36 business trends and predictions for 2015

36 business trends and predictions for 2015
The new year is always a busy time for analysts – and 2015 is no exception. From Gartner to Forbes, experts have compiled hundreds of lists giving their predictions for the next big business trends. And because we’re in a business where innovation is everything, our colleagues have taken a look at a few dozen of these lists – and picked out a few hot tips that we think might interest you.

We don’t want to just throw a jumble of different things at you – so we’ve divided the list into four areas that we think will see the most exciting new trends in 2015.


  1. By the end of 2015, 42% of the global population will have a smartphone. Almost half of the world’s people will be connected to the internet 24/7, and they’ll only use whatever truly meets their needs.
  2. 2015 will be the best year ever for Apple. Analysts say that the company will have a market value of one trillion dollars during the year. Apple is keen to dominate the smartwatch market, and over 15 million American adults have already said they’ll buy an Apple Watch.
  3. CRM systems will be simpler and mobile (we love this prediction!). The clear trend is for CRM systems to become easier to use, saving time on data input and maintenance.
  4. No forecasts, but data-based predictions. Data-based analysis is the trend of the future. Big companies never make a decision without crunching their own data.
  5. 3D printers will become more widespread. Analysts predict that the use of 3D printer technologies will grow by almost 100% during the year – with the same growth rate expected for at least another year after that.
  6. Smartwatches will be the next big hit. Now that smartphones have conquered the market, smartwatches are next in line. You can read text messages and e-mails, check Facebook content, and even listen to music.
  7. More apps will be able to respond to their environment. Artificial intelligence, combined with data from analytical tools, will be able to respond to the environment and deliver only relevant information to users.
  8. Smart machines will begin to emerge. Artificial intelligence technologies will allow machines to learn and make their own decisions. 2015 could be the start of the smart machine era.
  9. Mobile purchasing will revolutionize sales systems. Transactions on mobile devices will need to minimize the use of keyboard functions.
  10. The cloud will get bigger. The main developments will be in the connectivity between the cloud and individual devices.
  11. Apps will begin to protect themselves. Nobody will ever be able to create a 100% safe environment. So developers will start to create security tools that are built into all apps.
  12. Increased digitalization will bring increased investment in security. But bigger budgets don’t necessarily mean better security – that’s why the previous point will be so important.
  13. A change in sales methods? Hard sell methods and manipulative techniques will become less and less effective. Successful sellers will be those who can advise their customers and offer real added value.
  14. Downward pressure on prices... When buying everyday goods, consumers will continue to push prices down. And modern technologies will make it easier for them to find cheaper goods and services. The challenge for businesses? Not to let their products become commodities.
  15. …but upward pressure on quality. In 2015 there will be plenty of customers who are willing to pay premium prices for top-quality, high-value products and services.
  16. The arrival of anti-customer strategies. Companies will define not only the customers they want, but also those they certainly don’t want. “Why are we even talking to these people!?”
  17. Employers will support a better work/life balance. If you’re an employer, then you’re going to be coming under increased pressure to help your team strike an optimum work/life balance. To run a successful business, it’s essential that your people are happy!
  18. Generation Y is coming... The millennials – born during the late 80s and 90s – are gaining purchasing power. And they’re probably working for you. How do you deal with them? That’s the challenge for 2015.
  19. Content will be optimized for mobile devices. In 2015 it won’t be enough just to have a good app which displays well on mobile devices. You’ll need to tailor all your content to mobile users.
  20. There will be more advertising on mobile devices. Advertising will adapt to the needs of mobile devices, and its penetration will increase.
  21. Content marketing will grow. The main focus will be on videos and visually attractive content.
  22. Marketing professionals will realize they’re not just competing with other companies, but with the whole of the internet. For a brand to shine, the content must be as good as it can be. And that’s where the previous point comes in.
  23. E-mail marketing will return. Compared with social network marketing, e-mail marketing is much more controllable.
  24. Content marketing will become the main source of e-mail addresses. Companies will offer free e-books, studies or white papers in exchange for e-mail addresses.
  25. The boundaries between SEO, content marketing and social media will become blurred. People are already saying that content marketing is the new SEO. Successful companies in 2015 will have to focus on all three areas.
  26. The main trends in advertising will be simplicity and transparency. As part of the previous point, companies will present a sincere face, with a strong focus on telling a story.
  27. Ad display will become even more targeted. There will also be more ad-based content forming part of standard content – such as advertorials. Banners will become less important.
  28. Marketing and sales will become even more integrated. Especially in on-line sales, marketing is vitally important to a business. To achieve success, marketing and sales must talk to each other.
  29. There will be more ads on social networks. Facebook is restricting content reach, forcing companies to invest in advertising. Twitter is trialing paid ads which appear when a user downloads an app, clicks on a page etc.
  30. Facebook ads will get even more expensive. Prices have already gone up, and this trend is set to continue.
  31. Google+ will start to fade. This social network gives users nothing that Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn didn’t already offer. Unless this changes, Google+ will soon be forgotten.
  32. Social networks will offer a wider range of services. The winner will be the network that offers the most comprehensive, integrated and user-friendly format. So Twitter’s popularity is set to fall.
  33. Marketing pros will make more use of Pinterest. This network is ever more popular, and it looks like it will grow to become the main photo-based brand promotion tool during the next year.
  34. YouTube will become the main advertising network. The high quality of the videos gives YouTube a major competitive advantage.
  35. Social networks will finally be recognized as an integral part of content marketing. Content marketing stands on two main pillars – publication and distribution. And the second pillar is where social networks can really add value.
  36. Brands will become more human on social networks. To succeed on social networks, brands must show consumers their human face. Impersonal corporate messages will win no friends or fans during the coming year.


Do you have any tips of your own? If you do, why not write a comment. We can look back at it next year and see how you did ;-)