For better or worse, I can’t function without a good plan. So, in between enjoying the festivities of the holiday season these past few weeks, I’ve been obsessively Googling upcoming marketing trends for 2015 to see what the marketing experts and worker bees are suggesting we keep an eye on.

As my holiday gift to you, here are four of the most popular marketing predictions for next year—and how you can start using them now.

 

Prediction #1: People Will Recognize There’s No Difference Between Marketing to Acquire Customers and to Retain Customers

Hallelujah! For so long, we’ve been encouraged to approach how to find new customers and how to keep our existing ones with separate strategies. But in order for us to create authentic, impactful content, we need one approach, with one consistent voice.

 

The Takeaway

This Forbes article explores how this could potentially impact marketing professionals, but I think the biggest takeaway is to rethink how you approach your current customers and your potential customers—if you spoke to them both in the same way, what would that sound like? How would your tone change? The content you’re sharing? The platforms you’re reaching them on? (Here’s more on discovering your brand’s voice.)

 

Prediction #2: Reviews Will Become Even More Powerful

According to the same Forbes article, marketing research firm Ipsos found that 78% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews. And considering that was in 2012, the number has likely grown.

 

The Takeaway

Brands now live and die by their Yelp reviews, so a personal, authentic approach to customer service is more important than ever. When you have the opportunity to talk to your most loyal fans, asking for a great review should be at the top of your list of requests.

 

Prediction #3: Marketing Will Leverage More Videos Than Ever

In case you weren’t up to speed on how ginormous YouTube has become, here’s a stat for you: Each month, more than one billion unique users visit the platform.

So, it’s safe to say that video will continue to be a big deal in 2015, and as this Inbound Now article suggests, using video for marketing purposes will become more popular.

 

The Takeaway

As you think about creating marketing content for your company, how can you incorporate more videos in a creative, authentic way?

 

Prediction #4. Advertising Will Incorporate More Audience Targeting

This Business 2 Community article suggests that 2015 will be the year that more companies start advertising to defined audiences. If you’ve run ads on Facebook recently, you’ve seen how sophisticated this targeting can get. Now, not only can you target your audience based on demographics, but you can include additional layers of targeting like their interests and behaviors.

 

The Takeaway

While this is relevant for anyone who touches advertising, it’s especially important for advertising newbies who don’t have a ton of money to spend.

By leveraging the platforms that are rolling out more sophisticated targeting, you’ll be able to not only better reach your core audience—you’ll also be able to get the biggest bang for your buck.

 

With all that said, keep in mind that these predictions are just that—predictions. So don’t go re-writing your entire marketing plan just yet. Instead, be aware of how these predictions could potentially impact your marketing plans for the year, and as you get into the meat and potatoes of your marketing activities—launching a product, running an ad campaign, or writing your blog—incorporate them when and where it makes sense.

 

This article was written by Alex Honeysett from The Daily Muse and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.