Digital marketing R & D in 2016 is changing as rapidly as the digital marketing world itself.

Trends are evolving so quickly that it can be hard to keep up.

New social media sites explode over night, Google is constantly changing its algorithm, and user attitudes change on a whim. As soon as you find a winning digital marketing strategy, you have to change it because what you did before will no longer work. Either our audience will have moved on or Google will start penalizing you for what it has been rewarding you for in the past.

You can’t know what will change on a whim — none of us has a crystal ball — but you can prepare yourself for new trends by conducting research into usage patterns. Fortunately, if there’s one thing that digital marketers do have in spades, it’s data. One look at the data and you can know for certain if a particular type of social media is on the upswing or if you should abandon ads on a particular type of site.

As we head into the New Year, it’s the perfect time to take a new look at your digital marketing strategy and determine if you are on the right track for success. Now is the time to research the up-and-coming trends and decide if you need to make a change to your current strategies.

Here’s what you need to know about what to expect in digital marketing in 2016, according to predictions from the IDC Worldwide Chief Marketing Officer:

Content Will Trump Product

As far as marketing goes, anyway.

Marketing officers are expected to spend more in 2016 promoting their content than they are their own products. That’s because content can live on the Internet forever, continuing to promote the brand and its products in perpetuity.

Product advertising only lasts as long as what you pay for it. With the right content marketing, you will boost the ranking of your site, which will help you draw in visitors month after month and year after year, and you can then use your site to sell your products. You will get a lot more bang for your buck with content marketing, as compared to straight product marketing.

Cognitive Marketing Will be More Important

Cognitive marketing relies on intuitive biases that a target audience has, whether positive or negative. For example, an audience might have a negative bias toward the word “cheap” or any connotations of it, so the advertising might talk about cost-saving measures using other carefully chosen language or it might hype the product as a luxury choice.

The IDC Worldwide predictions say that as many as 50 percent of all companies will be using cognitive marketing in 2016 to help them automate their strategies.

More Will Outsource Their Marketing

More and more marketing professionals are working for themselves or as consultants. In the coming year, we can expect to see more companies relying on these independent professionals to execute their marketing strategies. IDC Worldwide estimates that as many as 33 percent of chief marketing officers will outsource some of their digital marketing work by the year 2020.

Predictive Analytics Will Become Standard

Every digital marketer uses analytics to track the performance of a campaign. However, few are using predictive analytics, which can actually make estimates about how a campaign will perform based on past or current performance and other influences.

By 2018, IDC Worldwide estimates that predictive analytics will become standard. However, since the tool will still be in relative infancy for widespread use, the CMO estimates that only a third of those using it will get the optimal benefit from it.

The Turnover Rate for Marketers Will Remain High

Turnover has been high for chief marketing officers for the better part of a decade. Part of the reason is that CMOs are not keeping up with the fast-paced changes happening in the digital marketing industry, and part of the reason is that companies are not supporting their CMOs properly so that they can do their best job.

Siegel+Gale reports that the turnover rate was at 23 months in 2006 and went up to 42 months in 2011. IDC Worldwide predicts that a two-year tenure will be continue to be the norm in the near future. Companies who want to avoid this high turnover rate should invest in the right professional development and provide the right support for their marketing team.

In the fast-changing world of digital marketing, knowledge is power. Whether you are a CMO yourself or you are the member of a marketing team, you need to know about what to expect in the coming year so you can stay ahead of the curve as much as possible with your marketing strategies. As always, being able to think on your feet and change course quickly will always help you stay ahead of the game.

 

Marketing Digital Marketing R&D 2016