Jessica Schramm
Jessica Schramm 12 January 2016

Our Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016

From social customer-service to homemade stunt videos, see what digital trends we believe marketers will be getting excited about in 2016.

Just like every new year, 2016 brings with it a whole host of emerging digital trends and new challenges for brands. To follow on from our end-of-year round-up, here’s our obligatory peek into what we predict will be big this year, as told by our team of digital experts…

Integrating social media and customer services

Maxine Catley, head of community management

“Customer services won’t work in 2016 without social media. Consumers now expect a lot more from the brands they buy from. Thanks to our mobile-first culture, the world is literally at our fingertips – and when it comes to customer service, convenience is key.”

“It’s now consumers who choose the channel through which they communicate with brands, and it’s up to those brands to make sure their users’ needs are being met in real-time by integrating their social and customer services teams.”


The rise of the Instagram influencer

Kirstie Smith, head of social media strategy

“For me, 2016 will be all about the rise of the Instagram influencer. The fastest growing social network now comes with its own ‘Instagram famous’ celebrities, and marketers need to be aware of that. People trust people, not brands – and the biggest brands on Instagram are people.”


“This year, companies need to carefully consider Instagram within their social strategy and as part of their marketing mix – how can they leverage the reach of the Instagrammer tribe, and how should they be working together?”



Grabbing attention with homemade video

Matthew Bowell, head of client services

 “I think cheap, homemade stunt videos will become ever present for brands in 2016 as a means of grabbing consumers’ attention. The opportunity will be to come up with a technique or mechanic that has never been seen before and wows the customers, giving them something beyond the usual branded content. The challenge, though, is to ensure they stay on-brand as well as ahead of the curve.”



Doing more with customer data

Adam Cox, head of development


“As data gathering continues to rise, the end of generic “one size fits all” marketing is drawing closer. Consumers are seeing more and more personalised content delivered to them in every form of communication and advertising, and as this becomes standard practice users will start to tune out of traditional campaigns.”


“Brands, especially multi-location retailers, face the challenge of having to gather as much relevant data on consumers and their expectations as possible without becoming intrusive. This data will be priceless: knowing if a customer is a vegetarian, for example, can be vital for a restaurant chain when sending an email campaign about a new menu.”



The vital role of relationship marketing

Kate Watkins, head of marketing

“With smartphone adoption on the rise, the competition brands face when trying to connect with customers will be closer than ever. Quick, short-term acquisition and individual sales will become less important – relationship marketing will play a key role, and brands will need to develop strategies to build stronger loyalty and long-term customer engagement.”



Investment in content quality

Kelly Smith, head of content

“Right now, three of the biggest barriers to content quality are insufficient understanding of best practice, the wide availability of cheap, poorly executed content and a lack of planning and measurement.”


“We’re also seeing brands increase their spend on content, both written and visual, across channels. With this growing focus on online copy, we have the opportunity to demonstrate the professional rigour that’s essential to its effectiveness.”


“If brands are to cut through the noise, and convince increasingly savvy consumers, they’ll need to invest more in quality rather than quantity. That means sharper targeting through customer insight, a greater depth, richness and relevance of content, and a distinctive, consistent tone of voice. All crucial ingredients for making messages stick.”

So, 2016 is set to be a busy one – and now that you’re raring to go, why not sign up to our blog to make sure you don’t miss any digital news and advice this year?

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