Look into the future: digital marketing in 2016

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Digital has become an integral part of the world we live in. In 2016 we’re going to see several things happen to take us ever closer to full-on integration between the real and digital worlds.

Mobile Marketing

The first shift will be towards mobile marketing. In a loud and busy world marketers and advertisers are increasingly having to grab the attention of those of us who are always on the go. Inevitably we have less time to engage potential customers through traditional channels.

Mobile facts

  • In Japan, 90% of smartphones are waterproof as the younger generation like to shower with them
  • Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone or losing signal
  • The average person unlocks their smartphone up to 10 times a day (for us that figure is a lot higher!)
  • More people in the world have mobile phones than toilets

In 2007, a third of all global internet users came from mobile versus two thirds from desktop. 2014 saw the tipping point where mobile and desktop were equal. Now, mobile accounts for over two thirds of internet usage and over 2 billion people a year are using their Smartphones to go online.

Studies show that mobile users now check their phones more than 1,500 times a week. In marketing terms, that’s 1,500 potential interactions with each of your customers in any given week. It’s no longer a case of asking whether mobile marketing is important, we know it is! It’s now a question of using the statistics to understand how consumers behave when using different types of mobile devices and what their preferences are. The implications are clear - if you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, or you’re not providing a satisfactory mobile experience you will miss out compared to competitors who are.

Despite the growth in media time, some advertisers are missing out on a huge opportunity with mobile advertising. Currently, mobile ad spending accounts for 49% of digital ad spending, but that figure is expected to rise to 72% by 2019. Time to think about getting ahead of the curve!

Data visualisation

Data visualisation has been hot in 2015 but its still not being used to full effect. We expect to see more interactivity within the data visualisation space – in other words making infographics interactive and therefore improving engagement with data and the company or brand.

Emerging devices

Wearable tech has also been hot in 2015 but get ready for things to explode in 2016 when we'll see a boom in the number of us inviting this tech into our daily lives. We’re already seeing the influence of wearables on healthcare, fitness and education and we expect this to continue to grow. The wearable technology market is set to exceed £4 billion by 2016. Ultimately, these platforms are only as good as the apps behind them so there’re plenty of exciting marketing opportunities to explore.

There is a focus on making everything in our lives smart. We’re seeing significant investment in smart machines including robots, self-driving cars and other inventions that are able to make decisions and solve problems without human intervention. Expect a lot more of this in 2016!

Increasing focus on brand recognition and engagement

As consumer trust in traditional advertising has declined in the UK we’ve been experiencing an increasing focus on brand recognition and engagement through social media. Many recent studies have found personal recommendations and consumer opinions (through reviews) are most likely to lead to a decision to buy. In response many brands have already long-established themselves on social media platforms to and some have even set up specialist customer service Twitter handles to deal with customer questions and complaints in realtime. We say it every year, but moving forward no marketing plan is complete if it doesn’t include social.