Four marketers tell us what they think of Facebook’s predictions for 2015

Predicting trends in the tech industry can be tricky, given how quickly tech changes and grows. But that hasn’t stopped various companies, analysts, bloggers, and journalists like ourselves from taking a stab at it – and when companies as influential as Facebook decide to release their predictions for the year, it’s worth paying attention.

Earlier this week, Facebook released its top five predictions on the state of digital marketing in 2015. We asked four marketers what they thought of Facebook’s predictions, and they provided us with their takes on how marketing will look in the coming year.

These quotes have been condensed and edited for length and clarity.


1. Mobile devices will continue to gain more share of consumers’ attention. This shift has created a new space in people’s routines that is changing the way we experience media – more choice over what they see (e.g. more images, news, and videos) plus how we shop, with many new ways to discover products. Advertising needs to be focused on reaching people in this new space and across several experiences, instead of focusing on one place or one experience.


Robert Burko, president of Elite Email. “I fully agree with this prediction. Consumers are glued to their mobile device a lot now, and that is only going to increase. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my phone. The last thing I do before going to bed at night is check my phone. And, throughout the day sandwiched between those two moments, I check my phone a thousand other times. I am certainly not alone in this!

We now live in a society where a mobile device is both a primary connection to the outside world and a primary source of information. At Elite Email we already saw a spike in the back half of 2014 with on-site second screen experiential marketing, whereby events are enhanced by mobile integration. I expect to see mobile devices play a larger role as more advertisers realize the benefit of location based marketing.”

 – Robert Burko, president of Elite Email.



Stewart Wong, communications at the Arthritis Society.“I agree – marketers need to ensure their websites are responsive and visual to take advantage of today’s age of Internet-in-your-pocket accessibility.”

– Stewart Wong, vice-president of communications and public affairs at The Arthritis Society.




Tom Ward, vice-president of marketing at Qnext.“Marketing is composed first for mobility and then waterfalls to other media. Marketers can’t afford to miss this inflection or get this wrong … The old paradigm of storing files on individual devices has shifted to being accessible to any and all of your devices.

As people use more than one personal computing device, our old paradigm of device-centric data, where all your files are stored on your personal computer, is being replaced with data continuity where you expect your files to be available to you, no matter where you are or what device you are using.

This paradigm shift means that more and more marketing messages are being served first to mobile media. That means that messages must be served in a very simplified form, one at a time, easy to digest and with very little reading required. That means the messaging must be extremely refined and researched.”

– Tom Ward, vice-president of marketing at Qnext.


2. World population growth is being driven by high-growth countries and it’s mobile. As our world population continues to grow over the next 10 years, most of that growth will occur in countries outside of the US. According to eMarketer in the next 3 years, mobile phone penetration will rise from 61.1 per cent to 69.4 per cent of the global population. As more people become mobile first, businesses and marketers will follow.

Irving Frydman, principal at B2B Marketing Insights.“Emerging markets are indeed the growth engines for mobile globally. Many nations lack the appropriate Internet infrastructure, having no choice but go mobile first. The introduction of the Firefox OS phone in 2014 is a great example on how to create new customers as mobile markets mature in the industrialized world. The global mobile turf wars will be fought primarily on price and affordability.

Witness the Mozilla Firefox Open mobile ecosystem forming in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia, whereby a Mozilla smartphone can be purchased for as little as twenty five bucks. This is reminiscent of giving away the razor to sell the blades, with Mozilla planning for future consumer software upgrade purchases as a growing middle-class takes shape. As Facebook points out, wherever there is money to be made, businesses and marketers will follow.”

– Irving Frydman, principal at B2B Marketing Insights.


3. Digital advertising will shift from being measurable to being truly accountable. Basic forms of measurement, such as click-based attribution models, only tell us a very small part of the story. With more scale, accuracy and new measurement tools, marketers will be able to understand what worked and focus on what matters to their businesses: brand metrics and sales.


“I disagree – there will always be a need for broad-based digital advertising to supplement other elements of a holistic and integrated marketing plan.”

– Stewart Wong, vice-president of communications and public affairs at The Arthritis Society.


“Knowledge is power … and, if we’ve all learned anything from Spider Man, it’s that with great power comes great responsibility. In the case of digital marketing, that knowledge comes from the almost overwhelming amount of analytics available today. If you could go back in time 25 years and tell a marketer the kind of data they’d have access to in the future to measure their campaigns, their head would have exploded! Today we are able to drill-down into the most finite details to answer the questions we may have.

The great responsibility on marketers is that they now need to be accountable to an organization’s bottom line. Digital marketing isn’t done just to be trendy, it’s done because it has to produce an ROI that is higher than other marketing tactics. That means marketers need to be very tactical to make sure they know exactly how to maximize every dollar and produce the greatest results.”

– Robert Burko, president of Elite Email.


Facebook also had two more predictions, as follows below:

1. Businesses that take a more personalized approach will win. Marketers have more information and tools to create relevant campaigns than ever before and people increasingly expect the ads they see to be relevant across all channels. According to eMarketer, just five per cent of client-side marketers worldwide said they were personalizing extensively.

2. Messaging will increasingly become a key part of how businesses interact with customers directly. Real-time dialogue is important in quickly addressing ongoing customer needs. As more people continue to gravitate toward message-based communication, businesses will shift by opening up this new channel of communication to maintain a constructive dialogue with employees and customers.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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