Marketers will be challenged to push the envelope in 2015. Brands are rethinking their agency relationships in favor of more cost-efficient advertising tools and technology. They will also reimagine the way they create and distribute content: viewing patterns have shifted from horizontal to vertical screens, and users are creating and sharing content as a natural extension of their online behavior. Instagram and Pinterest adoption is rising, and retailers are aligning their marketing efforts with this trend. And a future where people are connected to their products is on the horizon, thanks to the Internet of Things.

All this means that brands will have to mirror their consumer — stay connected, keep listening to what their audience is talking (or not talking enough) about, and go granular to draw insights. Check out this slide deck for a quick breakdown of the 11 charts — with the key takeaways detailed in this blog post.

At Percolate, we’ve put together a report that sums up what we believe are the 50 most important trends for senior marketers to look out for this year. Here are some of the highlights of the report.

1. Brands are cutting ties with digital agencies…

Marketers have reduced the number of digital agencies they work. Newer tools can help streamline marketing functions internally, saving marketing dollars on costly agency relationships. In 2014, Procter & Gamble made headlines when it chose to cut down on its ad agencies. Brands will move advertising dollars to programmatic ad buying and analytics, where ROI is easier to track.

marketers cut back on agencies

2. …and are spending more on programmatic advertising.

Automated ad buying is changing the face of online advertising, as revenue figures from the top four programmatic ad platforms show. Marketers are choosing to increase efficiency and save money by spending more on programmatic, cutting out steps in their operational processes—including agency relationships. However, for programmatic to really become the future of advertising, it will have to move from online to TV and other advertising channels.


50 Marketing Charts 2015_MB.037

3. Brands will spend most on native ads for social media.

Native advertising on social media will account for almost $7.5 billion of total native ad revenue this year, as branded content will find its way into news feeds.  Brands will weave themselves deeper into the fabric of content that people consume by leveraging native ads. The challenge to marketers is to make sure their branded content stays relevant and genuine to consumers, becoming less of an advertisement and more of a reliable information source for them.

native advertising trend 2015

4. Horizontal screens are slowly being replaced.

Consumers are choosing to spend more time on their mobile screens. In 2010, only five percent of view time was spent on vertical screens. Today, that figure is 29 percent. Vertical video signals a change from the “lean back” viewing of horizontal screens, to a new audience of handheld viewers who create and share videos—this gives brands a chance to leverage user-generated content in their content marketing.

vertical viewing on screens

5. User-generated content exceeds professionally created content.

In the last month, users and influencers uploaded more of the top 100 videos to content platforms than media companies and brands did. Marketers will pay more attention to user-generated content, and we’ve found evidence that it is more viewed and trusted than brand-produced media.

user generated content most uploads

6. We share as many photos as there are people in India.

1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared everyday via messaging apps and social media platforms. This surge in photo sharing means two things: brands will create more visual content (and tap into users to generate some of it), and they can access information on changing consumption patterns, lifestyles, and demographics—all crucial indicators for outlining a multi-channel marketing strategy.

1.8 billion images shared daily

7. Pinterest and Instagram adoption is outpacing Facebook—and changing purchase journeys.

The last year saw more users adopting image-based social networks like Instagram and Pinterest—a higher adoption growth rate than Facebook, which plateaued at 72% from 2013. These will be new channels for retail brands to grow their business—Instagram’s “Buy now” button will allow consumers to purchase directly from the app. Ads that rely solely on visual content and a few lines of copy will change the way brands think about advertising products.

pinterest instagram grow faster than facebook

8. Soon more people will use messaging apps than social media.

Social activity is skewing towards mobile, as mobile-only messaging platforms have as many users as social networks. Messaging apps can function as content portals for brands to interact directly with fans—and nearly half of millennial users have said they are likely to engage with brands they are interested in. Brands can maximize their reach through messaging apps—like news organizations publishing daily news bites on Snapchat’s new Discover feature.

messaging catching up to social media

9. For marketers, mobile websites matter more than apps.

Marketers worldwide are choosing to invest in mobile-optimized websites than mobile apps, signaling that the first point of contact for consumers is via mobile browser. Retailers can gain from this trend, by optimizing their web portals for mobile screens. About 85% of Facebook’s audience now accesses the app on mobile and nearly half of these users only access it on mobile.

more marketers have mobile websites than apps

10. Most online shopping occurs on Facebook.

Of all the social networks, Facebook rules when it comes to generating e-commerce revenue. As of Q2 in 2014, Facebook accounted for 70 percent of total e-commerce revenue from social. Here’s another important clue for retailers to focus marketing efforts on Facebook because odds are, they’re more likely to spot an offer there than to open a marketing email.

facebook leads ecommerce revenue

11. The Internet of Things will connect consumers to products like never before.

26 companies plan to spend $1 billion or more on the Internet of Things this year, a report from Tata Consultancy Services found. The Internet of Things sits at the intersection of enterprise technology systems and marketing, creating a connected ecosystem of consumers, products, and marketers that can interact in real-time. Smart home devices and wearable technology will deliver personalized content to consumers, meaning brands can get to the most granular level with their marketing efforts.

internet of things to be biggest device market

These charts are just the beginning — there is a wealth of predictions for marketing executives to keep top of mind when outlining a multi-channel strategy. To see all 50 charts, download the full report.