The year in digital: The best (and worst) of marketing in 2015

21/12/2015

2015 was another big year for digital marketing, with the Apple Watch launch, the rise of ad blockers and mobile growth skyrocketing. This was the year that content went native, retargeted ads got smarter and global time on digital screens overtook TV. In this special report, we've gathered together the biggest headlines you might have missed across 10 key digital categories. As an added bonus, we also look at some of the best virals, worst marketing fails and the weirdest headlines of the year.

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Viral video marketing case studies: the 25 best virals of 2015

From mystery X-rays to disobedient dogs, 2015 was another big year for video viral marketing case studies. Marketing stunts, long-form storytelling and cute animals (naturally) featured heavily this year. Perhaps more telling was the number of ads seeded on Facebook rather than YouTube, as the social network becomes the go-to place for sharing videos. To round off the year, we’ve assembled our 25 favourite virals from around the world for your viewing pleasure…

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Digital advertising trends in 2015: 'Adblockalypse' rocks the industry

Ad blockers have long been a niche concern to digital marketers, but in 2015 they became one of the biggest threats to the industry. As part of our review of the year we look back at the key trends in digital advertising, including the rise of retargeting, programatic's viewability problem and the big data revolution.

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Search marketing trends in 2015: Mobilegeddon strikes as smartphone searches overtake PCs

Nine months on from Google's 'mobilegeddon', marketers are adjusting to a world where more searches are conducted on smartphones than PCs. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped mobile marketing in 2015, including Facebook opening up posts to search, Google and Twitter's reunion and the rise of voice assistants.

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Facebook trends in 2015: The evolution of the 'like'

Google be warned; Facebook is after your customers. In 2015, the social network was used by half the world's online population, with a burgeoning ad ecosystem and ever-more engaging media tools to keep users glued to their newsfeeds. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped Facebook marketing in 2015, including the changing role of the 'like' button, the growth of social video and smarter ad tools.

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Social media trends in 2015: SnapChat soars as Periscope pirates plunder pay TV

Would you pay $750,000 for a single self-destructing ad? That was the estimated cost of a day-long ad on Snapchat- but with new data suggesting the chat app's video views are rivaling Facebook, it could be money well spent. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped social media marketing in 2015, including the Google+ reboot, China's social surge and the phenomenon that was #TheDress.

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Mobile Marketing trends in 2015: Wearable tech test and Facebook's 2G tactics

2015 was the year wearable tech finally took off, with the Apple Watch set to sell 21 million units within its first 12 months. But can it keep up momentum for next year? As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped mobile marketing in 2015, including Facebook's 2G push, iPhone ad blockers and Spotify's creepy new privacy policy.

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Internet of Things trends in 2015: Creepy dolls, smart whisky bottles and talking trash

After years of hype, the concept of an ‘Internet of Things’ is becoming a reality. From smartwatches and connected toothbrushes to intelligent thermostats and driverless cars- a web connection is becoming standard for many devices. This move towards a ‘programmable world’ is creating an explosion of new customer touchpoints for marketers to harvest. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped the Internet of Things in 2015, including Google's creepy smart teddies, Barbie Dolls wired up to the web and BBC testing mind controlled headsets...

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Content Marketing trends in 2015: BuzzFeed hits big leagues as video screen time matches TV

BuzzFeed teamed up with WPP to form a content marketing behemoth this year, as native content got more sophisticated. With Facebook and Twitter becoming key news sources and brands becoming content factories, traditional media giants are worried. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped content marketing in 2015, including the rise of streaming sticks, paywall U-turns and the secrets to clickbait success.

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Ecommerce trends in 2015: The era of real-time retailing

With Amazon opening its first physical store, Apple Pay replacing credit cards and self-updating pricing labels in supermarkets, the worlds of ecommerce and high street retail are becoming ever-more entwined. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped ecommerce in 2015, including China's record-breaking 'Singles day', Facebook's social shopping boost and the eBay/ PayPal divorce.

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Gaming trends in 2015: Virtual reality and social media on collision course

With Facebook set to launch Oculus Rift early next year, the worlds on gaming and social media marketing are set to collide. Zuckerberg wants to move virtual reality beyond gaming and to an "immersive social experience"- one that could bring online brands and consumers closer than ever. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped gaming in 2015, including the rise of eSports, gamification matures and the phenomenon that was Crossy Road...

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Regulation trends in 2015: The price of privacy in a digital world

With more high-profile hacks in 2015 than ever before, online privacy remains a major issue for consumers and a major challenge for brands seeking loyalty. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the key trends that shaped digital marketing regulation in 2015, as web giants and governments locked horns over surveillance, monopolies and data collection.

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The 12 worst marketing fails of 2015: Heinz' saucy QR codes and cheeky Nando's tweets

As 2015 draws to a close, we look as some of the biggest marketing blunders of the year. From Heinz QR code porn fiasco to the Ashley Madison hack, there were plenty of mistakes from companies that should know better. Read on, learn from the mistakes and hope your team doesn’t make the list in 2016...

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Odd news: The weirdest digital stories of 2015

From smart sheep to telepathic advertising, technology took us in some strange directions during 2015. In this brave new world of robot chefs, mind-controlled drones and scary AI, we celebrate the weirdest news of the year.

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