In my childhood I was lead to believe I would have a robot maid by now. But some things don't seem to advance as we imagine.
On the other hand, no one told me I would be holding a device in my hand with more processing power than the first full-room-size computer. They also didn't mention it would be my wallet, my phone, my radio and my walk-man all rolled into one. Yeah, I said it - walk-man. You know you cherished it.
But what has the future delivered to us? Here are a few #marketingtrends I am watching in 2016:
1. Customization of the RelationshipIf nothing is worse than a cold call, then bland email is its trusty companion. With the advent of amazing inbound marketing, these technical dashboards allow for mind-blowing customization of the nurturing process. Marketers will continue to give thought to the unique process each person is on in the buyer's journey and tailor the experience with customized landing pages, better visuals, and honed-in persona development which reaches far beyond demographics and directly into an ideal customer's psyche!
2. Experience Shopping
The gift of the millennials was to refocus the buying process and associate it with experience. Not only are people buying more experiences and less stuff, but integrated payment methods and technical search capabilities will make social media platforms more rich in social proof and engagement opportunities. Technology will continue to make this buy-and-share social media search easier to implement, but the businesses who succeed will have really embraced the experience aspect of it.
3. BYOI (Bring Your Own Internet)
With the inevitable "interneting" of all things wearable we are adding to the massive amounts of data for marketers to understand. Once it is understood, it has to be leveraged correctly. If you are sick of hearing the words "big data" wait until you are left behind scrambling for a tool to engage customers in real-time based on what they are doing and where they are located.
We are all well-aware that Minority Report-type of advertising is here. As far as #marketingtrends are concerned, this is going to force marketers to become behavior-driven and indeed, intuitive.
4. In the Moment Marketing
Twitter broke the seal on the concept of ephemeral marketing. It was hard to get people to understand that marketing can last 3 minutes and still be profitable. I'll admit, it has been the hardest aspect of #marketingtrends in the last 5 years for me to completely understand and embrace.
The reality is that people want to digest their information when and where they want it. They will only tolerate marketing that is fun and embraces this "live in the moment" aspect if they are followers of this movement. Companies that master their message and give their call-to-actions a lot of power will emerge as winners of this trend.
5. Sales and Marketing Automation
I meet with CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Marketing VPs every day and I constantly hear anxiety about the success of their lead generation and prospect nurturing strategies. I also speak to many in this group who don't have said strategy in place and are feeling major anxiety about where to start!
Using a marketing automation platform allows you to schedule emails, segment contacts, automate work flows for nurturing customers into the buying phase, aggregates social media posting, manages and rates content, tracks the lifecycle of customers from "just browsing" to "ready to make a decision", and provides meaningful analytics for quick course correction. If that just blew your mind, just download our FREE guide to inbound marketing here. More important than the tasks, however, is the #marketingtrend of demanding reports that show how campaigns are delivering results. Companies with a platform that CONNECTS their sales and marketing departments together are going to emerge triumphant in 2016.
With no robot maid, I must get going. But as 2016 progresses, I look forward to delivering quality brand strategy and campaigns for our company and our clients with these trends in mind.
This post was written by Priscilla McKinney, CEO and resident Momma Bird of Little Bird Marketing. As a full service agency, they provide full branding overhauls, website development, and extensive digital strategy including inbound marketing packages. Hear more from this Momma Bird in her podcast, Ponderings from the Perch. Read more on her blog or follow her on Twitter @LittleBirdMktg.
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