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Digital Marketing 2015 Halftime Report
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Hololens is a window to the future (video)

January: Windows gets a 10

On January 21 Microsoft announced the next generation, post Ballmer operating system and user interface for 90% of the desktop world and more. Windows 10 is regarded as slick and user friendly, finally giving Apple's iOS a real challenge in terms of a quality user experience. It can also take users on a trip to Mars.

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3rd Party Links to Google Now

February: The future of Now

The Google Now app is becoming the centerpiece of Google's mobile strategy and in early February it became a platform that could call upon and integrate 3rd party apps. Pandora became able to suggest new music, Airbnb could follow up on weekend travel plans and a Lyft card could appear when Google Now determines that the user has reached the airport. The integration started with about 30 partners, by April the number had grown to 100, including Zipcar, Runkeeper, Walgreens and eBay.

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Is Meerkat marketable?

March: Meerkat Marketing

Social media had supported user generated live streaming video for awhile, most notably via Ustream. This spring Meerkat, during the SXSW conference, showed off a popular user interface with added social features and soon live streaming finally began supporting social media. “Meerkating” was on its way to becoming a verb.

The problem for Meerkat was that it relied heavily on Twitter's social API and Twitter had purchased a competing service named Periscope in January. Meerkat soon found itself cut off by Twitter and had to start building its own network. In May it began facing towards Facebook and by July users of Meerkat could automatically follow the accounts of their Friends and Liked brands on Facebook. So competition will continue to be a feature of live streaming going forward.

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Mobile by 4/21 or else

April: Mandatory Mobile

In recent years Google has been keeping algorithm updates under an increasingly low PR profile -- with one exception. The April 21 “mobilegeddon“ was highly publicized and possible offenders were even sent personalized warning emails. Destinations that Google did not consider to be “mobile friendly” were going to be getting the cold shoulder in Google mobile search rankings. The results wound up being less than expected, although that may be because many sites felt behooved to do the right thing and provide a comfortable landing spot for their new mobile users.

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Instant Articles

May: Instant Articles

It seems as if an unspoken goal of Facebook has been to create an online environment that the user never needs to leave -- unless directed to do so by an advertiser. Even that circumstance came into question in May when Facebook announced Instant Pages.

Instant Articles, announced in May, began with nine major publishers supplying rich content to be hosted on Facebook's servers to provide high speed performance to users who now have one less reason to ever leave. Publishers can bring their own advertisers and keep all of the revenue; Facebook just seems to just be interested in keeping users in their apps forever.

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Shopping on Twitter

June: Twitter Product Pages

Social, direct selling was a recurring theme during the first half of 2015. In February Facebook announced Product Ads that connect directly to the advertiser's product catalog. Google's “Buy Button” was revealed in May; Pinterest's Buyable Pins in early June. During the last days of the half even the revenue challenged Twitter got on board with Product and Collection pages.

Twitter product pages are designed to be reached via a (probably paid) Tweet and can then either send the user to an external website or use the Twitter Buy Button. Collections are groups of product pages that certain brands can 'curate' (Twitter said that it will increase the number of curators but did not say that it would open it up to everyone). Even the briefest, 140 character or less social network can still find space for social commerce.

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The most useful posts of the year
   Social Media

   Search Marketing

   User Experience

   Email Marketing

   Analytics

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