5 Emerging Trends for Growth in 2015

What the World’s Oldest Marathon Runner can Teach You About Growth

Look at the title. I know what most of you are thinking.

“Hey, I didn’t come here to learn about marathon running, I came here to learn about marketing!”

On the other hand, the other 30% of you are probably going through the motions and are still uncertain, however have come to a conclusion which amounts to something along the lines of –

“I’m going to trust this Dailius guy – there must be some link, albeit a long stretch, between marathon running and growth marketing that is worth my time to read.”

Finally – you may just be in the 1% of readers who have arrived here simply because you are a marathon enthusiast, if so welcome to you as well!

So Why Marathon Running?

How old were you when you first started the hobby, sport or talent you are currently best at?

In the case of 4x U.S PGA Champion Tiger Woods – he started playing golf just before the age of two.

5x Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams started playing tennis against her sisters at the age of three.

However with child prodigies being a rare commodity – in most cases the most successful marketers and entrepreneurs haven’t been practicing their craft for many years, yet typically share three characteristics in common which see them stand out from the crowd

  1. A self-realisation that age is no barrier – success can come at any time life, with age just being an arbitrary number
  2. Embracement of a “hard work = hardcore results” mentality – only those who work at 110% of their capacity yield the fruits of their labour whilst everyone else is enjoying meagre fruit salad
  3. Continued focus on improving goals for the future by looking at results of the past – marketers and business professionals who examine past failings and successes are able to iterate and create solutions which encompass such learnings

Where does the oldest man come in?

Fauja Singh – was born one year before the Titanic sank (ahh what a great movie…) and began his marathon career at the ripe, old age of 89. Not only did he run the London marathon successfully once – only through sheer hard work, determination and ability to put his walking stick into storage pre-race – he was able to run this marathon eight times! Singh retired at the age of 101 after finishing the Hong Kong Marathon – the epitome of all of the criteria outlined above.

In particular – Singh used point three, a continued focus on his previous results in marathon events and training to perfect his approach, achieving a time of 5 hours and 40 minutes in the 2003 Toronto Marathon which saw him beat around 10% of competitors regardless of age!

How does this affect the way I should look at growth this year as a marketer?

At face value – with us almost being in August, most people would dismiss us even sharing with you the top five emerging trends for growth in 2015. Even within yourself – you may doubt the practicality of implementing them in your business or sharing them with relevant decision makers where you work – but the story of Fauja Singh shows us a couple of key lessons.

One of the most important is that we should always look to change how we approach our work in the emergence of new data, as results come to life.  When such findings come to the fore, there is no better time than the present to affect change in how we strategise day to day. In fact – if we were to have issued you this material earlier in the year – the following five trends would not be facts as they are currently but merely assumptions, thus they are more relevant now than ever and laden with concrete evidence. This, in combination with a relentless work ethic and unrestricting your potential by embracing belief in your ability and not your age – you can ultimately achieve more for yourself and your company in 2015.

So enough waiting, let’s give you these facts.

Trend 1 – Embrace Social Proof

Brands that are winning in 2015 are embracing the feedback they receive on social media and changing their marketing approach to take into account learnings they discover along the way (sound familiar to our old marathon friend?)

One of the most exciting prospects is how brands are now seeking to engage with negative feedback instead of the approach we saw in the past of moderating social content (i.e deleting the bad comments) and purchasing artificial feedback via fake reviews and sponsored user activity (bots or people on the payroll).

Furthermore brands who are embracing social champions – high profile followers who support the brand but may not necessarily be A-list celebrities are also seeing strong return on investment

Trend 2 – Optimising for Mobile

By looking at changing patterns of internet activity over the past year – the tendency of consumers to use mobile over desktop is growing at an alarming pace. Recent studies by Smart Insights published in July, show that not only did mobile users overtake desktop users globally in terms of usership in 2014 but that approximately 60% of internet traffic occurs from a mobile before consumers move to desktop engagement.

Marketers who encourage design and development to be mobile centric are paving the way for success and brands who go mobile-first are leading the way in lead generation and conversion optimisation

Trend 3 – Test and Keep Testing

In the past if you wanted to test something in a digital sense you would need to build and deploy multiple versions and then compare the individual stats on each. Now, the fastest growth companies are those which are using software like Hubspot to test multiple strategies in real time – whether it be from on page copy changes to experimenting with email subject lines – allowing marketers to determine the best strategy from the get go!

Trend 4 – Go Multi-Channel not Just Google

One thing is chewing up everyone’s budgets right now – efforts to get noticed on Google. From our experience – attempts to rank on Google Search organically via SEO or through paid search via SEM are extremely labour and cash intensive. Growth focused marketers are now being asked to turn their attention away from these avenues and into new frontiers which make cost of acquisition smaller and more achievable in the short term. Examples of trending strategies are zero-cost partnership marketing, remarketing campaigns to existent users and use of viral social marketing to reach more buyers without emptying out your entire marketing budget on the first day of a new month!

Trend 5 – Look Outside for Expertise

Companies with unlimited budgets can afford to upskill people over time and this was also the view of many marketers in the startup space until recently. Now growth companies are becoming more and more skilled in finding people the right people for the work they have instead of waiting for the right people to come to them! As a marketer you may have to prepare to mentor your HR and recruitment teams to nurture a brand image which complements your corporate intentions to be a thought leader in the space you work in – so as to make talent acquisition a piece of cake. When it comes to hiring your own team – look at what you haven’t done well in the past and seek to fill gaps in your knowledge and expertise with people who show these strengths. Similarly – if you are in a less senior role – continue upskilling yourself to make yourself an asset at all times to your employer!

Where to from here?

Everyone mentioned above has something in common – whether it be the best marketers or the best marathon runners approaching a centurion – both share a common work ethic, a common lack of boundaries surrounding age and an ability to learn and literally grow from the past – both through examining hardcore facts and nostalgically analysing previous results.

Get more results for your marketing efforts by using the 5 Emerging Trends for Growth mentioned above to channel your creative drive, fuel your motivation to grow personally and to give your work the edge on the competition who may still be operating in a world which is still using floppy disks (YUCK!)

About The Author

Dailius Wilson

Dailius Wilson is the 24 year old founder of WolfofYorkStreet.com – helping the world's top SaaS companies to optimise their sales and marketing efforts. Dailius is currently a Director at TrustRadius and a digital blogger at increasemyonlinebusiness.com. Dailius was named as one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs in Australia for 2015 by Anthill Online and was ranked in the Top 100 SEO Experts in the World. Dailius has also been a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show and has over 10,000,000 views on Youtube