Whenever a new year arrives, a lot of predictions make the rounds in the media about the upcoming trends for that particular year. “What’s Hot?” “What’s Next?” are the most common questions that are being asked around. To answer these questions, let us take a look at the latest trends in marketing for the year 2016.
Trends in consumer purchase behavior
Following the views from marketers and businesses, changes in consumer use of digital media and technology is core to understanding trends in digital marketing. Today’s consumer buying decision is certainly getting more complex.
The increasing complexity of the purchase decision
We’re continuing to see consumer decision behavior increase in complexity. According to research analysts from GfK, there is a complexity in today’s customer journeys across multiple devices and through time, particularly for high involvement or high-value purchases, such as insurance in this instance. The research showed that there was a high influence of online channels with 82% of purchasers researching online against 4% using offline only. This shows the impact of online marketing on consumers.
Increasing mobile usage
This year we have also seen a continued strong growth in mobile use. People do research and purchase goods directly from their mobile phones. So, unsurprisingly, the use of mobile marketing will continue to be one of key trends to follow in 2016.
Digital Transformation: From ‘Digital Silos’ to Integrated teams
For some time, there has been increasing talk of a need for a ‘post-digital marketing world’ where the use of digital media and technology in marketing has become so ubiquitous we no longer complete separate “digital marketing activities” since they should be fully integrated and simply part of marketing. This thinking is partly driven by changes in consumer media consumption where they continue to consume content in different formats without consciously thinking about which devices or channels. The ‘post-digital’ thinking is also driven by problems of managing marketing activities in a business where a common problem with upskilling in digital is that ‘digital silos’ are created where different parts of marketing and their agencies don’t communicate effectively giving rise to campaigns that don’t work across media.
For example, according to an interview with TFM, HSBC global head of marketing for commercial banking and global banking and markets, Amanda Rendle, has said she has banned the word ‘digital’ to encourage her team to think beyond organizational silos.
You have to make the commitment to transform marketing by setting goals for digital marketing, setting an integrated digital strategy and bringing in specialist digital marketing skills – through a combination of new hires for new roles, use of agencies and re-skilling existing marketers. New marketing processes are also needed which integrate digital to the heart of strategy, investment and marketing campaigns.
Another trend within the management of marketing today is the shift in control of marketing technology from IT and Sales to Marketing. Selecting the most relevant Martech from the increasingly complex Marketing Technology landscape is a major challenge as we now literally have thousands of different cloud services vying to be part of the Marketing Stack.
This challenge is always rampant in today’s business world. However, we can say that there is suggested progress as marketers move towards integrated planning of digital and traditional activities, but there is still plenty of room for improvement with only one-quarter of companies satisfied with their level of integration across digital and traditional communications and 5% fully integrated and optimized.
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