Hopefully you’ve had the chance to read some of our other articles about the “Ten Trends to Define Marketing in 2015.” You can start with the first two trends here and then hop around the series as you like. Today, we’ll be tackling some exciting topics – predictive analytics and native advertising:

7. Predictive analytics becomes bedfellows with business intelligence
2015 will witness the emergence of predictive analytics within business intelligence. The two are already married at the hip, but to actually predicate decisions based on advanced analytics hasn’t come to fruition yet. Historically, Business Intelligence has focused mainly on reporting, not on the next best step.

So. We know what happened, so tell me what to do next! With a comprehensive marketing database, companies will start to overlay predictive algorithms based on activity history and purchase behavior to help plan for future marketing. Almost like gamification, expect to see interactive dashboards that predict based on variables – like “move this lever of ‘time spent on site’ to see what happens next.”

Additionally, these disciplines will go mobile, with easily accessible apps and dashboards to perform tasks with real-time updates. Think of a warehouse inventory control manager that can be accessed while on the floor with up-to the minute data. Marketing will rely more on how the customer is interacting with you, at that moment, and predictive analytics will help make that decisioning easier.

8. Native advertising and mobile spend see double digit growth increases in 2015, and cross-channel integration becomes top focus for advertisers

Spending on mobile advertising jumped 77% YOY in 2013. Native advertising saw a jump of 71% in that same time span.  In the next three years, look for these numbers to continue to grow at double digit increases, and expect advertisers to “give in” and start paying for ads en masse on social networks that were initially regarded as free advertising.

The key to this continued growth will lie in calculating the effectiveness of these ads, identifying and capturing information about the “ideal” customer, and integrating these findings into CRM systems and marketing automation programs.  2014 was a huge year in marketing attribution on social channels, and it will be expected for this trend to grow and become more sophisticated.

Social networks will have to balance privacy concerns and a desire from consumers to have their experience be truly “social,” with the needs of investors and advertisers. It’s a delicate balance, but by utilizing the aforementioned strategies of gamification and cross-channel integration, the experience can remain authentic, while still catering to those who are paying the bills.