Digital Trend 2016: my point of view

In the last days of the year every digital marketer works for the budget of the next year planning the most performing activities following the digital trends in his mind.

Which are the digital trends in 2016?

In my case budget / strategy and target are the same plan.

I have started some years ago to work on a framwork to support the concept of the user as center of the communication. For that i always say that User is the King, not just the content: Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Experiential Marketing, Neuromarketing are the tactical activities that compose the matrix of a digital strategy of a brand that is not separated at all from the whole strategy although they could belong to different departments.

Here you can find 10 digital trends or idea for 2016:

1) Back to the mission

When a brand mission has been rooted in the mind and in the hearth of the consumers they become the real owners. Brand must build and maintain the mission of the brand to create a special relationship with the consumers.

Working in that direction means that they have to Create a business as Unusual, Share a story that affects user’s mind and give power to the users.

2) Personas

The Brands must know very well the users to estabilish a lasting relationship, do do that they have not to limit to analyze profiling data like age, gender, purchase history, but they have to go further including the behavioural data to understand how they interact with the brand.

That’s not all!  Next step will be include the consumer intents that represent the new micro-moments of truth: I-want-to-know-moments, I-want-to-go-moments, I-want-to-do-moments, I-want-to-buy-moments this is the way to bulid Personas with a name, a job, a life..that interact with our brand.

3) Contents

Contents does not represent a new trend, but is a digital process ongoing that year after year become more important not just for the users but for the marketers too. I think that we have to work for create contents framework to work with and  provide for each content an objective and a numeric goal to reach that depends on the previous KPI that has determined the creation of the content.

The Content Framework must be strictly alligned with the Consumer Journey of the Company to related step and KPI.

If the consumers become the owner of the brand and the Brands have to give more power to the user, contents marketing is the tool to develop crowd sourced brand contents. Open the browser and search for Samsung S6, is the ranking covered by official Samsung video?

The crowd sourced contents is a trend and we can not change it, but we can use it for our purpose focusing not anymore in creative excellence, but in content excellence using the tool based on mobile and visual centric like Periscope and Instagram…

4) Big data

One of the big challenge of 2016 will be to manage the big amount of data that our users create when interact with our brands. First of all we have to let the data be homogeneous as they come from a huge amount of sources, then the second step will be to work on a structure to maintain the dta volume and the performances.

Big data in not just a subject of IT department and marketing, but must involve all the level of the company to define the processes and the KPI to generate reports and extrapolate the data aggregated in a Business Intelligence tool usefull to to support the decisions and the next strategy of Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Logistic.

5) From Consumer Journey to Experiences

With the consumer journey we have defined all the touchpoint online/offline where the user can interact with the brand in the different micro-moment: I-want-to-know-moments, I-want-to-go-moments, I-want-to-do-moments, I-want-to-buy-moments.

In the Consumer Journey framework that i use in the matrix i can relate the different touchpoints with the screens and the differnet step of the consumer journey. Brands have to implement gradually a new concept that is represented by the sum of the Experiences. What are the experiences?

Experiences are the sum of the omnichannel Moments in which Personas interact individually with the Brand.

6) Digital Platform Omnichannel

Ideally all that activities are managed with a tool that aggregate all the touchpoints to create and deliver the experiences. That tool are called Marketing Automation tool. The marketers could so manage in one platform the newsletter, email trigger (welcome, birthday, abandoned carts..) Social network publishing, Facebook custom audience, SMS, Landing pages, Display advertising, A/B testing, iBeacon integration..

Untill now i have no huge example how the digital is moving integrating online and offline through that type of tool, but i think that is the way to proceed. I dont know if iBeacon and NFC will be the right actions, but we have to start as our consumer already have that mindset and we are following.

8) Increase of mobile

The 2016 wil be the year of mobile, not just for the increase of use of the mobile devices (tablet and smartphone), but for the spread of mobile paradigma. Probably there will be the explosion of App usage and Brands will move into app world. Im not a fan of Brand in that world if they have nothing so innovative to share. I mean that users look for innovative and unusual app to use as social currency to deal and share with their friends. Consumers loves to talk and share opinion as they need to tell something interesting so other people can think they are interesting. An other App with just About us, product and store locator section wont have future.

Visual desing is moving into mobile feature as the increase of the usage of that device let the two world be more and more in touch, so there is a trend to connect deskotp and mobile, going in that direction we have to support users helping them for example in the icon menu.

App probably will be part of the SEO strategy with the ASO (App store optimization) for the ranking of the app in the stores as well for the indexing of the Apps in the search engine.

9) Wearable and IoT

In the 2015 we have seen the launch of the iWatch and the relaunch of the smartwatch more and more performing, but always with the problem of battery life.

The cost of hardware will decrease gradually so more company will join that segment that will manintain a wall even for entry level technology. Even in that case consumers need something original and interesting concerning wearable and IoT  ad they need to share and they need to be considered interesting people. The market will continue to be dominated by few big brands and many start up.

10) KPI

The last point is more a wish than a trend. I wish for 2016 that all the marketier and agency will set their mind to work for clear target defined from the KPI of the different channels and step of the consumer journey. I still see too much digital guru, digital manager, social guru, agencies, consultants that continue to work thinking digital maketing and not thinking about Marketing. They see a piece, but not the masterpiece. We have to open our eyes, it doesnt exist a digital marketing without marketing, no online without offline, no tablet without desktop..

So i go back in that my trip to my first paragraph about the matrix of the four area of marketing: Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Experiential Marketing and Neuromarketing.

Usefull link:

Kotler Marketing 3.0, Contagious Jonah Berger, Content Marketing Smartinsights, Thinkwithgoogle,

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