Top Five Consumer PR Predictions for 2015: Marketing by the People for the People

Mark Malinowski

Our industry is still trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. We hear about the latest social platform, mobile app, measurement tool and piece of content, but what’s the real deal? I think what’s real are the proven approaches that help consumer brands effectively reach a continually fragmented audience.

So, looking through my PR crystal ball, here’s what I see as the top 5 “go to” tactics marketing tactics in 2015.Marketing by the People, for the People:

  1. Whether it’s coming up with the next flavor, Super Bowl commercial, product line extension or even logo, consumers will want to share their real-time opinions and cast their votes on big brand decisions. Direct interaction strengthens a relationship, so expect to see more consumer-influenced brand announcements in the coming year.
  2. Brand social channels continue to become more lifestyle based, much like “old school” magazines. Long gone is Gourmet Magazine, but now you can enjoy a super glossy Facebook page featuring 100 ways to eat Yoplait.
  3. Brand content drivers will focus on making powerful and creative standalone statements versus instantly reacting to pop culture events. For every Super Bowl, Academy Award and Grammy’s, brands line up and literally fall over themselves trying to convey the most attention-getting real-time communication they can muster. However, for every Oreo Super Bowl moment you have 100 brand Tweets that never have their “red carpet” moment. So, it’s my opinion that brands will stop following the line and start to lead it. They will create their own platforms and use them to make their own bold statements.
  4. Social mission will become part of the norm versus brand bragging rights. Brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Levi’s and Starbucks have long known that it’s important to conduct business in a meaningful way and to give back to communities who support you. That said, CSR and corporate transparency will become the rule rather than the exception.
  5. Integration, integration, integration. With more and more fragmented media channels and media budgets to match, marketers will continue to get the most out of each and every advertising dollar. Paid versus earned, value-add, native advertising and cross-pollination will continue to be phrases we hear in 2015.

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