It’s that time of year when you get bombarded with hundreds of emails about the trends of 2016. It’s both brilliant and overwhelming; who has the time open and bookmark each one!
We faced this challenge the past two years as we’ve been busy building shopper marketing solutions for some of the world’s most amazing brands so they can reinvent their relationship with their customers. It’s great fun and requires a lot of hard work.
That is why we’ve created this massive list of marketing trends that impact CPG and retail for you to use when you are putting together your next presentation, pitch, plan or budget!
- Brands will focus on promoting their mobile apps: in 2016, consumers will spend three-plus hours a day using mobile apps (eMarketer).
- Native video becomes top choice for marketers: video is on the forefront of the trend as evidenced by the 5.5 hours a day we spend watching it.
- Social media will lead the visual web: Thanks to visually oriented social media sites marketers will have more options to reach and engage consumers via social media channels.
- A hybrid approach to connected IDs will arrive: While marketing-tech providers have spent the past few years debating the merits of a probabilistic versus a deterministic approach, the industry will coalesce against such demarcations and opt for more of a hybrid solution.
- Vast improvements in data accuracy: Numerous brands are opting to manage some or all of their data directly via data management platforms (DMPs).
- Micro moments and customization: Although old news, micro moments are still highly relevant for marketers, and their importance demands real-time personalization in mobile advertising.
- Programmatic mainstreaming: Programmatic advertising has continued its upward trajectory through 2015, and is certain to do so in 2016.
- Latin America will continue to boom: America is one of the most thriving regions for advertising investment and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
In 2016 and beyond, online retailers may separate content marketing and content creation from other marketing activities, like advertising or search engine optimization.
Machine-generated Content Could Be a Hot Topic: Machine-generated content could become a hot topic and a possible solution to a nagging ecommerce problem, writing product descriptions. As an example, online retailers struggling to generate unique product descriptions for the items in their catalogs may now turn to companies like Automated Insights, which use product source data and an algorithm to quickly generate machine-written product descriptions.
Videos Could be Increasingly Important: Video is another trend that could see ecommerce retail marketers increasing their investment in content, as they purchase equipment or pay specialists.
Small and Mid-sized Stores Will Rely on Content: The more focused a business is, the more effective content marketing may be for that business. If this is true, small and mid-sized online retailers with narrow or even niche product lines may enjoy the most success from content marketing.
Content Saturation Will Be a Concern: expect to see a lot of data about just how much content people do read and watch. For example, venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers estimated this year that Americans send 5.6 hours per day with digital media, including almost three hours on mobile devices. How much more time could consumers spend with media will be the question.
Infinite Noise: By 2020 there will be 7 connected devices for every person on earth. Each device can create, and filter the noise. We can not reach consumers with mass media if it is filtered by algorithms on devices. – Gartner Research 2015
Ad Blocking: 18% of US consumers use ad blocking software. It is also estimated this number will double in 2016. There are 185 million global users of ad blocking technology. – Pagefair and Adobe, 2015
Path to Purpose: There is no longer a path to purchase, but a Path to Purpose. Buyers paths are constant strings of moments intertwined together equaling an experience, fulfilling a buyers purpose. What are your buyers purpose for engaging with you? – Google Think, Path to Purpose
Customer Advocacy: The switching economy is estimated at $1.7 Trillion dollars. Making it the 10th largest economy in the world, and making churn a major issue we must face. Marketers need to show objective value on holistic marketing efforts and their impact to the happiness of the consumer. This is not best represented by “Share of Wallet” because this puts the impatience on increasing customer spend. CSTAT scores rather place the focus on customer happiness. – B2C:CSATscore. B2B:NPSmetric
Lifecycle Management: The lifecycle begins with the very first touch, and never stops. However, with in each lifecycle there are many sub cycles. It is the CMO’s role to ensure they all fit together seamlessly to optimize the relationship. The sub cycles may be managed by different tools, people, or organizations, but should be orchestrated by the CMO.
B2B Lead Conversion: Forrester Research estimates for every 100 leads a B2B company generates, best in class only convert 1.5 into revenue. Average companies only convert .7 into revenue.
Digital Ad Spend: eMarketer estimates digital ad spend will increase by 62% over the next three years reaching over $80 billion dollars in spend per year.
The Death of The B2B Sales Person: Forester Research estimates the role of the B2B sales person is completely extinct by they year 2020
Micro Moments: Micro-moments are critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends. There are 3 critical aspectsof micro-momentsformobile shoppers. – Google Think, Micro Moments
73% of consumers say that regularly getting useful information from an advertiser is the most important attribute when selecting a brand. – Google Think, Micro Moments
The CMO will have the largest IT budget in organizations by 2017 – Gartner Research 2014
Journey must be personalized across all channels, and contextual to the moment. This means a minimum of the following connected systems: • CRM (system of record) • Marketing Automation (system of engagement) • Website (owned engagements) • Product (increased value)
Behavioral Data: You must have full behaviorial data on each interaction across your owned channels. This data will tell you which content to show, and which moment the person is looking for.
Psychographic Data: Psychographic data must be leveraged when placing adver4sing across any media channel. This is the new way of targeting your advertisements, and it is possible to target in real time.
Internal CRM Data: Your internal CRM data will need to be combined with your Behavioral data for content suggestions, and your psychographic data for better segmentation and content targeting.
Knowing the customers’ in-store/online behaviour can have a huge effect on sales and engagement.
- About 75% of shoppers use their online shopping carts to store items with plans to revisit them later.
- 40% of shoppers will revisit their online shopping carts during an in-store visit
- 15% of retailers surveyed say they send browser recovery emails when a shopper abandons their search before filling a cart.
- Welcome message series work. They can deliver a double-digit revenue increase
Making this data available to in-store associates could make the in-store/online shopping experience more seamless – and lucrative.
“Savvy retailers should quickly message customers who have just purchased to thank them, offer complementary items and encourage a product or shopping experience review to generate future marketing and purchase opportunities” Shannon Ingrey, General Manager at Bronto Software
Moment marketing: the time is now
Marketers need to able to target individual customer moments – millions of them, every week, day, minute and increasingly, every second. For example, honing in on an important event; an event could be large and of public interest, such as a sporting occasion, or small and personal, where an individual has just run out of toothpaste.
A complement to campaign-based marketing, moment marketing relies not only on insight, technology and strategic planning but also the empowering of marketing as a function, ensuring that teams are poised to connect with customers in those key ‘consumption moments’.
Convenient food from supermarkets and c-stores has incrementally added customers to the fast food/foodservice market, according to NPD’s QSR Plus Retail Market Monitor, which finds that the number of fast food purchases made at retail outlets per customer in March 2015 through June 2015 is more than six visits higher than those made to QSRs in an average four-week period.
Today’s consumers are more educated, savvy and hyper-aware of the connection between eating well and overall health for themselves and their families. They are curious and thoughtful about their food choices and will look to retailers to provide them with more healthy choices and products, as well as to help them differentiate among various options.
Retailers should see these behavioral shifts as opportunities to increase loyalty among existing customers, draw in new customers and grow their business.
Mobile is a Must But it’s Lagging:
Although one-third of marketers are using images to drive e-Commerce, respondents agreed their creative assets are weakest within mobile and app environments.
Shopper Marketing Summit March 15th, 2016 in New York: Here senior leaders across all functions of shopper marketing convene to collaborate, learn and share insights about the ever-evolving customer journey.
Customer experience (or CX as it’s commonly referred to), has been receiving a lot of attention over the last few years, primarily among B2C companies and retailers. It involves the combination of people, process and technology to understand, anticipate and consistently deliver exceptional personalized experiences across all touch points. In a recent white paper, Forrester Research predicted that “In 2016, leaders will understand and anticipate individual needs to deliver personalized experiences, sharply increasing their lead in the market.”
The product itself is not only important, but the quality of the purchase in conjunction with topical shopper values. We don’t want to only show off the property, but ask the retailer to take into account our needs for functionality or durability. We attach more genuine products than the most perfect possession.
It is no longer about trade, but about interaction. You can buy anywhere: in the store, but also at home on a PC. This development has given physical stores a new assignment. The physical location prompted a more sensory and confidential relationship. The store not only serves as a retail outlet, but as a meeting to launch a dialogue between retailer and shopper.
Retail as an API:
E-commerce is growing very quickly – arguably from a small base – but it’s been fast enough for marketers and agencies to be caught without capability or process to make it work. We’re learning quickly that the ability to use content, especially film, enables brands to tell stories in a way that has been impossible in traditional retail, which means we’re seeing work that is not just driving sales, but also building equity.
Brand marketers and agencies that traditionally focus on brand have very little experience in retail, while shopper agencies typically don’t have depth and capability in content and film. This structural issue will need to change in 2016. Real people don’t care about our marketing disciplines; they simply want the best possible experience from a brand and retailer when it’s time to shop. They already expect to click through almost every brand image into e-commerce and, increasingly, we’re seeing technology that enables them to do that with traditional media formats. This will mean that brands and agencies must start to think about retail as a single API in all forms of marketing communication.
Webroomers Continue to Buy in-Store:
The idea of showrooming may cause you to cringe when shoppers pull out their smartphones in your dealership. While showrooming is still a legitimate consideration, webrooming is actually a far more common practice. Also known as ROBO Shopping — Research Online, Buy Offline — webroomers are shoppers who turn to the Internet throughout their shopping journey and ultimately complete their purchase in-store.
These shoppers are hungry for information. From consumer product reviews to spec sheets, they’ve done their homework before deciding to visit you, and they’ll continue to augment their shopping experience in-store with their mobile device.
Make a plan to embrace webroomers by leveraging these three tactics:
- Ensure each and every product you sell is fully represented on your website — if a shopper can’t find what they’re looking for on your website, they’ll visit a retailer that does showcase it online.
- Offer free WiFi and promote it via in-store signage. Be sure that your website is the first site that pops up in their browser after users agree to your terms of service.
- Arm your sales team with tablets pre-loaded with applicable sales materials and encourage your sales team to engage with customers who are glued to their mobile devices.
Location-based marketing pulls:
Beacon technology has come a long way in the past year, and moving into 2016, beacon technology is within reach for savvy OPE dealers, especially those considering a dealership-branded app (although beacon technology can also piggy-back off of other third-party apps like online review sites and maps).
What are beacons, and how can they help? Beacons use Bluetooth low-energy technology to communicate with nearby mobile devices. You can use beacon technology to:
- Send coupons and other offers to shoppers while they are literally standing in your dealership. Example: If they are browsing for oil filters and spark plugs, connect them with 20-percent-off service.
- Show online ads to people who have visited your store and track in-store visitor information.
- Create an engaging customer experience. Example: Reward shoppers with mystery prizes for shopping in-store.
Within Shopper Marketing, personalization is a strong preference for consumers and still an area of focus for marketers. Research has shown that consumers want personalization throughout the consumer journey. The gap between brick & mortar and e-commerce is quickly closing due to more shoppers pre-shopping via digital before entering the store.
A Loyalty One consumer survey conducted earlier this year found that almost 50% of shoppers reported a problem on their last shopping trip, and four out of five of them said nothing to the retailer and just left the store. Consumers have become retailer agnostic, and with the amount of choices shoppers have, it is critical for our supermarkets to become a “one-stop eco-system” offering products, reviews, in-store and online ordering, and delivery. The most important thing, however, is to offer a personal experience, that is fulfilling and builds a relationship that transcends price, location and achieves a larger share of your customers’ stomach no matter what the meal occasion or where it is consumed.
Mobile and Omni-channel:
- Challenge: There’s a quick progression of omni-channel retailing and mobile shopping. Digitally focused consumers are adopting mobile shopping faster than many brand owners can adapt, creating big expectations for seamless omni-channel experiences.
- Solution: CPG companies will need to be aware that digital consumers will challenge omni-channel retailers, which in turn will put more demands on CPG companies. The CPG companies will have to be smarter on how they work with omnichannel partners and need to simplify data , process, and analytics to be successful.
— MEENA SURTI PATEL, assistant VP, retail and consumer goods, Cognizant Business Consulting
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said that moving forward PepsiCo will continue to hold its marketing spend at 5.9% of its sales.
She also said that instead of upping investment, it will make a shift towards consumer-facing programs, an effort Nooyi believes will give the company “more bang for its buck” in every part of the world.
This strategy will continue the company’s push into expanding its social and digital presence, but could also see a ramp-up of in-store marketing.
Embracing the customer experience model:
It’s no secret we’ve been moving away from the classic form of advertisement. Static advertisement strategies to merely attract customers are a thing of the past. With the onslaught of information, creating an engaging experience around the customer is today’s minimum ante. Now, it’s all about an integrated model to boost customer service and experience. Today’s sophisticated tools allow businesses to learn about their customers, predict their behavior and create tailored experiences designed to maximize revenue.
Interactive touchscreen digital signage technology can help not only provide an amazing customer experience but it also tracks and reports on that experience. Now you can identify buyer behavior, identify interests, measure loyalty and then fine-tune your program to capitalize on the data, increase engagement and boost conversion rates.
Omni-channel is retail consumers’ BFF:
In 2015, we know that the “Digical,” the merging of physical and digital, is important. More and more companies like Dominos, Macy’s, and Barnes and Noble are adopting an omni-channel strategy. This integrated customer experience allows consumers to have an excellent customer experience regardless of the channel.
Having a rich omni-channel presence will help you make more sales because people can make purchases easily. People can get what they want, the way they want it, how they want it.
Interactive touchscreens can help customers find out more information on a product, read reviews, watch videos, find related products and check availability bringing the informative online experience in-store.
In summary, to stay in sync with retailers and shoppers in 2016, shopper marketers should execute against these three action steps: 1) pushing their brands’ digital capabilities deeper into retailer-specific shopper marketing programs, 2) creating more satisfying digital ad experiences for shoppers, and 3) exploring new tools for measurement in the reinvented retail store.
IBM Corp. has rolled out a new app called Watson Trend, which uses cognitive computing to predict the hottest products and trends for the holiday shopping season.
The app, which is designed for shoppers but has implications for retailers and marketers, uses natural language and predictive analytics to monitor online conversations on social media, blogs and websites to predict shopping trends.
“As we are dipping our toes into the applications of cognitive technologies in the commerce space, why not start with consumers and give them a leg up to be a holiday hero this season — then take those learnings and apply them to retail and consumer packaged goods industries,” said Justin Norwood, partner at IBM Commerce and offering manager for IBM Watson Trend App.
- 3-D printing will disrupt retail
- Offline is the new online
- Audio branding will make waves
- Packaging will tell a story
- Branding goes multisensory
- Packaged food producers will respond to pressure
- Life in the very fast lane
- Hospitality brands will entice Asian travelers
Our Marketing revolves around content:
Remaining on the throne and rightly so, the demand for quality, educational content continues to grow. If it wasn’t in 2015, then content should be priority to every business regardless of size or industry. Content is KEY to inbound marketing, whether it’s written or visual, as it aims to provide information to your current and potential customers. How, you might ask? It builds trust and ensures that you are seen as an industry thought leader.
– 90% of consumers find custom content useful, while 78% percent believe that companies with custom content are therefore interested in building a good relationship with them.
Take Some Responsibility:
It seems sustainable practices are table stakes in almost every category. This increased move toward responsibility has inspired many food and beverage innovations in the name of being better.
Reducing waste, one item at a time:
Plastic bag taxes — Changing the checkout line forever by implementing taxes on plastic
Packaging innovations — Why manufacturers are focused on the outside as much as the inside
For retailers and manufacturers, cutting through the noise of communication and engaging with shoppers is increasingly difficult. However, events in their many and varied forms are providing new growth opportunities for both parties. IGD Business Analyst Catherine Ellwood looks at how well-run and impactful special events can help create closer bonds of loyalty with shoppers and what to do to get the most from this mechanism.
- 1. Bold, creative displays add the ‘wow’ factor:
Injecting color and creativity in-store instantly attracts shoppers’ attention, tempting them to impulse purchase or add extra items to their basket.
- 2. Promotional tactics which engage and excite:
While ensuring promotions are simple to understand, themes and events stand out against the broader promotional background noise in-store.
- 3. Provide mission-targeted solutions:
Convenience is a focus across all channels, whether to cut time spent in-store or to create solutions that save time later.
A huge part of the balancing act required by retailers to build a successful content strategy is making sure the content isn’t primarily geared to drive sales. While driving sales should obviously be a major objective for retailers, turning every piece of online content into a sales pitch can turn away consumers that want to know more about exactly what they’re buying.
Consumers are focusing more on price while making buying decisions in stores and online. In fact, approximately eight out of every 10 consumers are consistently looking for deals while they shop, whether they are staying up to date on sales or using coupons, according to research from Valassis.
A One-Day, Industry-Led Conference & Networking Event, 24th May 2016, Cavendish Conference Centre, Central London.
Win-Win Retailer Relationships: Maximise shelf space and stand-out in-store by working with retailers in the changing multi-channel retail environment.
Designing & Marketing Healthy, Nutritious Products: Harness today’s trends and technologies for healthy products which don’t compromise on flavour and boost sales.
Next-Level, Impactful Digital Presence: Utilise the latest online innovations to improve visibility and impact with a creative, hard-hitting digital presence.
Shopper marketing is coming of age as brands seek to achieve both cultural fame and commercial effectiveness with their advertising, Rob Sellers writes.
I predict that shopper marketing thinking will increasingly move into the mainstream. Like digital, it will no longer be considered a separate discipline and will be what clients will expect from any agency that wants to lead their brand strategy.
Visual Content is Pleasing to the Eyes
Visual Content is expected to drive engagement through the roof. What is Visual Content? Visual Content, as the name implies, is content developed in the form of visuals, whether it’s simple pictures to sophisticated infographics and videos. Brands will collaborate with visual influencers to create a positive (and astounding) environment around the brand to reflect the brand’s honesty and showcases the brand’s trust.
Evolution of the millennial generation:
There are now more Millennials than Baby Boomers and although they got a late start in their careers they are now earning money, getting married and moving out of their parents’ homes. Millennials garner a lot of attention, and they buy very differently. There is no difference to buying online or in a store. They buy 24 hours a day. Nine out of 10 prepare dinner at home three or more times per week.
A third of millennial shoppers consider environmental concerns when buying foods, over 50% back brands and companies that support their local community and 47% avoid buying from companies that have poor labour practices. They shop in 9 different food retailers over a 3-month period as compared to just over 6 for Boomers. They are spontaneous, flexible, contradictory and adventurous. It’s all about collaboration, connection, community and conversation.
All the e-commerce and retail trends underscore how crucial it is to raise marketing from single channel to omni-channel. Indeed, the line between in-store and mobile shopping is becoming increasingly blurred, and this is only expected to continue in the coming year. Therefore, the goal for retailers in 2016 is to provide consumers with a seamless and need-based shopping experience across multiple channels.
Add value for your audience and stop selling to them all the time:
Stop focusing just on making the sale, and also focus on delivering true value to your customers and potential clients. Whether this value is found in the quality of your content or in the experiences you provide, it’s becoming more and more important for marketers to ensure that value is delivered to those who interact with their brands.
Explosion of apps due to App indexing:
App indexing has been offered for Google for a while, but with the ranking possibilities for apps becoming more complex, 2016 will be the year where more business owners understand the online visibility advantages of a committed app. Soon apps will be replacing mobile-optimized site which works wonders to appeal to the mobile crowd. apps are enabled to do everything that websites possibly can, except in more spontaneous, suitable and reachable way.
Customer journey marketing becomes more multichannel, location-aware and real-time:
By embracing mobile, location, and movements, marketers will get serious about crafting hyper-relevant messaging across the customer journey, which spans the physical and the digital. On the physical front, marketers have more tools at their disposal to target customers on the pre-visit via geo-fencing; during a visit through interactions with beacons; and post-visit with multichannel retargeting. Additionally, advancements in real-time mobile messaging enable orchestration with other channels including email, display, and even direct mail.
7 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016 – Social Media …
User Expectations for Content Quality Will Soar:
As the popularity of inbound marketing increases, so does the amount of content available to consumers. This availability will continue to result in high expectations when it comes to quality and when it comes to the variety of content offerings. Smart content creators will factor in users’ preference for video and image over text, their preference for informative and useful content over blatant sales efforts, and their preference for custom content over shared content.
Oculus Rift will Change The Way That Marketers Design the Customer Experience:
In spite of the fact that it is not coming to MARKET until early in 2016, the possibilities that come with Oculus Rift are already changing the ways marketing strategists are thinking in regards to interactive content and customer engagement. Specifically, marketers who have largely ignored storytelling as a means of reaching consumers will find themselves racing to catch up, not only to begin using storytelling in their marketers but also to do it using 360 degree technology.
Hot Marketing Trends You Need to Know for 2016 …
Create an omni-channel experience:
Now you might wonder what on earth an omni-channel is. If you google it you get various answers. I like the answer from SearhcCIO. They give the following explanation: “Omni-channel (also spelled omnichannel) is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a store.”
Basically, you want to target consumers with the right message at the right time in the right place. Just like digital remarketing online, based on a consumers’ browsing history and related behaviours, you must start digitally remarketing to ‘in store’ customers as well.
Seamless Customer Experience:
Now is the time for marketing departments to begin working as one unit rather than in silos. All forms of advertising need to come together with the main goals being the sales cycle and customer service. A seamless experience for a consumer is critical. Marketers will begin using integrated tools, which can track the customer’s journey and give them the ability to engage with the consumer online. The key is to remember that you don’t want to bombard the consumer with information. Instead make it easy to measure sentiment and loyalty, plus match the behavior with outreach tailored to the consumer’s wants and needs.
Improving the shopping experience for your consumers:
Anyone who has ever bought anything from Apple knows how beautiful the experience of unboxing their products is. And indeed, Apple doesn’t just sell iPhones and MacBooks — it sells an experience, which is exactly what turns their product into something more than just an expensive material thing.
The shoppable magazine achieves exactly the same effect. Its design has an editorial look; its content has a personal touch — and altogether, this replicates a real-life experience of both flipping through the pages of your favourite magazine (Cosmo, Vogue, Allure — whatever angle you pursue) and hanging out with a personal shopper. But what is important to note is that shoppable magazine, while being exceptionally close to a print magazine experience, successfully delivers all the advantages of the web. And such a combination is something that traditional e-commerce simply doesn’t offer.
Small and Mid-sized Stores Will Rely on Content:
The more focused a business is, the more effective content marketing may be for that business. If this is true, small and mid-sized online retailers with narrow or even niche product lines may enjoy the most success from content marketing.
Mobile is just getting bigger. Ride a train or bus, sit in an airport or restaurant and it’s impossible to miss — mobile devices are everywhere. In fact, the saturation of mobile is astounding, and it’s still growing. Witness the stats:
- In 2014, 1 billion consumers owned smartphones worldwide, according to the Internet Trends 2015 report.
- Mobile use now accounts for more than half of the total time people spend on digital devices, the report states.
- Eighty percent of Internet searches are conducted on smartphones, according to data from the Global Web Index.
- Sixty-six percent of all email in the U.S. is now read on smartphones, according to the US Consumer Device Preference Report from MovableInk.
- In 2015, mobile Internet traffic surpassed desktop traffic, according to Google.
Mobile Commerce Will Move Down the Funnel:
Right now, mobile is seen as more of an influence in the retail funnel, with mobile transactions making up only a tiny portion of overall sales. eMarketer estimates that only 1.6% of total retail sales in the US will have occurred on smartphones in 2015.
That’s going to change in 2016, thanks to moves by the biggest digital companies—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon—to simplify the transition from mobile shopping to mobile buying.
Add value for your audience and stop selling to them all the time:
Stop focusing only on making the sale, and start focusing also on delivering true value to your customers and potential clients. Whether this value is found in the quality of your content or in the experiences you provide, it’s becoming more and more important for marketers to ensure that value is delivered to those who interact with their brands.
Graphics and Infographics:
The power of visuals for your content strategy shouldn’t be underestimated. 95% of marketers say graphics are more effective than plain text content.
According to Statistica.com, social networking is one of the most popular online activities, with almost three-quarters of internet users visiting market-share-leader Facebook at least once in 2015 (as of April). Overall, 73% of internet users had at least one social networking profile in 2015, which is a huge increase from the 48% of users that had a profile on 2010. It is expected that by 2019 the number of social media users in the United States will grow by about 20 million users from 180 million this year to 200 million.
The rise of ‘relationship marketing’
Anna Francis, Content Manager at Search Laboratory
Relationship Marketing is another big trend we’ll see develop in 2016. Companies will need to really humanise their brand and focus on building a loyal and trusting audience that content can be pushed out to. Engagement is so important when it comes to content marketing, and I think next year we will see more brands focus on the relationships they have with their customers and the ways in which they can turn them into life-long advocates.
Nick Fettiplace, SEO Director at Jellyfish
A potential game-changer for 2016 will be in-app indexation. Google’s aim will be to serve content from apps within its own search results, allowing users to access material from an app that they may not have even installed.
If we really are in ‘the age of the app’, then this is likely to drive downloads significantly and provide us with: a) more content and b) yet more diversity in how we access it.
It’s not you; it’s your phone:
With GPS-enabled apps such as Google Maps and Waze—which enable your smartphone to pinpoint your location at all times—marketers will create new ways to remind and reward you for stopping by their store.
Loyalty coupons are already sent to your smartphone, and will become the new way to get your business. It’ll eventually replace the old coupon-clipping routine
Native advertising still grows:
In the beginning of 2015 we predicted that native advertising would grow massively. And well, that’s exactly what happened! People are less sensitive for companies that just try to send their promotion messages without any effort to entertain them. We don’t want to see advertising messages but we want to see real people and companies with a real message. This is definitely one of the biggest content marketing and trends you’ll see that continues to grow even more in 2016! So if you want to join this revolution, be quick and leave everything you know about advertising behind!
Virtual reality, more real than ever:
There is a rumor that sounds since a few months ago: 2016 will be the year of virtual reality. Perhaps it won’t be until two or three more years from now when we can take full advantage, but the Oculus Rift’s arrival by earlier 2016 will mark a turning point in marketing strategies for companies all over the world.
- Visual marketing will continue to be big but quality, inspiration and emotional branding will rein in 2016.
- User experience is your brand. Brands must embrace designing the best user experience for their audience, readers, listeners, community and customers in 2016.
- Mobile first has been a requirement for several years. Some brands are still learning this.
- Why omni-channel marketing is a requirement, not an OPTION.
Brands will focus on promoting their mobile apps:
You’ve read the stats: m-commerce will top $252 million U.S. by 2020 (Forrester Research), and in 2016, consumers will spend 3-plus hours a day using mobile apps (eMarketer). More importantly, consumers who download apps are willingly giving up valuable screen real estate to a favored brand. To many experts, downloading an app is a reliable proxy to brand loyalty. It can be no surprise that brands will focus on driving app downloads in 2016, and will spend time, energy and resources to increase their profile and ranking within the app stores
Engagement analytics and ROI:
As brands invest in creating higher quality content, they’ll also demand a higher standard of analytics to prove ROI. Looking beyond vanity metrics such as impressions and reach, brands will want to measure value by deeper metrics such as time spent on site (and specific articles), comments and, all-important, shareability.
In line with this, it will also be increasingly important to analyse the quality of referral traffic driven by paid content distribution platforms. All of these insights must be fed back into the content production and optimisation process in a constant feedback loop to ensure optimal ROI.
COMPANIES WADE INTO SOCIAL MESSAGING:
Here’s an eye-opener: There are nearly 4 billion global active users of messaging apps, from WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to WeChat and Kik. In fact, the top 5 apps in the world in terms of frequency of use are all messaging apps. Users are popping them open more often than even Facebook or Instagram.
SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING HITS ITS STRIDE:
Haven’t noticed the exponential increase in ads on your social media feeds? That probably means they’re working. In contrast to old-fashioned banner ads, the new generation of “native” social media ads like sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram and promoted tweets on Twitter look and act a lot like normal updates from friends and followers. They’re also targeted with increasing precision. Advertisers are now able to drill down not just by age and gender, but by interests, location, company affiliation, role, and more. So the ads you get are probably the ones you actually want to see.
Q – How do you think the multi-channel approach to marketing is going to evolve in 2016?
A – There’s going to be more pressure on VPs and executives to be able to report on the performance of combined initiatives. Cross-channel attribution is going to be one of the largest moving trends throughout the year.
Q – What types of tools do you think will help track those types of efforts?
A – Marketing automation tools are where I see a lot of that multi-channel attribution data coming into play for the average marketer. Marketing automation systems are going to continue to evolve, and even more lower price options will enter the market. Lower price, front-end tools are picking up a lot of steam and market share and I see that continuing for quite some time.
Tell your brand’s story:
The rise of social media has led consumers to crave a personal connection with brands. Your customers want to see the human side of your business, and they want to relate to your brand as they would a friend.
“Storytelling through videos, podcasts, blogs or emails will stand out in comparison to text full of unrelated keywords,” says Upasna Kakroo, co-founder of content marketing agency Brandanew, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Humanization is the new automation because it helps build trust.” Get involved in your customers’ decision-making process.
Going into 2016, virtual reality will be a key priority for two media companies: Google, with its Cardboard headsets distributed en masse, and Facebook, with the launch of its Oculus VR platform.
1. Kristi Argyilan, Senior Vice-President of media and guest relations, during a shopper marketing conference in 2015: “All the data in the world cannot capture emotions, the expectations, the experiences that paint our everyday lives. In the middle of this digital revolution we must rediscover the human side of our work, the empathy, the inspiration, the emotional connection and real relevant conversation that are uniquely human”.
2. Nick Jones, Executive Vice president Leo Burnett, at a shopper marketing conference in October 2015: “The future will not likely be dominated by any one channel; it will thrive across many touch points led by brands that create well-executed hybrid experiences that drive engagement and sales, regardless of their source. Retailers are realizing that they just can’t rely on pure e-commerce
3. Brand: Tones
Key insights: Opportunity existed to promote the spice category outside traditional seasoned windows. The target consumers values recipes and advice delivered through a variety of media, and lives in a “mobile first-world” and would switch brands in real-time if offered a mobile promotion while in-store.
Activation: An integrated shopper marketing campaign ran Sept. 28 to Oct. 31 with mobile, social, digital, out-of-store promotion and in-store material exclusive to Hy-Vee.
Finding a balance:
Consumers want to have their quinoa cake and eat it too, say Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the innovation group at J. Walter Thompson.
As a result, good-for-you products – from single-ingredient beauty buys to chemical-free tampons to sustainably-sourced candy – and apps that encourage balance (like ones that track carbon emissions) will boom in popularity, she says, all helped along by chic, urban packaging and branding.
And it’s not just young adults, adds Tony Johnstone, chief brand officer at DDB. Boomers, too, are realizing their health limitations, and have the discretionary funds to spend on balanced products. “Boomers don’t want to compromise, but their bodies are making them aware that they need to live better,” he says.
Don Mayo, global managing partner at consultancy IMI International, said earlier this year, “How you go to market usually depends on the primary objective for your brand…if ‘profitable market share increase’ is your brand’s objective – and your primary channel is retail – you better focus and optimize your shopper marketing strategy. 2016 is not a year where there is a choice between digital and shopper, it is understanding how to harmonize both.”
It’s about a community of shopper marketing experts:
The Shopper Marketing Summit is where top industry leaders across all functions of shopper marketing come to share knowledge and best practices to help brands and retailers achieve success along the customer journey.
Summits attract an intimate group of senior-level decision makers and business leaders who glean tremendous value from collaborating with peers about successful and innovative shopper engagement that drives retail sales.
“I’m actually very encouraged that we’re finding that across the retail landscape, we’re all trying to solve the same challenge. I’m very interested in the ways some of our other manufacturers are solving it.”
— Associate Marketing Director, Procter & Gamble