When you build your 2016 marketing strategy and plan for next year’s trends, it’s important to take a look at today’s emerging technologies.
What’s emerging in today’s marketplace will set the stage for tomorrow, so let’s examine 2015’s marketing scene first.
2015’s Emerging Trends
This year we’ve seen a few trends grow in popularity. As we’ll soon discover, these signs all point towards an internet that is even more dynamic, mobile, and multi-channel than the one we are seeing today.
The savvy, forward-thinking marketer will plan ahead and be prepared when tomorrow’s technology arrives.
Here are a few of the major trends that have shaped the marketplace in 2015:
Content marketing isn’t just about blogging any more.
Blogging is still a crucial way to maintain an online presence in both search and social. However, today’s technology is evolving to include dynamic image- and video-based content, so content marketers should evolve with it.
Both B2C and B2B marketers should experiment with new forms of content, such as video, infographics, and interactive content. YouTube’s US data, for example, indicates that 895,000 B2B brand videos were watched last year.
In 2016 and beyond, content marketers should examine video’s role in their funnel and invest accordingly.
Mobile has become the norm.
People are spending more and more time on mobile devices:
Responsive websites, however, are just the first step.
Today’s customers are multi-device and multi-channel. To cope with customers who are spread across several devices, marketers have been evolving omnichannel marketing strategies.
In 2016 and beyond, we will see mobile continue to dominate, but it’s important to remember that customers will always be spread across several devices and channels.
Social media dominates the internet.
In fact, social media is the top online activity.
For one thing, user-generated content rules. All major tech companies, from Google to Facebook to WordPress, have found ways to organize and monetize user-generated content. This trend will not go away any time soon.
Social media has become a top source for referral traffic and it has also become a dominant advertising space. Facebook, for instance, continues to introduce new forms of advertising, as does Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks.
In 2016 and beyond, social media will continue to dominate the online world, so marketers must integrate social into their marketing strategies.
Data is evolving.
Big data is getting bigger.
Complex data analysis methodologies are hitting the scene, such as dimensions. And with improved analytics platforms also on the rise, marketers will need to be aware of these in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Building Your 2016 Marketing Strategy
To plan for 2016’s major trends, every marketer should make sure they’re keeping up with the trends mentioned above. Those trends, from video to social and mobile, will only become more pronounced next year.
Keeping up with these changes means making goal-oriented, measurable plans of action. It’s best not to wait until the next Mobilegeddon – instead, stay one step ahead of the curve by implementing best practices today.
- Ensure that all content marketing programs are multi-channel-friendly and mobile-ready. Evolve your content marketing strategy and go beyond blogging. Incorporate video, graphics, and user-generated content.
- Experiment with new forms of advertising as they come out, including video advertising, dynamic display advertising, immersive advertising, and other experimental formats.
- Plan for a future that is social-first, so take advantage of new social media features. It’s hard to know which ones will pan out and which ones will fizzle, but if you’re on board with the right ones, you can score big.
However, don’t base your entire strategy on 2015’s top trends.
Look at where marketing and technology are headed, then build your marketing strategy around those projections. That is, watch how today’s technology will integrate with tomorrow’s, then plan accordingly.
In 2016, we will continue to see technology develop towards a dynamic, 3D, interactive world. Here are a few major trends that will shape the direction of the marketing world:
- Despite Google Glass’s early rejection by consumers, augmented reality will take its place in the mobile ecosystem. Some predict that it will become the next major medium of communication.
- Virtual reality has a ways to go and some barriers to overcome, but investment in the technology is only growing. Facebook has big plans for the technology: its immersive advertisements, for instance, may very well be a precursor for tomorrow’s virtual reality ads.
- 3D printing, likewise, hasn’t made much of a mainstream impact…yet. But researchers are plowing forward and developing promising prototypes, from prosthetic limbs to VR headsets. With new mobile-friendly technology on the scene, such as smartphone 3D scanners, expect to see a huge impact on the entire online ecosystem.
- Wearable technology has already introduced new data and new possibilities into the advertising arena. The Apple Watch, for instance, incorporates a variety of biometric data, as well as beacon technology. These types of technological evolutions will make tomorrow’s advertising world more personalized, more targeted, and more relevant.
To build your 2016 marketing strategy, plan for a world that will take yesterday’s trends and combine them with tomorrow’s technology. While some may take a conservative stance towards these technologies, a simple glance at the past few decades makes it clear that the online world will continue to evolve. And, as the internet evolves, so will the digital marketing world.