how you communicate with your prospects and customers.

Marketing is getting noisier by the day and that means you have less time and fewer opportunities to get your message across. Keeping it clear and concise (read: simple) gives you the best shot at building a customer base that’s loyal to you. Want proof? Look at the companies in the top 10 and bottom 10 of Siegel & Gale’s 2014 brand simplicity index.

How to use it in a sentence (or two): We’ve spent too much time testing too many disparate, conflicting messages to too many markets. We need to pick one. Let’s focus on simplifying who we are and what we do.

None of these are new words, nor are any of these ideas new ones. But they are important and they are often overlooked. So, if you’re planning to contribute to the trends and predictions chatter leading up to 2015, feel free to use the above. The classics, as they say, never go out of style.


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