Giles Peddy, Group Managing Director LEWIS UK, closed the Big Picture 2016, talking about the 10 digital marketing trends we can expect to see in 2016.
Some of my trends will simply become more mainstream and others will remain nascent. However, one of the 10 trends that will feature heavily and be a constant theme is relevance.
We are entering a new era for marketing where relevance is becoming increasingly important. Of course it is already significant – it always has been you might say – but not to the same level we are seeing now.
With the adoption of marketing analytics enabling us to tailor communications to a much more granular level, we will see the rise of ‘hyper-personalisation’. This is the difference between having two or three messages for a specific audience group, and 10-15 messages based on that audience’s personas and drivers.
This personalisation means that in terms of content being king, relevance of content will be the ace.
Ensuring the content is relevant and personalised allows for the next trend of marketing analytics which will provide real-time engagement opportunities and extend a campaign into new areas of business. Moreover, with geo-targeting, customer analytics and real-time analytics all coming to the fore, we will see the true emergence of moment marketing. Agencies and clients alike will start to produce the ‘Oreo at Super Bowl’ moments much more frequently. Indeed, Google talk about micro-moments and we will see them become more pervasive in the way we work.
The staggering growth of YouTube will see us progress from the era of ‘everyone is a journalist’, to ‘everyone is a videographer’. Video’s use and promotion will rise in 2016 in B2B, both in terms of hero videos (brand) and hygiene videos (products, services, solutions). Indeed, at LEWIS we are seeing more and more requests from clients for videos every day.
Obviously, paid leads organic in the world of social media. This is now accepted wisdom. While some organic social can grab attention, it is only typically viral through paid support. And to stand out in a crowded, busy and active social sphere, paid is the only way to be seen and heard.
Another social trend will be the rise of long-form publishing. The last few years has seen a focus on 140 characters (Twitter), seven-second videos (Vine), 30-second videos (YouTube) and visual imagery (Facebook and Instagram). The emergence of Medium and LinkedIn Pulse will see longer form content find new ways to reach and engage audiences.
Another exciting trend we foresee starting in 2016 is the recognition that marketing will lead the digital transformation. The end of the silo. Marketing departments have the opportunity to embrace all business functions and drive the digital transformation. So whether that is lead generation or nurturing, talent acquisition and retention, customer service and support or marketing and communications, businesses will pivot from those that understand storytelling, digital, creative, visual and customer interaction to those focused on relevance.
Another nascent trend is app generation. We are seeing more apps being built for specific tasks. We will see apps for campaigns or parts of sites, or for sales-enablement. Again it is all about end-user relevancy. We are seeing more event marketing apps like the one we have built that includes an in-event polling tool. During our event, 70% of attendees voted that a lack of clear metrics or data would be the biggest obstacle to achieving their goals. Here, we were able to engage our audience in real-time and give them an answer visually right in front of them.
Finally, in Q1 2016 we will see the launch of Oculus Rift. This will generate mainstream media coverage. Everyone will be wanting to get on the bandwagon. See it at events, in the press, on social. In fact, it will be everywhere.
So those are my 10 trends: marketing analytics, content relevance, hyper-personalisation, video, paid leading organic social, marketing leading business transformation, app generation, moment marketing, long-form content and virtual reality.
There is an array of opportunities for marketers and communication professionals to tap into. Equally, a lot of challenges that will need to be overcome. But getting some of this right will take your marketing to another level. So try it, test it, rework it, try it again, but keep pushing forwards with new ideas and techniques.
It’s the only way to stay relevant.