It barely feels like a year has passed since we last thought about what the new one will bring, but with January fast approaching, these are our predictions for what will be the top marketing tactics for driving results in 2015.

1) Clients make bigger content investments

Last year we predicted that in-depth and longer-length content would play an important part in the marketing landscape, and this year we believe that more and more companies will continue to adopt content marketing of all shapes and sizes, with budgets for this area expected to rise incrementally (CMI). With brands continuing to evolve into publishers, the need for compelling and grammatically accurate content that is adaptable to different platforms, and written to the tastes of narrowly targeted personas, has never been more important. It’s also expected that there will be far more consideration placed on content marketing measurement, with specific content measurement solutions emerging in the market.

2) Personalisation becomes micro-targeting

Personalisation was big news this year, and 2015 will see more marketers look to better their customisation and personalisation strategies. With increased focus on user interaction with content, marketers must ensure this content is as relevant and personalised as possible, in order to increase length of time spent on websites and ultimately sales, as well as to foster customer satisfaction. Creating effective one-to-few engagements for successful micro targeting, will require greater investment in technology to dive deeper into your data, which brings me on to my next point.

3) Data becomes the lynchpin for all we do

Marketing analytics tools may not be a new concept, but the amount of spending allocated for the monitoring of customer interactions with a company, is expected to rise by 60% in 2015. Additional to this, the use of marketing automation technologies is expected to grow by 50%, further indicating a far greater reliance on marketing data than ever before. If you have yet to adopt marketing automation, and 2015 is your year for doing so, we would strongly recommend that before you make any decisions, develop a demand generation plan to ensure that you aren’t in the 85% of users failing to use marketing automation technologies to its full potential.

4) Smarter thinking applied to paid placements

Changes to Facebook’s content algorithms in 2013, have already produced a 44% decline in non-sponsored brand content within users’ newsfeeds, and with this one example clearly emphasising the content marketing challenge marketers are now faced with, 2015 will see greater dependence on mixing paid and owned media to boost content distribution and consumption. With this, more time and money must be invested in paid or sponsored placements, whether that be posts, promoted tweets, SEM, banner ads or retargeting, in order to engage those hard-to-reach B2B customers. Unfortunately, the days of free reach are diminishing by the minute (well, with every algorithm update anyway), and if you’re not paying for amplification, your prospects won’t be seeing your content. Ensure you are identifying which platforms are most effective, by crunching the data to ensure your content is optimised to be in the right place, at the right time.

5) “Old school” makes a comeback

There’s absolutely no doubt that digital marketing tactics are here to stay, but what is interesting is that as attention spans shrink in what can only be described as an era of information overload, traditional tactics are starting to make a comeback. Granted, for many marketers, traditional marketing tactics never went anywhere in the first place, but what the marketing landscape has started to experience is an increase in the use of ‘high quality’ print, particularly within direct marketing efforts.