Following a year when Deloitte discovered that the average consumer now owns over five portable devices, PR agency Hotwire predicts in its sixth annual Hotwire Digital Trends Report, that 2015 will be the year of COYC (Choose Your Own Content). 2015 is going to be all about choice for the consumer. They will be choosing the device they use and how they want to interact with content on that device.
You may think they do this already, but that’s not quite the case. Hotwire’s Insights and Analytics tool, Listening Post, analysed conversations on social media to show that there are still many brands out there stuck on “broadcast” mode, that fail to take their audience’s real preferences into account, and that provide a dramatically inconsistent brand experience across all their channels. So, what does this mean for the communications industry? It’s all about placing power in the hands of the audience.
It’s very clear that consumers now demand to consume content in their own time, on their own terms. As each of our devices lend themselves better to certain media outputs than others, the brands and companies which get ahead in 2015 will be the ones who recognise this choice and do everything they can to create multi-faceted experiences that combine variety in content with a consistent brand message across all channels.
Hotwire also predicts the growing importance of unified experiences, consumers understanding of the cost of “free” internet services, the growth of multi-screening, and making advertising routine:
Five digital trends for 2015:
Choose your own content
Content delivery is expected to be one of the biggest trends in PR for 2015. This year, content creation should concentrate on the consumer’s needs; their individual content consumption and their increasing wish to control who interacts with them.
Unified digital experiences
Brands now face more pressure for a unified design experience. A consistent brand identity is essential across devices and consumers are now expecting a seamless user experience whether at home or on the move.
Consumers realise nothing comes for free
An “ignorance is bliss” attitude among consumers is diminishing. The realisation that they are utilising a free service in exchange for personal data has meant that privacy concerns have become a major issue. But 2015 is the year that the communications industry realises the potential in using data people are comfortable disclosing in order to create a user experience that consumers are grateful for.
Multiple screens, multiple methods, one story
As tablets and wearables continue to grow in popularity, there is new pressure on brands to consider how they are going to tell their story from multiple angles.
Making advertising routine
The knowledge of how a customer makes a purchase has become invaluable. Discovering and collating information on our searches, location and habits will allow marketers to decide whether a potential customer will be interested in their product.
From the fashion industry to the health sector, all communicators face the same challenges this year: the consumer wants to choose their own path and control their own experience. Clever communicators will therefore hand the baton over to their audience to decide how they wish to digest content. The consumer is king, and they deserve and demand the power of choice.
A team of Hotwire in-house experts, working with its offices and affiliates around the world, analysed social discussion and trends in digital communications. This was distilled down to the 10 big trends likely to shape 2015. Hotwire’s in-house content and design teams detail this in the final report.
Written Alex MacLaverty, group managing director UK at Hotwire
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