Most of the prominent marketing trends for 2016 are a result of what started gaining prominence last year.
Here are the top 7 trends that you need to watch out for this year if you want to stay ahead of the pack. (You can check out last year’s post here).
Content with data analytics
2015 was the year of content- as were the couple of years before it. Marketers across the globe have realised that a content driven strategy is imperative to success in the digital world. ‘Producing engaging content’ continues to be the top priority for both B2C and B2B marketers this year as well, according to CMI. But what defines ‘great content’?
A recent research study shows that content that is developed and executed as a result of data is capable of generating 5 times more marketing revenue than non-data driven content. As Paul Roetzer, Founder & CEO of PR 20/20 very aptly puts it, “Every trackable interaction creates a data point, and every data point tells a piece of the customer’s story.”
Buy buttons galore
Our browsing patterns affect our buying patterns, then why not build a link between the two? Last year saw a lot of conversations centered around the introduction of buy buttons on social networks. Pinterest was one of the first to champion the trend transforming the social bookmarking website into what could become a favoured shopping destination.
Pinterest currently has over 60 million shoppable posts that have purchase buttons.
Facebook too announced that they were testing a buy button in October last year that would enable shopping from the networking site. They introduced ‘Canvas’ early in the year which allowed people to browse through a range of products from brands without having to go to the retailer’s website. The buy button attempts to take the experience a step further by allowing shoppers to make the purchase without even leaving Facebook. Clearly, the lines between business and pleasure in the context of social, are blurring.
Digital is killing it
The digital versus advertising battle got serious last year. We even had a post around it debating whether digital had indeed slayed the advertising giant. With the coming of 2016 it looks like a definite reality.
Magna Global predicts that digital media will overtake television as the number one advertising category in the US, in 2016. While previous years have seen brands gingerly stepping into the digital pool with a firm footing in more traditional forms of media, it looks like digital has moved to becoming a top priority in 2016. Gartner’s CMO spend study shows that a whopping 71% of marketers have an ‘innovation budget’ which almost entirely caters to technologies that enable marketers to be more digital.
Quoting Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting for ZenithOptimedia “We’ve been hearing about the loss of revenue from TV to digital for a long time, but the last year has been when it’s been fairly visible.”
Digital PR 2.0
The Barcelona Principles redefined traditional PR measurement and identified the need for it to be more specific. It was further simplified in September last year with Barcelona Principles 2.0 and though there were no significant inclusions in the new version, it highlights the need for measurement and evaluation as a cornerstone in any PR activity.
Organizations are increasingly realizing the importance of using influencer mentions and earned media to promote their brand among the audience. Identifying the key people who can impact your brand positively can be a lot more systematic and precise within the digital realm. Online tools that enable brands to monitor their digital presence across the globe and across all networks help assess the overall reach and effectiveness of their PR machinery. Such tools not only help in giving a complete picture of what’s being said about your brand, but also help identify potential liaisons that help further the brand’s visibility.
Interest in wearable technology has peaked over the last couple of years. With the coming of the Apple Watch and Fitbits becoming part of every fitness enthusiast’s must-have list, wearable tech has made its way into a range of consumer goods. According to research portal Statista, the wearables market has gone up from $6 million in 2010 to $7.1 billion in 2015 and is expected to touch $19 billion by 2018.
Right from smart rings to better fitness wear, it’s an industry that’s extremely disruptive at this point and gauging from how interest in the area has spiked over the last few years, this is one trend that’s definitely on the upswing.
Automation all the way
With data and content being a major priority for marketers over both B2C and B2B sectors, the need for marketing automation is real. But what about sales automation? The customer decision process has been disrupted with the coming of digital and it’s almost impossible to identify the exact place where marketing ends and transforms into sales. 2016 will see an integration of marketing and sales automation to enable marketers to smoothly transition their customers from mere prospects to actual purchases.
The integration of both marketing and sales will allow marketers to know exactly what matters to the audience and address their needs. Identifying at which places do prospects drop off, where they engage the most, what drives them to come back later are data points that need to be constantly monitored to cater to an audience that’s exposed to a multitude of options, but not too many solutions.
Data intelligence informs brands about its audience’s buying preferences. Content intelligence helps writers better ascertain what kind of information would excite their reader base. Artificial intelligence is all around us and it’s just going to get better.
It’s not just Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that he intends to build himself a Jarvis style bot to help out at home that has us intrigued. There are companies that are building machines capable of translating images to words so that they can be understood by the blind, there are robots that are reporting news articles that are so well put together that you’d never be able to spot the difference- the possibilities artificial intelligence enables are endless.
Think you’ve spotted a trend worth covering? Drop us a comment and we’ll add it!