15 Marketing & Communications Trends for New Year’s

by Susan Mullin

It won’t be long before the ball drops, ringing in another terrific year. Are you ready?

TorchLight Marketing Trends 2015

​​Before you pop that champagne cork in celebration, consider these significant trends sure to impact your business in the New Year.

Drawing from our extensive industry network, from conversations with hiring managers at some of the Washington, D.C. region’s top companies, and from our exclusive State of the Industry Survey, TorchLight is pleased to share with you “15 Marketing and Communications Trends for 2015.”

Marketing and Communications Industry Trends

1. Digital, make way for mobile

Nearly every hiring company today cannot just get by with solid digital experience to achieve its marketing goals. Increasingly, it is just as important, if not more so, to have quality mobile experience. After all, phones and laptops are how consumers are increasingly interacting with brands. Employees with skills in both areas will continue to be hot commodities.

2. But, don’t forget about integrated marketing

There’s no denying that “digital” and “mobile” are here to stay—but now, you’ll also see a renewed emphasis on integrated marketing, one that creatively integrates digital and mobile strategies with more traditional efforts to create multifaceted, powerhouse marketing results

3. Data analytics, automation and lead generation skills are measurably in hot demand

Of course, going digital and mobile is only half the battle. How do you measure, interpret and evaluate campaigns, reader engagement and results? In 2015, savvy companies will continue to invest in measurement and data analytics roles, as well as special skills in lead generation and marketing automation.

4. Quality writing still matters

Today’s digital world makes everyone a writer. That can be good or, in many instances, that can be very bad for your company. In 2015, quality content is more important than ever. More venues for marketing, and an increasing desire to segment and personalize, require copywriting and content creation versatility like never before.

Trends Impacting Job Seekers

5. You’re so special(ized). Or are you?

In the marketing and communications field over the past few years, there’s been lively debate over whether it’s best to be a “generalist” (broad experience spanning multiple areas) or a “specialist” (deep skills in a particular area). In 2015, you’ll find more companies striking a balance by hiring a combination of generalists and specialists for maximum results.

6. Show off your agility

In the same vein, employers increasingly want to hire professionals who are flexible—who can roll with the punches and thrive in today’s “agile” marketing environment where quick decision-making and fast implementation are part of a day’s work.

7. Take it personally

With an increasing focus on personalization in marketing, it’s not enough to individualize your products or messages—you also need marketing and communications professionals who have good personal skills themselves. Employers want leaders who connect well with key audiences not only on screen or on paper but also in person.

Trends Affecting Companies and their Hiring Strategies

8. Culture is king

It’s been true all along, but top job candidates—the ones you want to hire—are especially discerning about working for companies with a strong, positive workplace culture. When given a choice, they’ll choose the company that’s collaborative, forward-thinking, flexible and community-minded, to name a few. How does yours stack up?

9. The “flexibility” debate continues

Today’s top job candidates not only want flexibility—they demand it. But at the same time, increasing numbers of employers are scaling back on telecommuting and other flexible options in the interest of preserving collaboration and workplace culture. This tension around flexibility will only grow stronger in the coming year.

10. Of course, employers want flexibility, too

It’s not only working professionals who want flexibility. Increasingly, employers want it for themselves, too. Contract roles are on the rise within marketing and communications teams, allowing companies to bring on talent at a moment’s notice, in a variety of temporary, short-term roles. Whether hiring contractors to cover a key employee’s absence or staffing up in anticipation of a big launch or new initiative, contractors give employers the flexibility and agility to staff up or down as needed—at a fraction of the cost and commitment of a permanent hire.

11. Employers reconsider the “open concept” workplace

The recent proliferation of “open” office environments was intended to aid collaboration among colleagues and save on real estate costs. An unintended consequence, however, is that with added distractions and limited quiet space to concentrate, productivity has suffered. In 2015, many companies will re-evaluate whether the open floor plan workplace is truly the right model for them.

12. The 30-year service anniversary is no more

The days of employees staying at the same company for the duration of their careers is becoming extinct. The new trend is quite the opposite: Millennials, the newest generation in the workforce, tend to jump positions frequently. (One young man quoted in a recent Washington Post article said he plans to change jobs yearly—and he’s hardly alone.) We can debate the wisdom of this particular career strategy, but the important note for employers is that you must expect—and plan for—frequent staff changes. As a result, you’ll need to be even more discerning about whether the employees you hire have the right skills right from the beginning so you get the maximum benefit, no matter how long their tenure.

13. Speaking of Millennials, they want to make a difference

We are generalizing and oversimplifying, but to keep Millennials happy in your workplace, they need to feel like they’re important and making a difference. Smart employers look above and beyond the job itself to keep younger workers involved and motivated in the life and leadership of the company.

14. Watch for companies to refashion the workplace into a “cool place

More employers are setting their sights on employee engagement, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees of the Millennial generation. In the next year, watch for more companies trying to create an attractive “cool” atmosphere, one that features putting greens, beer carts, free food and pets in the workplace, along with strong corporate social responsibility programs giving back to the community—all in an effort to appeal to younger professionals.

15. The war for top talent continues, so don’t go it alone

With fewer employees covering more bases—and everyone’s time at a premium—today’s savvy marketing and communications teams know they can’t go it alone when it comes to finding top talent to fill important roles and gain the competitive edge. Increasingly, employers are turning to experienced search and staffing consultants as trusted partners to find the right person and get them in the door as soon as possible.

That’s a lot to keep in mind as we head into another exciting, fast-paced and competitive new year!

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