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What’s in store for digital in 2015?

21 Dec 2014

Digital Trends 2015

DigitasLBi, one of the world’s largest digital agencies, recently hosted an event to discuss the digital evolution in Scotland. The seminar had a great line up of speakers, hailing from different industries and sectors, coming together to showcase what’s next in digital transformation.

The guest speakers included:

  • Sally Stanley, Group Strategic Director, Highland Spring and Marketing Society Scotland
  • John Monks, Head of Digital Business Design, DigitasLBi
  • Calum Shepherd, Head of Digital Strategy, Scottish Government
  • Mary Harper, Head of Customer and Digital Marketing, Standard Life
  • David Milne, Head of Digital Publishing, STV
  • Colin Macdonald, Commissioning Editor for Games, Channel 4

John Monks – DigitasLBi

John started the discussion by highlighting that consumer’s digital needs are changing, but their overall buying habits that are. In order to satisfy these changes, brands will need to adopt emerging trends in digital to stay ahead of the game.

2015 will still be big for social media, with the rise and growth of social commerce. Users will look to their peers for recommendations and will feel comfortable making purchases through Facebook and Twitter.

Digital will continue to move into the physical world. For example, Harvey Nichols in Dubai is integrating digital into their stores. The functionality allows customers to design their own exclusive T-shirt using interactive touch screens.

Brands should put themselves where their audience is, not where they think they are. The social media news feed is not a new place for brands to be, but it’s important for them to be there, particularly with the volume of content rocketing.

Video will continue to evolve and become interactive. John provided a great example of the Norwegian Peugeot digital video campaign in which the user could interact in real-time with the video whilst it played.

2015 will see consumers wanting a better mobile experience, with mobile functionality representing microsites rather than desktops.

Personalisation will remain important. Virgin Atlantic are piloting using Google Glass so when a passenger approaches a member of staff, they can an individual overview of that person, their social media accounts and any feedback they have shared with the airline prior to speaking to them.

John ended his session by saying that things will get bigger and faster in 2015, however he steered away from using the word “innovation” as it’s quickly becoming a meaningless word. It’s less important to call yourself innovative than it is to say you are relevant, helpful and taking risks to improve the consumer’s experience.

Calum Shepherd – Scottish Government

Calum gave great examples on how the Government are embracing digital in order to improve services to citizens.

The Government had a mammoth task of integrating 160 public sector companies into one website. By working with local authorities, the digital team were able to determine that there was very little differences between the services in each area, which made consolidating them into one website much easier.

The Government’s digital framework is centred around the user’s needs, and the team place a great deal of time and effort in ensuring that everything they do works for the users of mygov.scot.

Mary Harper – Standard Life

Mary is a visionary in the digital world and delivered a very emphatic talk on how digital can be introduced to a business that had previously been structured on a B2B framework.

Due to new regulations, Standard Life has moved to a B2C model, and is focusing on digital in order to build awareness and trust with consumers.

Mary’s main message was that digital is a journey and not a destination. Her team sits within a large international business and works closely with other teams in the business to ensure digital is fully engrained in the ethos of Standard Life.

Mary instructs her team to be a dolphin and not a whale, in other words moving quickly and remain agile rather than spending months making long drawn out decisions.

David Milne – STV

David says that his success at STV is built upon having the permission to experiment with new technologies in digital.

For example, on the run up to the referendum STV launched a Facebook app in which users could take part in the live debate.

David advised that in order to be great in digital, the best thing to do is to start small and build upon success – don’t try to do all things at once.

STV collects over 1 billion pieces of data; however they are just at the very tip of analysing it all. David explained that when you take the time to analyse data, it’s like switching the light on – things start to make sense and it allows you to make informed decisions.

Colin McDonald – Channel 4

Colin has a really unique and cool job with Channel 4 – he’s responsible for creating mobile and tablet games.

One of Colin’s many successes is creating the Snowman game, which generated over 1,000,000 downloads.

The concept was challenging, Colin had previously developed games like Grand Theft Auto, and therefore creating a game for a much younger demographic was daunting. However after reaching out to a great development supplier who believed in the concept, he was able to create a very visual and engaging game that became the top game on the Apple Store.

Colin shared his secret to game promotion success; firing all your rounds early and let growth happen organically. In other words, keep all your promotion towards launch and users will download and recommend your game – helping it to go viral.

Summary

DigitasLBi put on a fantastic event with the main message for 2015 being “change the way you work”. Digital professionals should feel brave and foster a culture of innovation.

The customer is centric to success, so build your products and services around them. By integrating processes and people together, you can create a robust infrastructure that pushes beyond boundaries.

Fundamentally, don’t let failure scare you. Try things out and if they fail, learn from them. Innovation can be small scale, but always do it with clarity.

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