By Stephen Dodge
There are some super sophisticated trends in store for digital marketers this year. As you'll see, overwhelmingly they take creativity and an analytical approach to execute to maximum effect, but of course, it's totally worth it.
1. Enhanced mobile user experience
Emphasis on mobile responsive design is not a new phenomenon; in fact it has been doing the rounds for some time now. In 2016, however, we're set to see our mobile preoccupation taken to a whole new level with greater emphasis on strategy considerations and investment in user experience.
It's all about taking advantage of phone hardware features, for example GPS and camera, to really enhance user and customer service experience.
For example, a customer has an issue with a defective product, so using their smartphone they visit the brand's website to report the problem. From here the user is asked to submit the run of the mill details of the issue, but then on top of this, the website activates the smartphone's camera so the user can also submit a photo of the defect as further evidence.
Certainly a space worth watching!
2. Growing mobile ad spend
As mobile's share of internet activity continues to grow (unsurprisingly), so too does mobile advertising spend, and at rate faster than any other digital segment.
Facebook perfectly demonstrates this digital marketing 'paradigm shift', with around 75% of its advertising revenue coming from serving mobile ads.
In fact, it is anticipated that by 2019 almost 80% of digital dollars will go on mobile advertising.
What does this mean? Simply put, ad agencies and marketers really must start leading creative through mobile first or risk being left behind.
3. Shift from User Experience (UX) to Customer Experience (CX)
User Experience has been front of mind for all digital specialists for the last few years, but things are set to change somewhat.
As we know, UX is all about providing visitors to your website/app/platform etc an intuitive and positive experience and effectively funnels them through to where you want them to go. One of the limitations of UX, however, is that it doesn't fully accommodate the customer's 'buying journey'.
So, savvy marketers in 2016 will be looking closely at consolidating a more holistic 'buying', Customer Experience (CX) across their digital channels.
What is CX? It relates to all interactions that customers have with a brand, across all-channels: from discovering to making a purchase, even complaining, providing support and so on. Interestingly, CX has the capacity to switch between the digital and physical (offline) environments to ensure optimum customer experience.
A prime example is online shopping. Anyone familiar with buying clothes online knows sizing and material can be a bit hit and miss, which ultimately can prove a deterrent to a final sale.
Rather than taking a 'clicks and mortar' approach, progressive online fashion retailers are getting creative with 'pop-up shops' in retail precincts where customers can try the clothes for size and style, but are still directed to the website to complete their order.
4. Marketing Automation
If you're not already familiar with marketing automation (and we bet you are, even if you don't know it), it involves specialist marketing software that captures a user's information (what they like or are interested in, where they live, what they do etc) and in turn uses this information to tailor the content they see, when they see it and where.
(It also works very effectively in combination with inbound marketing strategies.)
It has been around for several years now and is a huge growth area, in fact, 67% of marketers are planning to increase their investment in marketing automation this year. (eConsultancy)
While on a global scale it is a mature technology, it's still relatively young in Perth with many businesses unclear what the technology is all about and how it can benefit them.
In saying that, Equilibrium is having more and more conversations with clients around marketing automation, particularly where they’re seeking better ROI on their marketing spend. Odds are we'll see quite the explosion in Perth in 2016.
5. All about video
Yes, everyone knows video is big. But in 2016 video is going bigger than big, it’s going nuclear! Why?
Marketers are on board and taking advantage of the plethora of tools popping up (for example, Facebook 360 video), all because:
- Users love video!
- Faster and cheaper internet plans means video is even more readily accessible.
- Anyone can do it! There's a growing trend for in-house creation thanks to availability of new, easy to use video editing software.
- It is exploding on social platforms. Facebook alone sees 8 billion average video views daily, from 500 million users.
- It's proving popular with online shoppers: users who view a video are 1.6 times more likely to purchase than shoppers who did not view a video.
6. More integration
Most MLEs have digital strategies that incorporate integration into an external platform in one form or another, for example: CRM systems, marketing automation or Google Maps.
With increasingly sophisticated marketing strategies at hand in 2016, we're expecting to see more and more companies leverage their external systems to provide better customer experience (CX).
For example, Uber, has an API that allows your mobile app to integrate directly with the Uber system. (Triplify was actually the first Australian company to do this.)
One to watch, Facebook is also integrating Uber into its messenger platform!
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