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Mission-Driven Marketing Blog

15 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 That Could Destroy Your Business


Marketing today is a new game. Here are the digital marketing trends that you need to learn and implement now to make sure that your competition doesn't win.

1. ROI "Return on Investment": Social media is great for traffic, brand awareness and customer engagement but as you move down the sales funnel the other digital marketing tactics are vital. It’s time to get serious and focus on what matters. Moving beyond vanity metrics like traffic, likes and sharing to the sharp end of the sales funnel.

2. Digital Assets: Your website is your most important digital asset. It's the one you own and have the most control over. Google, Facebook or Twitter don’t have control here. But a website should be a living, breathing and evolving honeypot that keeps bring people back to read and view. For most sites the blog is or should be the content hub.

3. Thinking Global Instead of Local: Small thinking needs to be discarded. The world can now be reached with a tweet, an email or a blog post that is shared on social.

4. Crowd sourced brand content is essential: Your customers and fans can create many more stories, content and conversations about your brand than you could ever hope to build or buy on your own. Scaling content on your own is expensive and hard to do.

5. The Rise of Robots: Digital marketing platforms provide automation tools that allow you to publish and market at scale.

  • Email: Automated email sequences can be designed to run from opt-in to purchase without human intervention.
  • Social: Tweets and Facebook posts that were all done by hand are now loaded, scheduled and automated.
  • Paid Digital Advertising: Knowing what works and what doesn’t makes sure that we are spending our Facebook marketing dollars on the right creative, approaching the correct target audiences and identifying the calls to action that work best.

6. Email is alive and kicking: Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack – a chatroom app for teams in workplaces says this about email. “The reason email survives – even though everyone seems to hate it – is that “email has many benefits, it’s the lowest common denominator for official communications”. To those that expect email to disappear….wait another 30 years!

7. Personalization has Arrived: There are now a variety of digital marketing technologies from email to marketing software that are now available that can provide personalized marketing. They are also within the resources and reach of most businesses. They will allow you to do personalization at scale.

8. The Data Scientist is your next hire: The web now provides us with the data we need to determine what works and what doesn’t. The guesswork is disappearing. A/B split testing can be automated. The new emerging media sites like Buzzfeed, Viral Nova and Upworthy’s success is not from just creative excellence  but data driven decisions.

9. Mobile is now your first screen: You only have to look at where most of Facebook’s revenue comes from (over 75% is from mobile advertising) and it becomes clear that smart phones should be a big part of the marketers focus.

10. Powerfull digital platforms for all business: They are customer CRM and digital marketing automation software such as Infusionsoft, Ontraport, Hubspot and Marketo and many more. Once they have been acquired by the business the next challenge is learning how to use them.

11. The continued rise of paid social media advertising: Don’t pay for traffic until you know what it produces. That is why advertising on the web and data scientists are a match made in heaven.

12.Influencer Marketing takes off: Nike pays Tiger Woods and many other athletes for one thing. Helping them reach the right audience. Online influencers and niche bloggers now offer this for brands to reach targeted global audiences. They offer not only global reach but credibility and trust. Companies are now willing to pay for that attention.
13. Virtual Reality is Real:  It’s still early days but the rapid evolution of virtual reality and the big investment by players such as Google and Facebook with its Occulus Rift acquisition for $2 billion is setting the stage for immersive marketing. Marketing webinars that educate while wearing a virtual reality headset will have incredible engagement capabilities.
14. Wearable technology takes its first steps: As the web becomes noisier and more crowded the use of wearable technology by marketers will be tested. Standing out will become even harder and marketers will need to find different ways of communicating with potential customers that work.
15. Mobile Apps for all business: In the past the cost of developing an app was high. Today the costs are plummeting as the technology has improved. The domination of the web by mobile will lead to companies realizing that an app is no longer an option but a necessity.
At Tapp, we take a 360 degree approach to customer engagement-before, during and after acquisition-while converting them into loyal customers and brand advocates.

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Kyle Barkins

Written by Kyle Barkins

Kyle Barkins co-founded Tapp Network with more than 10 years in marketing and application development, and calls on his experience to enhance the usability of web and mobile applications for high-conversions for our clients.

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