I don’t often play the New Year predictions game for several reasons. I worry that I’ll just get it all wrong and that others will make far more insightful predictions. The biggest issue though is timing. As Bill Gates said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”
Right now the advertising and marketing world is undergoing incredible changes. I could write about the growth of programmatic buying, the internet of things or wearables, all of which will be huge and affect email. But Bill Gates’ quote is about two years not just one and this is the second year in a row that I’ve written a predictions article.
Last year, I made a prediction that we would start to see a thaw between the worlds of CRM and media. At the time, I actually expected that we’d start to see changes towards the end of 2014 with things really picking up in 2015. What happened though shocked me. The change was far greater and far faster than I expected.
In 2015, I believe that momentum will continue and drive the desiloification of email. Something that’s long, long overdue.
Let’s face it, email marketing has always been a sideline. A powerful, revenue-generating sideline, but a sideline all the same. It often surprises email specialists to find out that email is only 3-4% of the typical CMO’s budget. But that sideline status is changing, and we’ll see it change even faster in 2015.
Many factors are contributing to this effect but two of the most important are mobile and the always-connected consumer. 90% of consumers today use multiple screens in a single day. They also take a multi-device path to purchase. Not only this but they interact with brands through more channels than ever before while expecting marketing to adjust adapt and respond in realtime.
Meeting the expectations of the always-connected customer demands a breaking down of internal silos. Marketing disciplines can no longer afford to operate without reference to each other. Additionally the role of email address as digital identity places email databases and email marketing in the forefront of advanced targeting and retargeting techniques. Similarly, individual-level ad targeting through custom audiences and programmatic buying solutions rely on email for identity.
This is 2015. The year when email marketers become the fulcrum of their organization’s marketing and advertising efforts. A critical component to support and enable the revolution in marketing required by the always-connected customer.