Dresses that block mobile signals, data doctors, and greater choice in the way consumers get content are all set to be big developments in the coming year, according to Hotwire’s sixth annual Digital Trends Report.  

Hotwire highlights ‘choice’ as the catalyst behind many of the digital trends and believes that 2015 will be the year for CYOC (Choose Your Own Content). According to Alex MacLaverty, UK group managing director of Hotwire, “Consumers are using a myriad of devices to access content and conversations online, each of which lends itself better to certain media outputs, such as audio, imagery, or short form and long form text.

“To ensure the consumer engages with a brand’s story in 2015, the brand needs to offer numerous content styles to encourage consumer engagement.”

The trends for 2015:

1. Choose your own content

Whether written, visual or audio, choice in content delivery is going to be one of the most important trends of the coming year – it distinguishes us as individuals in terms of content consumption and unites us in our desire to control who interacts with us, and how.

2. Unified digital experiences

Marketers are now demanding that design is not only recognisable, but absolutely on brand. Whether that’s your website or app, we’re now able to manipulate the look and feel to ensure brand identity is consistent throughout.

3. Multiple screens, multiple methods, one story

Over 60% of us already use more than one device and this will continue to rise as tablets become cheaper and wearables become more widely adopted. So we need to find a way of telling the story we want to tell, no matter what device an individual chooses to use.

4. The content car

The connected car has been touted around for even longer than the dreaded self-ordering fridge. We’re now beginning to see real intent from automotive brands, although interestingly the focus isn’t on the connected car, but the content car – one that delivers relevant media throughout your journey.

5. Making advertising routine

Knowing how individuals reach the final decision to purchase is invaluable to marketers. By building up a picture of our location, search and social habits, we can quickly determine if someone is a potential customer worth pushing content to.

6. Dr Data is around the corner

Apple’s HealthKit and Google Fit are bringing digital health to the forefront, and providing the ability to share body data with healthcare professionals. The more data they have, the better, but the next step is for healthcare systems to be able to handle all this user generated data.

7. There’s no such thing as a (digital) free lunch

If you use a free service, then the currency you pay for it is your personal data. Privacy is an issue that marketers should focus on, but let’s not be afraid to use the data people are comfortable sharing to inform our marketing strategies, they’ll thank us for it.

8. Tech is so not in darling

It’s becoming a bit of a statement to announce you’re no longer on Facebook, and many once-upon-a-time techy people are booking retreats that disconnect you from the internet, focusing on meditation or juicing instead. There’s an anti-tech digital trend, who’d have thought?

9. Moving fashion forward

Fashion retailers are now considering how technology can enrich and more greatly personalise both the shopping and brand experience, through wearables, visual search, shopping assistance and Clueless-style virtual fitting rooms.

10. Going Digital: the road to the general election

MPs are using digital platforms to communicate, allowing them to express opinions faster and reaching a bigger audience. They’re venturing out by expressing personal, non-political opinions, allowing voters to get to know them better than ever before.

This year’s report is set to be the last branded as a “Digital Trends,” report as the firm believes that digital is not only integrated into the communication mix, but also ingrained in everyday life. “Referring to digital as a separate proposition in the context of the communications industry feels dated”, says John Brown, head of engagement at Hotwire.