Clay Schouest
Feb 25, 2015

10 trends for the Year of the Goat

Shoppable media, smart programmatic buying and continuity planning are among the 10 notable trends that will increase in influence this year, writes Clay Schouest, regional strategy leader with Carat Asia Pacific.

Clay Schouest
Clay Schouest

This new year is the ‘Year of the Goat’, and brands will be embracing the notion of creating and targeting culture. Within that theme, we see the continuation and proliferation of 10 notable trends.
These 10 trends will continue to gain traction and momentum and their influence will grow significantly over the next 12 months.

Many of the selected trends, whilst global in their relevance and scope, are developing fastest here in Asia Pacific. The region wields growing power and influence, especially in the social, mobile and e-commerce marketing sphere, and continues to set the pace for export to other global markets.

1. Content marketing targets culture

2015 will be the year when our industry makes sense of content marketing. We will catalogue all the types of content available, we will analyse them according to objectives, and we will—for the first time—deploy content strategically. Content marketing and content curation will truly come of age in 2015.

2. Continuity planning

In the past few years, continuity planning has taken hold like no other approach to marketing. But in this age of convergence, continuity planning takes on a whole new dimension. Social posts, online video, search and mobile are also relevant for continuity planning in communications. In 2015 continuity planning takes the principles of marketing science and turbocharges them for a convergent world.

3. The peer economy

With many mobile-first markets, Asia Pacific is growing rapidly, with consumers using social channels to monitise and sell products they already have. Platforms that advocate peer-to-peer interaction sidestep traditional constraints by allowing consumers the flexibility to engage on their own terms.  2015 will be the year when traditional giants recognise that their biggest threat or opportunity lies in using media differently.

4. Bite-sized video gets bigger

Short-form videos have come a long way since the six-second Vine. The social giants have all climbed aboard the proverbial bandwagon and enabled easier video uploads on their respective platforms, with hyperlapse on Instagram/Facebook and Sight for WeChat. Asia-Pacific consumers have a particularly insatiable appetite to consume and create short-form video content. 2015 will see more platforms innovate new features for simple video editing whilst also improving ways to share—to other social platforms and even to e-commerce.

5. The science of sharing

As an industry we are still beginning to understand the science behind sharing. We keep being surprised that the propensity to share varies hugely by audience group and market. In fact, the Asia-Pacific markets are on average twice as likely to share ads as the rest of the world. Within our region, Indonesians and Filipinos are the most likely in SEA to share an ad (3.78 per cent and 2.47 per cent) and Singaporeans are the least likely (0.4 per cent). In 2015 we will continue to learn and understand the dynamics of sharing: why, what, how much, to whom and, critically, the role of brands in that shared experience.

6. Shoppable media

Convergence has brought the points of engagement and transaction ever closer. This region of the world started using shoppable media when it became possible to shop on outdoor advertisements through QR codes in Korea. Online videos now also provide shoppable experiences embedded within. 2015 will be the year when shoppable media becomes a mainstream reality.

7. Programmatic gets strategic

2015 will be the year Programmatic marketing evolves from a tactical to strategic discipline. In the next year, we’ll see a greater variety of inventory being managed programmatically, extending to premium contextual placements and high-impact formats, in particular video. We’ll a shift from real-time bidding to guaranteed deals, which will allow advertisers and publishers to plan deployment together, in real partnership. 

8. Search gets creative

Search will be revolutionised in 2015, taking on an editorial feel, serving rich brand content, such as reviews, video, and PR headlines. Embedded transaction will become the norm. In 2015, creative and PR agencies are going to have to define a role for themselves in search.

9. Living in real-time culture

Culture is speeding up, creating instant trends which wane fast, whether that’s an Ice Bucket Challenge, an Ellen de Generes Oscars selfie, or a Kardashian booty shot. Consumers love these instant hits, but brands are struggling to harness them. Enter real-time social marketing. This will be the year when content hubs truly come of age. In 2015 we will see brands recognising that real-time is very often right-time.

10. Global expansion from Asia-Pacific

Asia Pacific mobile-based social applications continue to eye global expansion. The likes of Line (Japan) and WeChat (China) look to penetrate into new European and global markets. WeChat is now the fastest growing downloaded app in India, is the largest social mobile application in Brazil and is showing rapid uptake in European markets such as Spain. Watch out for many more opportunities for global deals led out of Asia Pacific, specifically China.

Clay Schouest is regional strategy leader with Carat Asia Pacific


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