A Mid-2015 Marketing Progress Report

Forget champagne and noisemakers; marketers’ favorite part of the new year is making predictions about what’s to come for the marketing industry. But, much like New Year’s resolutions, these predictions are often forgotten about come February.

Well, we’re about halfway through 2015, so let’s bring back those long-forgotten speculations. Where does the marketing industry stand? Let’s take a look at three bold predictions marketing professionals made for 2015—and whether marketers are fulfilling them.

Prediction #1: Native Video Takeover

“Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will show preferential treatment to video content that is hosted on their own platform. This means that marketers will be uploading original video content to each social network . . . This distribution of video will radically transform the way marketers work with video.”

– Michael Steizner, CEO of Social Media Examiner

Grade: B-

In Q1, Facebook boasted an impressive four billion video views per day. (For reference, YouTube videos receive seven billion views a day.) According to Socialbakers, native videos have the highest organic reach of all types of Facebook posts. In fact, they reach a 64% larger audience than links do—including links to videos on third-party sites like YouTube. Not only that, but they’re also attention-grabbing; they autoplay and display more prominently in the newsfeed than third-party videos do. When it comes to Facebook, Steizner’s prediction hit the nail on the head.

As for Twitter and LinkedIn, the jury is still out. Late last year, Twitter promised a native video feature in the first half of 2015. With less than three weeks left until midyear, we’ve still got our fingers crossed, but we’re not holding our breath. And while LinkedIn still doesn’t host videos, their content-sharing site, SlideShare, does. It remains to be seen whether they’ll capitalize on the trend and make video content a more prominent part of their platform by the year’s end.

Prediction #2: The Convergence of Marketing and Sales

“In 2015, digital marketing will converge with digital selling in a meaningful way. Marketing (one to many) and sales (one to one) are beginning to use the same techniques of content creation and real-time engagement. The best organizations will not run marketing and sales as separate ‘departments’ but will merge the two functions into one customer facing organization focused on revenue generation.”

– David Meerman Scott, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author at Freshspot Marketing

Grade: A-

Experts have long been touting the importance of sales-marketing alignment, but what about sales-marketing convergence? In 2015, this isn’t an idealistic vision; it’s a reality that’s so close to our hearts that we build our products around it. Technology like marketing automation and Salesforce® Engage, which was released earlier this year, gives marketers and sales reps a common toolset that allows them to empower one another. Now, marketers can create on-brand content that salespeople can customize, and sales reps can engage in real time with prospects who interact with that content.

While we admit we may be just a bit biased, the numbers don’t lie: companies that use marketing automation are more than twice as likely to capture intelligence their sales teams need to close more deals. The technology needed for sales and marketing to converge is absolutely there, and more and more organizations are taking advantage of it. For the marketing industry’s grade in this subject to bump up to an A+, however, more businesses will have to get on board.

Prediction #3: R.I.P. Google+

“In 2015 I think there’s about a 50% chance that Google could completely kill [off] Google Plus. I do not recommend companies spend much time investing in the platform.”

– Ross Hudgens, Founder of Siege Media

Grade: D

With the introduction of collections and the fragmentation of Google’s Photos and Streams products, Google+ is definitely headed in a new direction—but probably not to its demise. Because its future is still unclear, I won’t give this prediction’s progress (or perhaps “regression” would be a better word) a failing grade, but I don’t think marketers who rely on Google+ have anything to worry about.

With six months left in the year, there’s still a lot of time for the marketing landscape to change. I know that I, for one, will be taking stock of the predictions I made in January and making sure I’m living up to my own personal marketing goals. Can you think of any other predictions marketers made for 2015 that have (or haven’t) come true? Are you doing anything to fulfill them? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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