Be prepared, this year is not going to be a boring one for us marketers!

Episodic content

Considered a “must-have” in 2016, episodic content must be included in your plans for this year. In TV advertising, we’ve begun to see some brands using this concept in their advertisements, such as the ‘Margot vs Lily’ challenge by Nike.

Marketing experts recognise that episodic content has a long lasting impact on the reader’s mind. You break your content into small parts and keep telling a story that people will follow. That’s what makes episodic content so attractive to your audience. Short videos catch the public’s attention because we are all curious and are fans of suspense. They trigger emotional reactions and leave the viewer craving to know what happens next. In 2016, you’ll need to play more with the effect of suspense on your readership.

Internet of Things

According to a Juniper Research study, the smart wearables market could generate $53 billion hardware revenues by 2019. This represented only $4.5 billion in 2014. Dubbed the next Industrial Revolution, the trend towards the Internet of Things (IoT) is on the rise and should be swiftly integrated into your marketing campaigns.

Today more than 40% of consumers are ready to buy wearable technology like smart watches, connected health devices, or smart glasses. IoT will change how consumers interact with the physical world. And as marketers we’ll definitely need to integrate these connected objects into our projects for 2016.

Mobile marketing

In 2015, we saw a continued and strong growth in mobile use, so predictably this will continue to grow in 2016. Mobile marketing includes a large number of methods such as mobile advertising, mobile videos, mobile payments, and many more.

As marketers we need to understand where to focus our energy. Mobile is not about your product or your service; it is about reaching your prospects, customers, and audiences and doing this where, when, and in the way in which they want to interact with you. Today there are 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions globally, and by 2020 there will be 6.1 billion smartphone users. Besides, 75% of Internet users had gone online via a mobile device by the end of 2015.

So if you still had any doubts about integrating Mobile marketing into your 2016 projects, now there’s no excuse!

Marketing automation

Marketing automation refers to software and applications that exist with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, media monitoring, social media interactions, paid campaigns, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.

A report shows that 98% of prospective small business buyers were looking to adopt marketing automation software for the first time in 2015. It’s clear that the interest in marketing automation software is growing.

If you’re in marketing and haven’t tried automation for your campaigns (think of applications like Hubspot or Buffer), then you are missing out on the amazing benefits a system like these ones can bring you. And bear in mind that many of your competitors might already be using marketing automation!

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is the natural follow-on to marketing automation. To stay efficient and productive, marketing teams need to move from digital “silos” to integrated teams. Many companies have already acknowledged that they need to use software that help them work smarter, faster, and better. So why not you too? They are many ways to take advantage of new technologies in order to make your team more productive and improve your team communication, for example, by synchronising everyone in one application, or in managing and storing your documents online with Dropbox.

These are the top 5 trends that I think are going to really matter for 2016, but there are many other things to look out for. The different projects to connect Africa to the Internet, the rise in adblockers and new ways to work around it, and much, much more. Let me know if you have any other big marketing trends for the year to come!

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