Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Marketing Trends for 2016

Marketing practices are constantly changing, growing and evolving. With the rises in new technology these changes are happening quicker than ever before. In the past few years alone we have seen digital marketing undergo radical changes to keep pace with new emerging technologies.

It’s not enough to just spot a trend these days and then jump on the bandwagon. It is about looking beyond what we currently know as marketers and trying to stay ahead of the curve rather than behind it. With that in mind, in this week’s blog I will be looking at the top trends in 2016 to look out for.

Relationship marketing
In my very first module in the Masters of Marketing I learnt about the power of relationships in marketing practice. As smartphone proliferation continues to grow in many markets around the world, so do the opportunities for brands to engage and connect with customers.

Relationship marketing is not a new phenomenon but it is becoming increasingly important for many companies. In fact, the brands that are able to make the most rich and meaningful connections are usually those who are the most successful. So think carefully about your customer relationships and how they can be strengthened to create new brand advocates who shout loudly and positively about your business. 


The rise of the CMT
CMT is short for Chief Marketing Technologist. With the rapid rise and dependency on technology in marketing many firms are looking to recruit CMTs to their organisations. So what exactly does a CMT do? They are part strategy, part creative, part technology and part teacher, in short their role is usually to align marketing technology with the business goals of the organisation. CMT work to bridge the gap between marketing and IT, and must be able to seamlessly work between both groups. Many roles with this title will be appearing on the job market in 2016.


Virtual Reality
Earlier this year I wrote a blog about the new technology, Oculus Rift, that allows users to immerse themselves into a virtual world. While it would be silly to predict that virtual reality will be mainstream in the coming year, it will certainly be growing in popularity. In fact, in early 2016 we will finally get to see the first consumer version of the Oculus VR, otherwise known as “The Rift” headset available for sale.

The implications of this new platform for marketing are going to be immense. In the same way that companies such as Facebook have changed the social space, Oculus Rift is looking to change the virtual space. It just so happens that Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook paid $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in Facebook stock to acquire Oculus last year.


Ephemeral and video marketing
What is ephemeral marketing I hear you cry? Ephemeral simply means to last for a very short time. It is usually content that is exclusive or has a very short expiration date. Snapchat has already successfully used this technique in its platform to continue its impressive growth this year. We are now seeing growth in other platforms such as Periscope, Facebook Mentions and Meerkat, which have become popular with the younger generation.

In a world where people have less time and are on the go more often, this ‘less is more’ approach appears to be cutting through. The opportunity for advertising and promotion in live news or broadcast feeds has also gained pace this year. Video ads are beginning to dominate with companies such as YouTube hosting billions of ads each day. With consumers becoming increasingly accepting of video advertisements, the trend of them appearing in unexpected ways on the web looks likely to continue.


Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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