Each year begins with a lot of speculations and predictions about new and emerging trends of marketing. Marketers are always finding answers to questions like “What’s New?” and “What’s Hot?” Questions like these usually sprout at the beginning of each year and the interest increases with each passing month. Now that the first month of fiscal year 2016 is coming to an end, I thought that it would be nice to share a few marketing trends that you should watch out for during this year.
It is best to understand about the latest marketing trends from real-time marketers who work hands-on on the business. The graph below shows the digital marketing activities which will have a major impact in 2016. (Source: www.smartinsights.com)
Let us walk through this representation one activity at a time. When we talk about Big Data, it includes market and predictive insights and predictive analytics. Content Marketing, the term is self-explanatory. Communities cover brand niche or vertical communities. Another activity is CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) which helps in improving website experience. Displays will also play an important role as a digital marketing activity featuring banners on publishers, ad networks social media and programmatic. IoT marketing applications would include CRM, behavioural Email marketing and web personalisation. Another activity to look out for is going to be mobile marketing which entails mobile advertising, website development and apps. Then there’s paid search e.g. Google AdWords, PPC, Online PR etc. partnerships, including affiliate and co-marketing. Last but not the least will be activities like SEO, Social Media Marketing, Social CRM, Social Customer Care and Wearables (like Android and Apple watches). The consumer uptake for wearables is expected to grow at 35 percent y-o-y between 2015 and 2019.
If we go by the marketers’ opinions, it is always best to understand the changes in consumer use for digital media and technology to predict the trends. And in times like these, the understanding of the consumer buying decision is getting really tricky. It has been observed that the complexity of today’s consumer journeys across multiple devices is time-consuming too, especially for purchases which need a lot of involvement and have crucial value for example insurance.
Coming back to which of the digital marketing mediums is, and will be, trending in 2016. This year has seen a consistent growth in the mobile usage as compared to last year. So, it shouldn’t come in as a surprise if mobile marketing continues to be one of the favourites for marketers in 2016.
Next in line will be the video advertisements. Video ads are not new but they will become more dominant in 2016. One of the main reasons for this is going to be Facebook and Bing offering video options to advertisers/marketers. And, more significantly, Google is now including video content in its search engine algorithm. This month Google changed its algorithm to reward mobile friendly websites by using information from indexed apps as factor in search rankings. This has given a rise to app indexing. Businesses are slowly getting the drift of this change as apps are more responsive to individual users and more convenient as well.
The list of marketing trends to watch out for doesn’t end there. 2016 will witness fresh strategies on optimization. For the longest time, digital marketers have relied on SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) advertising. But now, we have Siri and Cortana which can be optimized to answer consumer’s question. This year we will see a lot of businesses trying hard to ensure that their business information can be found by one such virtual assistant sparing the conventional listing of information on the web. Then, of course, there is virtual reality. A number of virtual reality devices are speculated to come to the fore in the next few years. Some with specific usage such as for video games and some for general purposes, like Oculus Rift which has been recently launched. Oculus Rift is a VR headset. These devices are going to give a whole new angle to online advertising, social media marketing and even direct messaging marketing exercises.