Each year, the marketing world welcomes a host of new trends. Some flare, flicker and die out, while others take root and flourish. Here are a few of the trends we saw gather momentum throughout the year that promise to continue getting results into 2017.
Tighter Audience Targeting
The tug of war between privacy and personalization continues, but personalization is continuing to gain, inch by inch. Users might chafe at the collection of their information, but they respond enthusiastically to the personalization that same data collection allows them to experience online. Facebook, Google, and other tech giants are working harder than ever to serve up personalized online experiences, and that means that content creators and advertisers have more opportunities to reach more specific niches than has ever been possible in the past.
Now, not everyone sees 2016’s wearables trend as a marketing trend—yet. But when you look at it from another perspective, it’s clear why we should be keeping an eye on this trend for marketing purposes. Wearables, from watches to rings to necklaces, are the natural extension of the mobile evolution, and there’s no denying the marketing paradigm shift that increasing mobility has instigated. Mobile visibility has become a key element in online marketing campaigns, and its importance is only going to grow as the mobile device marketplace becomes more robust and more agile with the introduction of effective, attractive wearable devices.
Did you just double check the year in the title of this post? Okay, so apps aren’t a new trend, but they definitely earned their place on this list. Why? Because 2016 is the year that the potential for apps to replace a huge segment of the traditional site-based internet became fully realized. We haven’t made the transition yet, not fully, but as millennials continue to spurn site-based social media for their app-based counterparts, and companies slow to jump on the app bandwagon flounder, it’s clear that we’re in the midst of it.
The tech is there to design a more personalized experience for users, as we mentioned before—and 2016 also brought us the tools to make delivering that experience more efficient than marketers had dreamed possible. Established platforms like Hootsuite have exploded with new and streamlined options, and that’s only the beginning. Even buying ads has become an automated process, with algorithms designed to find what marketers need and where they need it automatically.
Shifts in Purchase Decision-Making
There’s a definite shift in purchase decision-making timelines—buyers are making the decision to purchase faster than in the past, influenced by the availability of archived reviews and ratings. This is driving content creators and marketers to whip up high quality content and disseminate it to influential sites. As search engine algorithms continue to evolve, customers expect to find their precise needs after a few taps of a fingertip—online marketers need to have the information available to appease that expectation.