Top-5 Marketing Trends and Strategies – 2016


Here we are! At this time of the year we take a look at the top trends that will shape 2016 for marketers. I will put my bets on the following Top-5 Marketing Trends and Strategies – 2016 that will command significant attention and investment from markers.

#1: Digital 

With internet, mobile and social media, consumers have become significantly digitally empowered and they are able to decide the fate of brands. During 2016 and beyond, to ensure brand vitality, marketers need to strongly map customer’s digital touchpoints to positively influence their purchase decisions. Marketers would need to further strengthen their digital KPIs, analytics and customer insights to track their customer’s decision journey. They have to significantly invest in enriching customer experience across channels and devices with an aim to maximize the marketing ROI. Personalization and contextual marketing will demand marketers to relook at their content, marketing automation and campaign strategies during 2016.

At the end of the day customers’ buy-in to the brand experience and nothing else, therefore marketers will need to tie their digital strategy in to their brand story and not so much the other way round.

#2: Customer Experience (CX)

A well-executed Customer Experience (CX) strategy can fetch huge competitive advantage and ROI for the brands. Surveys done across industries and geographies during 2015 clearly indicate CX as a critical agenda for marketers in 2016.

Study conducted by McKinsey’s Design Management Institute (DMI) during 2013 found Design Centric Organizations performing significantly better as compared to firms in the S&P Index; as better as 228%.

During 2016, I see marketers going a data driven and customer centric path (beyond just the websites and mobile platforms) and investing in comprehensive CX program to facilitate customers-brand interactions across all digital and non-digital channels. Seamless omni-channel customer experience across channels and touchpoints such as website, mobile, apps, physical stores, content, campaigns, customer support, print and display advertisement et al will ensure higher customer satisfaction, retention and brand loyalty.

#3: Content

The time has gone for marketers to be mystified about the importance of content in marketing. “Content” as many say is truly the “backbone” of marketing; no wonder it retained its place as a top priority for marketers year after year in the last so many years. So what is going to change in Content marketing in 2016?

Content is the new PR for marketers. Good content will boost the firm’s performance on sunny days and will keep the firm buoyant during rainy days! Think about it.

Creative and focused content which helps a brand differentiate from the crowd should be the focus for marketers in 2016. Video will become the favorite content format for marketers with recent enhancements introduced by Facebook Live, video on Twitter. Live rich media and live streaming video platforms such as Instagram, Vine, Periscope, and Blab will further uplift the morale of marketers who are crazy about videos as their primary brand messenger.

#4: Social Media

With over four hours spent every day on social media, it is now the most preferred channel for consumers across geographies, age groups and income brackets to interact with their preferred brands. As per McKinsey, most successful social media interactions are personal, genuine, and relevant; this reaffirms the known fact that social media channels are significantly influencing consumers purchase decisions.

During 2016 marketers would look to further strengthen their social media listening capabilities. Social media analytics (real time social media analytics) would gain prominence and most significantly firms will look to integrate their CRM platform with social media to service customers better and to ensure highest customer experience. On social media content- marketers will focus a great deal on contextual content, videos and beautiful images. Social advertising and promotion will see significant increase in budget allocation as compared to 2015. And not to forget, marketers will heavily incline on leading social platforms for lead generation to aid sales and business development.

#5: Native Advertising

If you are on a quest to positively engage with your customers while providing them a better experience then native advertising will be your best buddy in 2016 and beyond. While visually engaging your customers, native advertising facilitates greater conversions for brands as compared to traditional interruptive banner ads.

So why did native advertising made it to global headlines (so recently) when the concept it is already in existence for few years now? Well!! Thanks to Apple’s move in October 2015 announcing to include ad blocking software in its App Store and new iPhone 6s Operating system, visibly shaking up the digital media and advertising industry.

In coming years, marketers will aggressively spend on all three forms of native advertising (social, native display and sponsorship medium) with social commanding the biggest chunk of this spending. If your businesses is heavily dependent on display advertising then what should you do as a marketers to succeed? Focus on visually integrated and contextual content to seamlessly engage with your consumers.

Majority of the leading social media platforms and bookmarking sites for example Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit are already supporting native advertisement. A large section of leading global publishers are also supporting native advertisement for their clients. You can also choose among some of the leading ad-tech / ad vendors who are in the forefront of innovation in native advertisement.

Curious about what featured in my top marketing trends in 2015? click here

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