2015 was another year of significant change for companies across all industries as innovations in technology, social media and business models continued to drive new priorities and practices.

What can we learn from these trends?

A lot.

By drilling down into the activities and outcomes, we can learn some valuable lessons.

Looking back on 2015, we are reminded of the most valuable lesson. Even in the midst of changing landscapes, certain fundamentals remain the keys to success.

Check out these lessons learned from 2015:

1. Value Trumps Hype (Every Time)

With all the social media channels at your fingertips, it’s easy to get carried away and start flooding people with your messages.

The first big lesson from 2015 is that over-branding – deluging your space with logos and overly promotional content – scares people away.

Even more important, it’s a reminder that the surest way to grow your business is to provide valuable products or services that solve your customer’s problems instead of just giving them hype.

2. Relationships Still Rule

Ever since the Internet was introduced, people have been on the lookout for the next big disruption. It goes beyond the web – just think about drones or the sharing economy – we’re always looking game-changers.

All businesses must constantly revisit their understanding of their audience and markets, but relationships are still the key to success. You can email people and publish social media content all you want, but your shareholders will be really impressed when you assure them there have been real handshakes with people ready to deal. Your customers will appreciate it too.

3. Governments Change Too…

Governments around the world are catching up with modern business practices. Some initiatives – just look at Uber – have thrived in part through gaps in regulations. But those days are ending.

Today, governments are changing just as quickly as the business environment. The UK Parliament recently introduced a new digital privacy and security Bill, and companies operating in the UK must follow the EU consumer protection laws. In the US, California passed the “Yelp Bill,” a unique law protecting people’s right to express their consumer reviews on social media.

It’s happening all around us. Relying on someone else being slow is just bad business.

2015 Trends in Marketing and Technology

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

As we enter a new year, we look back at the trends that caused us to react, change and shift gears in the previous one. In the end, however, we can look at successes from the tried and true practices of adding value, establishing positive relationships and knowing your business environment.

For more information, contact Ceterna today.