7 Digital Marketing Trend Predictions for 2016

Blog Top BannerIf relationship/loyalty marketing, marketing automation, and digital storytelling, aren’t part of your digital marketing strategy for 2016 in some way shape or form, the new year is not looking good for you. Ohhhh harsh… Things are changing and the lines between the digital and real world are becoming more and more blurred everyday.

Digital Marketing has evolved over the past years; from it’s limited association with ecommerce businesses only, to being an essential tool for every business. B2B Marketing experts are popping up all over the place. It’s a tool that can’t be ignored anymore.

For 2016 CIO’s and CTO’s will have to take a good look at the company’s skill set, understand the gaps in the current data, buyer’s journey and marketing communications then implementing a fool proof automated strategy for acquiring new leads, nurturing leads, converting them in the shortest time possible and influencing loyalty and future behaviour. From first need to repeated purchase. Companies need to start embracing the language of the internet. Trust.

Every year, we have new tools, apps, wearable tech, and preferences from users who are intelligent and diverse and have no patience for anyone who offers outdated stuff. We want stuff NOW and we want it fast. If you can’t get your customer what they want, where they want it and when you’re going to be quickly overrun by a savvy competitor. This isn’t going to change. As consumers we are very spoilt for choice. Marketers are being forced to understand and use their customers data to become more sophisticated about how they communicate in order to build better relationships with customers.

So what does this mean for businesses strategising and making investments for 2016? Businesses need to look beyond single channel communication and deepen their customer relationships by meeting their demands. Today, I’m sharing 7 best predictions for Digital Marketing trends in 2016 and beyond.

Increased Spend – AGAIN!

According to eMarketer, the global mobile advertising market in 2016 will surpass $100 billion in spending and accounting for more than 50% of all digital ad expenditure for the first time in digital marketing.

The future of advertising spend will be more calculated and data driven than ever before. Sales people will need to prove themselves, their advertising value and ROI to get their hands on a piece of this $100 Billion money pool.

Staying lean and agile with strategy & budget is going to be a huge trend for 2016 and the future. This lead to more focused marketing and teams making sure businesses stay as profitable as possible without having to compromise on quality of delivery.

Integrated Systems/Marketing Automation

Businesses will quickly learn that in 2016, integrated systems will be essential to succeed – one that creates a smooth experience for customers, instead of multiple micro systems.

With marketers spending about 50% of their time creating content companies are being forced to come up with better ways to automate the distribution of this content to be in the right place at the right time. Wouldn’t you want to be able to get your brand in front of a customer almost as soon as the want or need pops into their head and then track and follow that customer journey with the right information to keep the likelyness of that first purchase converting with you.

This isn’t only handy for the first purchase but also with creating a sustainable loyal relationship with customers so that you can then influence purchase behaviour.

Fluid Communication and Design

2016 multi-screen world where customers demand a fluid or responsive design and communication.

In a report posted by Google Think Insights, 59% of Australians start their shopping on a smartphone, whereas only 24 per cent start on a laptop or desktop. Not to mention we watch TV completely differently now with 57% of us checking an email and 44% of us searching for something unrelated to what we are watching.

In an earlier blog I mentioned that BlueHornet, says that 70% of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render well on a mobile device. Meanwhile, fluid or responsive design also drives more revenue, as seen in the following case studies:

  • O’Neill Clothing grew iPhone/iPad revenue by 101.2 per cent, Android revenue by 591.4 per cent (yes, nearly six hundred per cent) and non-mobile revenue by 41.1 per cent.
  • Homage grew smartphone revenue by 359.5 per cent and tablet revenue by 178.8 per cent.
  • Plusnet grew smartphone and tablet online revenue tenfold year over year.

Responsive design has been the biggest must do for several years. Surprisingly most companies are still playing catch up with this. However with the need to move into a more relationship style marketing communications and giving customers what they want on the right device fluid design is going to be a key player in device and marketing experience optimisation over the next few years.

Use Of Insights By Traditional Marketers

One of the biggest questions I get asked my marketing managers and directors is “How the hell do I understand and take action on all this data”

You’ve probably heard the term “Big data” thrown around far too often and you’re probably over it as much as I am. What on earth does it even mean? To me it sounds like a bunch of nuffiness (if that’s even a word) designed to confuse everyone because no one really knows how to make it mean something you can do something productive with.

So saying that I want to have you think about RICH data. Data you can read and take action on. This is going to be a part of the integrated systems I mentioned earlier.

No one ever said your marketing or business degree had to have a masters in mathmatics! But it’s an important skill all marketers must now develop if they want to stay ahead of the game and maintain a competitive position of influence in the marketplace and workforce.

If you’re looking for a quick cheat way to get some actionable data into your strategy, start with setting some growth goals for the year. For example Conversions from Mobile increased by 150% because you get a lots of mobile traffic but not many conversions, get some funnels created for different devices in Google Analytics and use it to visualise the key drop out points on mobile journey and then implement and test some ideas you might have to improve it. Insights can be delivered to you visually, you just need to establish what is important for you and focus your energy there.

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is the art of combining narrative with digital content in a sequential manner, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component. Think about some of the most impactful content shared in your own social networks. They would have told a story and one that plucked at your heartstrings to empower, entertain or educate you.

Digital Storytelling helps you breathe life into your brand by inspiring emotion. Storytelling is the oldest medium for transferring knowledge. We tell these stories to share values or beliefs.

So why does Digital storytelling work?

  • 92% of consumers want brands to make campaigns that tells a story
  • The brain processes images 60x faster than plain text
  • The use and consumption of video content is on the rise it’s like a picture on steroids

You must have a great story somewhere in your business you can share. Like how you may have helped someone change their life, get better physically, made their day, look better, do better, made them feel at home…. Everyone has a story to tell, find some and use them to help influence a new wave of customers who will feel moved and connected to you.

Location Based Marketing

Location based marketing isn’t new, but I think brands are ready to seriously have a play with proximity/location based marketing. I wrote about this is a blog earlier this year with simple tech hacks for retailers. It’s taking right place right time to a whole new level.

To Read ‘5 Location Based Tech Hacks You Can Do Right Now’ – Click Here

Increased Blurred Lines Between Reality and Virtual

Our attachment to digital devices is a real thing. One of the biggest trends in the years to come is the increased use of virtual and augmented reality technology! This I am super excited about!

Tools as simple as google cardboard can completely revolutionise a customer’s experience and in an incredibly cost effective way.

Or what about the google’s Project Tango tablet/phone technology that Target in the US used fully transform one of their stores virtually into a winter wonderland. Project Tango basically allows you/developers to produce real-time 3D Mesh mapping and impressively uses depth perception using cameras whilst also keeping track of your position as you walk around. I can think of so many amazing ways to use this. Especially for Property Developers.

Outside of clunky VR wear, both  Microsoft and Google are working on virtual reality contact lenses which will allow a handsfree and almost natural experience for VR. Outside of VR this type of tech could revolutionise the medical industry. More on this later…

In conclusion:  There is a lot going on in this virtual digital world. Thing’s aren’t changing. They have changed. Now you’re only ever going to be limited by your imagination… and budget.

The KEY for advertisers and marketers in the future is to embrace the language of the internet which is trust and find solutions to communicate with new and existing customers in a non intrusive way.

Digital Marketing is ever-evolving and these are our predictions for next year’s trends. Which of them are you most excited about?

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