I can’t help it.  I am a sucker for these lists.  I love to clip them and see how accurate people are throughout the year.  Every year for the past 14 years, I have made my own list to use as a guide for the work we do for our clients. This year, I am brave enough to share it with you! Here are eight important trends and predictions for marketers that I see in 2015:

  1. Collaboration. The way we work has been gradually changing.  I watched my children do more group projects in school, thinking how unfair it was to always have a slacker in the group.  By stepping back and looking at the end results of my team, who collaborate on everything, I see why innovation will only happen through collaboration.  The volume of knowledge and skills has grown beyond individual capacity. It’s going to take villages to grow to the next level. My team will have to work even more closely with more people from other service providers at our clients’ companies. We will continue to form bridges with agencies and client contacts in various regions around the globe. We will also coordinate with various IT departments, sales departments and business managers. My clients will be picking and choosing their collaborators. They will be stirring engagement in unusual places in hopes of increasing innovation.
  2. Search versus social. By monitoring analytics, we are watching the traffic sources from social channels on our client’s sites and our sites grow.  I truly believe the gap will close in 2015, and, by 2016, social channel links will be the biggest driver of traffic to websites. We are putting extra effort into tracking the ever-changing world of social media and developing new tactics for our B2B marketers.
  3. Global workforce. One of my favorite things about the millennial generation is that there are so few boundaries — geographic, cultural, technological and more. Limited by local talent to answer our clients’ needs, we are further embracing our global contacts.  With a healthy respect for local specializations, our global partners will help us conduct a more efficient business.
  4. Cyber security. As the threats of hacking grow, this is the year our clients will become affected. Their investments in websites, search engine optimization and social media profiles are at risk. We will work hard to better understand cyber security issues and protect our clients’ assets. We will be prepared to work with corporate IT departments and support their security protocols.
  5. Crowd funding. As a Kickstarter addict, I find crowd funding to be an interesting trend.  Some clever new innovations have originated there, as well as new ways to grow and experience things.  We will see more big companies utilizing the channel for ideas, seed technologies, research and solutions. We already have two clients who started their own incubators for small inventors.  More collaboration, few boundaries.
  6. Energy, food & water. Our clients are working hard on some big solutions to lessen the strain on energy, food and water sources.  This year, I believe many Americans will start to appreciate the demand and the needed scale of solutions.  Many of us will experience the need for energy and water, either through the pocketbook or at the source.
  7. Apps. I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about apps as my second company, Workhorse Development, creates and builds apps for many of the globalHMA clients.  Apps will become the new must-have tools for many B2B marketers. To keep our brands in the hands of customers, we need to integrate specifiers, calculators and formulation tools into proprietary apps instead of websites. This keeps our brands with the customer while they are in the field, in the lab and on the move.
  8. Perspective and discernment. The ability to gain perspective and discern what is important or relevant will be the new genius. Those who can solve a challenge the fastest yet still see it from many perspectives have the advantage. This is a critical skill I seek in all HMA team members.  With the speed of business, I believe it is our obligation to provide this skill to our clients. Perspective and discernment can allow them to take advantage of new opportunities.

These are my eight important predictions for marketers in 2015.  I would love to know what yours are.