What are some of the top marketing trends we need to be aware of in the coming year?
It is no surprise that marketers can expect some pretty dramatic shifts in the norm over the course of 2016. The speed at which new media evolves has led to the marketing world changing significantly as every year passes. While some marketing trends for 2016 are to be expected, there are others that are somewhat unprecedented.
So what exactly can you expect?
Mobile Will Eclipse Desktop
This should be the most obvious one. At this point, Google has reported that in ten countries, mobile has already surpassed desktop searches. You might even be reading this article on your smartphone.
Photo Credit: KPCB
2015 was the year that websites went mobile first. Google made it clear that websites without a mobile-optimized experienced would now not only have a difficult time ranking highly, but would be penalized. (Remember ‘Mobilegeddon’?)
In the coming year, we will see this mobile-first trend continue. As more of the world moves away from the desktop, so will the share of mobile searches and activity rise.
A Rise in Dedicated Apps
App indexing has been around for some time, but only now are brands starting to realize the value that app indexing possesses. Just as mobile search and traffic will continue to trend upwards, dedicated mobile applications will begin to overtake mobile-friendly websites.
What will be interesting, however, will be the shift in search structure. As venues such as the App Store and Google Play become more crowded (as if they weren’t already crowded enough) will users turn more to search engines when searching for apps, or will these native app houses be remodelled to function more as a search engine themselves?
Marketing Automation Will Reach the Masses
If you haven’t used a marketing automation system (like Marketo or Pardot) yet, that might be because of the oft-prohibitive price tag that accompanies these robust technologies. But as with anything tech, it is only a matter of time before the products reserved for the enterprise elite become more readily available to the small and medium sized businesses.
In 2016, marketing automation will certainly begin to play a much bigger role in the lives of SMB marketers. While the core functionality might not be as robust as the tools listed above, there will certainly be much more available to marketers than ever before when it comes to automation.
Photo Credit: Smart Insights
Practicality in the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things has been around for some time now, and the novelty, though still there, has started to wear off slightly. Now, engineers (and, subsequently, marketers) are looking for more practical uses for the phenomenon.
While the connected home and the connected city are exciting macro-scale applications for the IoT, the connected buyer journey is of particular interest to any marketer. We are always looking for ways to personalize the buying experience and, perhaps more importantly, to retain customers for a longer period of time by building a relationship in a shorter timeframe. All of that is possible with the Internet of Things, and we can expect some new developments in that field this year.
It is amazing to think about how quickly the digital world evolves. Just a few years ago, much of what is outlined above seemed like something out of a science fiction movie. Now we are on the precipice of the greatest explosion in technological advancement ever (yes, even more so than in the past!).
For marketers, this means faster evolution and more to pay attention to, but it also means more possibilities. Which marketing trends are you most excited about?