The 2015 Marketing Wish List

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From content to cross-channel marketing, five skilled marketers share what they hope to see more—and less—of in 2015.

We have less than two weeks before the start of the New Year. With each passing year, most of us hope to shed the bad habits and pick up some productive ones. That's the approach I took while recently chatting with five industry analysts about the field of marketing. I asked each of them this question: What would you like to see more of, and what do you hope to see less of in 2015? Their answers were varied, lucid, and downright interesting.

"I hope to see more campaigns in social that are directly driving sales and ROI. And, honestly, I hope that I see less content marketing programs that are simply designed to drive top-of-funnel engagement. It's strategic and imperative for content marketers to have bottom-of-the-funnel accountability."—Mark Josephson, Bitly, CEO

"In 2015, I would like to see cross-channel marketing move from a nice-to-have to a must-have for the CMO. Digital marketing should be integrated into each function of the marketing budget. With effective cross-channel marketing campaigns, consumers receive offers that are highly targeted, engaging, and relevant. In addition, I hope to see more advertisers producing more engaging, delightful ad experiences to consumers, like immersive 3-D or video ads."—Mark Strecker, Amobee, CEO

"I hope to see more strategy and also more innovation and collaboration. At the beginning of interactive advertising and marketing, there was a lot of griping that other departments got all of the budgets—not marketers. Now, I'm seeing those same divides among the digital people—the search, email, analytics, brand, and social people. They don't sit in the same room and talk to each other as much as they should. So, I hope that digital will not let itself become as Balkanized as it claimed that traditional marketing channels were."—Rebecca Lieb, analyst, Altimeter Group

"I hope to see more physical experiences that respond to data that I carry around with me personally. I'm a big fan of the quantified self and the Internet of Things, in which I have all of this data about who I am, what I've bought, who my friends are, how often I run, etcetera. If I step into a retail environment, I want that environment to know those things about me; and I want it to take advantage of what it knows about me and to tailor the experience that I have, and if it can tailor it to what I want. I want to see more of that. What do I want to see change? Well, I'm so tired of the gigantic catalogues and physical mail. It's so harmful for the environment; I get mounds of paper that I just dump directly into a recycle bin. That frustrates me."—Ken Allard, managing director of business strategy, Huge

"I'd like to see marketers rewarded for publishing great content; right now they're rewarded for generating clicks. I believe that in 2015 the bigger brands will be focused on using branded content to cut through the clutter. We're seeing in the market a definite shift to increase the scale of brands being content creators and content owners. In a competitive media environment, doing that well is an incredible competitive advantage."—Mark Yackanich, CEO, Genesis Media

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