There are new iOS and Android upgrades released every year. While some are major in their scope, others are minor and merely offer revised iterations of previous features.
The same principle can be applied to marketing trends – while some years bring groundbreaking developments, others simply see the continuation of existing techniques and strategies.
This year is set to belong to the latter category. The boundaries of SEO and digital marketing will continue to shift, but there will be no unexpected trends to look out for.
Here are five pivotal marketing trends for 2016 and beyond.
1. The drive for a seamless consumer experience
Historically, alternative aspects of marketing have worked as individual units in a bid to optimise different areas of expertise. This is no longer considered to be best practice, however, as the need to create a seamless and consistent customer experience is forcing various marketing elements to collaborate as part of a single, cohesive strategy. Customer service will also play a role in this, as this is increasingly being considered as a raw and proactive form of marketing.
2. Rise of the savvy customer
In truth, the age of the savvy and switched-on customer arrived years ago, but it is in 2016 that they will help to eradicate the type of 'in-your-face' marketing that has thrived for decades.
Modern advertisements and CTAs must therefore be considered, clearly defined and less aggressive, while also fitting organically within a wider, comprehensive marketing campaign.
This will work as part of the seamless experience, while less jargon-rich and overly promotional material will help to retain the typical customer's interest.
3. All about mobile
There is no surprise here, as smartphone usage and m-commerce continue to influence consumer trends and behaviour. More than 60% of customers now complete purchases through a handheld device, for example, while Google has also recognised this by implementing new algorithms that enhance the ranking performance of mobile-friendly websites.
This is the most important marketing channel to crack in 2016, and while some brands have understood this others have not. Look out for bingo sites, which have certainly taken heed of this lesson, creating promotions and messaging that is tailored specifically for mobile gamers across the globe.
4. Social media will become the glue that holds your campaign together
The need for a seamless campaign will by underpinned by social elements in 2016. Social should feature in every aspect of marketing efforts in the year ahead, from advertising and brand awareness to the delivery of emotive and real-time customer service. While this medium offers access to a huge, global audience, however, it is still preferable to take a targeted approach to optimise ROI.
5. Content is still king
Content is still king and nothing has changed in this respect since 2015. It is important to keep this in mind, however, as the quality, relevance and engaging nature of content is central to retaining customers and building entry points into long-term relationships. Blogs can also be used to build an appealing narrative around brands and products, and this can offer a huge advantage over market rivals.