The marketing trends of this year may be less about big new ideas than the further development of existing innovations.
In any sphere of life the end of one year and start of the next are times of great reflection, as well as prediction. As a time to take stock, it can also be a time for decisions, although most people's New Year resolutions show that what seems a great idea on January 1st becomes something unsustainable.
Forecasts of events can also go the same way, whether it is predictions of the big news or sport stories in the year ahead. After all, nobody began 2008 by saying the year would herald the start of the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.
Nonetheless, digital marketing professionals should at least take some note of predictions for 2015. If many commentators are sure that particular trends will emerge, it makes more sense to take them seriously than the words of individuals who go out on a limb with left-field ideas.
According to Econsultancy writer Ashley Friedlein, 2015 will not be a year for anything ground-breaking or epoch-making. While previous years brought developments in social, mobile, marketing automation and content marketing, no whole new discipline will emerge.
By contrast, he stated: "There isn’t anything new on the digital marketing horizon for 2015 that excites me much in isolation."
Instead, he suggested that rather than anything completely new, there will be a gradual return of focus on creativity and design. This will see a gradual realisation that fast-developing technology alone is not the route to success, and that this needs to be backed up with new ideas, new messages, and better ways of communicating through them.
A second forecast was that marketing as a service, will also increasingly be used by businesses. Friedlein also highlighted a good example of its tailored use was the production of 100,000 individualised videos by Nike based on runners' performance data.
Thirdly, he noted that as investment in digital continues, there has been a growing realisation that a customer-centric approach is the way to go, with this even being reflected at senior level as board members in forms have the word 'customer' attached to their job title.
However, the expert said, this process has some way to go. He observed: "We are a long way yet from the seamless, omnichannel, personalised customer experiences we all talk about. To deliver on that promise we need to connect a lot of dots.
"Only then will the digital and marketing engine start to purr efficiently rather than stutter as it does currently."
These seem modest predictions, but it may be that this is what the marketing sector needs. Rather than always seeking to come up with the next blockbuster idea, there are enough innovations that have emerged in recent years to be going on with. After all, with these being relatively fresh it is reasonable to conclude their full potential has not yet been explored or realised, so there is plenty of scope for more work in these areas.