Digital marketing will explode in 2015

As we embark on the New Year in business, the lines between tangible and digital realities are being blurred in unprecedented ways.

BizTimes will provide a preview of 2015 when it presents the annual Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast on Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

The following speakers will provide their projections for 2015 at the breakfast: University of Wisconsin economist Michael Knetter; SysLogic Inc. chief executive officer Tina Chang; Wisconsin Technology Council president Tom Still; ABC Supply Co. Inc. CEO and president Keith Rozolis; and Briggs & Stratton Corp. CEO Todd Teske.

That’s a strong lineup that will provide diverse vantage points about the future. To set the stage for the discussion, let’s share the “15 Digital Trends to Watch in 2015” as compiled by Bell Pottinger, a prominent London-based public relations firm:

  1. Near field communication. Watch for the growth of digital payments, which will provide opportunities for tech companies such as Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc.
  2. The Internet of Things. According to Bell Pottinger, 4.9 billion “things” will be connected over the Internet in 2015, growing to 25 billion by 2020. Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc. is licking its chops.
  3. Wearables. Think Apple’s iWatch and the Fitbit.
  4. Internal communications. Fifty-one percent of businesses plan to increase internal communications budgets by an average of 17 percent.
  5. Story telling. Stories can be easily repeated, can go viral and are terrific for brand building.
  6. Branded content. It was the most popular content marketing tactic in 2014 and will grow by as much as 47 percent in 2015.
  7. Digital beacons. Retail destinations will send targeted Bluetooth messages to mobile devices. You walk into a mall, and your smart phone will be buzzing with the latest sales promotions from the stores as you pass them.
  8. Personalization. Companies are personalizing their customers’ web experiences.
  9. Big Data. Global spending on Big Data will grow 46 percent between 2015 and 2020.
  10. Content marketing. B2B businesses with blogs generate 67 percent more leads than those without.
  11. Augmented reality. “We used to say seeing is believing. Now we have to say experience is believing,” said Sushei Yoshida, head of Sony Worldwide Studios. (Indeed, Sony’s reality has since been augmented, to say the least.)
  12. 3-D printing. The global 3-D printing market will grow from $2.5 billion in 2013 to $16.2 billion by 2018.
  13. Real-time. Consumers are 22 percent more likely to consider a brand as a result of real-time marketing in 2015.
  14. Mobile. “For the very first time, brands are starting to see that you can tell beautiful stories on mobile devices,” said Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions at Facebook.
  15. Gamification. The global gamification market will grow 68.4 percent by 2018.

To register to join us at the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast, visit

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