Marketing is complex, dynamic and volatile! It is constantly changing to technology and customer preferences. For any business to flourish requires a great deal of effort – the effort to stay up on modern marketing trends and imbibe them fast into the strategies.
To give you a leg up on the competition, here is the list of 5 key marketing trends that will dominate 2016 and the years to come.
Read through each of them and use these pointers for strategizing in marketing. They carry novelty and will help you look beyond the usual channels to stay ahead of your counterparts rather than simply survive in the competition.
1. Long-term Customer Engagement
Businesses any longer cannot get away with quick, short-term customer relationships. For successful customer retention, it is essential that they do long-term customer engagement that gives birth to strong loyalty. Focus should be not on doing loose sales talk but meaningful conversations. And this can only happen when businesses take the effort to look into the CRM, analyze the customer data, understand customers’ preferences and personalize their outreach efforts.
Personalized data-driven marketing will help businesses instantly strike a chord with their customers and create loyalists and brand advocates. They can successfully make customers develop strong emotional connections to their brands that drive word-of-mouth promotions and continuous lead generation.
2. Wearable Technology
This will be a new entrant to the realm of marketing in 2016. Marketing experts expect the wearable ‘smart’ devices to be leveraged for gaining more traction in the market. Large scale enterprises will pioneer this practice and SMBs and SMEs will soon follow.
Marketers will use wearable wristbands and watches to interact and engage with their potential audience in newer ways. Consumers can also share their brand experience with their friends online through these devices.
For instance, with a tap on the wristband, they will be able to share company posts and photos across social media. This will be a great advantage to the brands.
Note: Wearable technology has already begun to show its impact in seminars. A section of marketers have used it in conferences to engage with all event attendees in real time.
3. Marketing Automation
This might sound like a broken record, but data suggests that Marketing Automation will take on a BIGGER role in 2016. (Much more than what we have seen till now). Reason being the multifarious ways in which businesses will have to market their product/service offerings to the existing and potential customers. With even more marketing channels to take care of and campaigns to run, marketers will have no time for relief. And what will further add to their woes is the task of running all these campaigns manually.
That’s precisely why businesses will look for robust marketing automation software solutions that can run multichannel campaigns at scheduled time and date. New-age CRM systems with marketing automation module will sell like hot cakes!
That’s because these CRMs’ marketing automation module will allow scheduling campaigns, segmenting contacts, automating social media posting and tracking the progress of the customers in the marketing funnel.
CRM will take care of everything while marketing managers and CMOs will stay lean and focused on other crucial activities, without worrying of the execution of the campaigns. They can analyze campaign results and frame improved campaign strategies to successfully engage prospects, qualify leads and quickly pass them over the fence to the sales guys.
4. One-stop Apps
Till date we have seen company apps to be strictly related to their product/service offerings. But the scenario will change this year when many brands will try and make their apps a one-stop solution. Apps will not just be used as a marketing platform but will also help consumers in other essential aspects of life.
For instance, an apparel based app will provide weather related information to consumers, help them track their fitness level and food input, and suggest best personalized dietary plans.
The objective behind converting apps from being solely marketing focused to having multiple features is to increase their value in the eyes of the consumers.
For instance, consumers are more likely to opt for one comprehensive app than have one app for weather, one to track fitness level and one to monitor food input. So brands will broaden the functionalities of their apps and incorporate other essential features to make them more enticing for installation.
5. Referral Marketing
It’s an age old concept of word-of-mouth promotion that will get re-branded as referral marketing. The wall between sales and marketing will be broken and both the departments will merge into one. Marketers will work with their sales counterparts to provide customers an awesome experience with the business. The objective obviously behind this will be to get maximum referrals.
Instead of shouting and advocating the company’s offerings by themselves, marketers will look forward to do the same through their customers. That will look more genuine and will definitely have a greater impact because these customers will be promoting the brand only because they have received positive experiences from it.
For instance, between Company A and Company B, Company A will definitely score higher if its marketing is done by its customers than the employees. Isn’t it?
So to boost marketing revenue in 2016 and beyond, businesses will put self endorsement programs on the back-burner and let referral marketing lead the marketing campaign from the front.
2016 is bursting with new marketing developments, namely Long-term Customer Engagement, Marketing Automation, Referral Marketing, Wearable technology and Comprehensive Apps. At the end of the next year, it’ll be interesting to look back and see how these trends performed. Did they ruled or fizzled out? And did something new and unexpected emerge as a trend?
Out of this list, which trend do you think will shine or sink? Share your ideas in the comments below!