AgencyUK Managing Director, Sammy Mansourpour, looks to 2016 and discusses what trends he thinks will be big over the next year.
There are 3 big marketing trends currently underway and I think we’re likely to see significant momentum in the coming year, so it’s worth getting up to speed with them.
1. Marketing Automation
or the “not-so-simple” dream combination of building your sales pipeline using software
Marketing automation has been largely pioneered by organisations like Amazon, and it’s the process of using software to nurture prospects and turn them into customers. It starts with building a prospects database – then you can use all sorts of communications from email to social media, all of which plug into the prospect journey over time.
The great thing about marketing automation is that there are now really affordable software platforms available, such as Marketo and Act-On. It is becoming easier to integrate the principles of marketing automation into much smaller organisations, and you don’t need to sell online to be able to apply them.
However, marketing automation has become a bit of a buzzword, and getting it right takes time and lots of testing and applied learning. It works well with B2C but has a way to go before we see it relevantly applied to B2B.
But we’re sure to see some vast improvements in 2016 as the software becomes hardy and the knowledge base to set it up becomes wider.
2. Programmatic Marketing
or “problematic marketing” for those brands who fail to keep up
Long gone are the days of finger picking TV media schedules and tactically buying advertising based on a negotiation over lunch at The Ivy. Today, the world of automation has seeped into media channels, where it is now possible to automate the buying, placement and optimisation of media inventory. Think Google Adwords but applied to everything. In fact Marketing Week has reported that UK programmatic marketing is receiving such significant investment that it is likely to increase to 66.2% (£1.8bn) of media placement in 2016. That’s 59% of the entire UK’s advertising spend, so it’s something to get on board with.
But for those brands failing to keep up, it’s going to get harder and harder to see the returns on their traditional marketing effort. So my prediction for 2016 is that many companies will start getting their ship in order, and we will finally start to see the back of traditional advertising, and instead integrating offline and online channels will finally start to make sense for most.
3. Social Media
or it’s now all about “Content Curation” not “Content Generation”
Now that Social Media has been more appropriately segmented into Social Commerce, Social PR and Social Media Advertising, we can all finally start to make sense of the world, and the fact that Social Media is an effective way to build an “open source” database of prospects and customers.
But the past two years have seen brands clamber for control by coming up with news stories, comment pieces, thought pieces, blogs and even potentially “viral” content that is usually “zany” and “hopeful” before it crashes and burns.
The order we now have is that content is still linked to search rankings, but only if it’s useful and significant. So in 2016 I predict we will see far more brand managers thinking up ideas to generate really interesting and engaging content that’s meaningful and relevant. And when the sales team just want to bang out a few orders, then there’s room to seed a voucher or two and get those sales coming in. Thankfully we’ll see that work stream filed under Social Commerce, to eradicate any potential confusion with the quarterly results.