Advertising trends have a tendency to evolve from year to year. At a macro level marketing managers will always redefine their main areas of focus, within social, mobile and personalisation, which are crucial sectors. Because they are constantly evolving, it’s important to understand that predicting trends at the beginning of the year could gain an edge no matter how slight. This edge in today’s economic climate means the difference between red and black on the balance sheet at the end of the year. We don’t expect revolution annually in the world of marketing, but we need to understand that over the years, the way we go about getting our ‘marketing message’ over to the consumer, has come a long way. When personalisation was the ‘new thing’ it merely automated personalisation into individual names on marketing emails. We all love to think that we are important and getting personal in our advertising can bring in some significant results. There is no way back then that basic mobiles could be used like the marketing men now utilise the smartphone, and Facebook is now a well recognised and relatively simple means of ‘reaching out’ to a vast pool of potential customers. But what will 2016 bring in terms of marketing?
People are wising up to the old batch and blast system, and for effective marketing, it is time to try real personalisation. The ultimate in interaction with customers is to tailor each message just for their needs. Encouraging product reviews after they have just bought something and thanking them with suggestions for future purchasers is the way forward. These days with the right software it is simple to collect data on consumer purchasing behaviour. Using this information correctly with a more sophisticated form of target marketing is the key. Engaging with consumers in relevant ways with the ultimate goal of a sale is not a new idea, but in the digital age, this method is more powerful than ever before.
This is the year when it is so important to get it right. Never before have consumers used their phones so much, to shop, check prices and put things into digital baskets for collection at a later date. From a marketing viewpoint, mobile shopping needs to be more user-friendly and simple to perform. Budgeting to produce an app is not money well spent unless you have a product that people will order on a regular basis. Thus, groceries and pizzas are excellent. For the rest, the marketing budget looks better spent on bringing your website up to date and making it an experience your customers will relish and want to come back to.
Social marketing has a tendency to change every year, and the higher prices at Facebook for advertising Is not such good value as in the past. Used wisely, though, there is still a place for this sector, as long as it is continuously monitored for its value to the overall marketing campaign. Social media has a place and builds solid brand interest if used correctly. The aim should always be for it to create interest in your site, attract customers and also commit to a certain amount of brand loyalty. The performances of social media buy buttons on Twitter; Instagram and Facebook could go either way in 2016, but research recently carried out claims that over 30 per cent of UK shoppers are happy to make their purchases via social media. Email subscription lists are a crucial part of the marketer’s strategy here and should be used freely. The great thing about social media, in general, is that it throws up some powerful segmentation. Utilising and targeting an especially responsive demographic could be a piece of marketing budget well spent. It’s always exciting for market managers at the start of every year and in 2016, we hopefully will see advertising delivered more consistently. It’s all about getting to know the customer and having the right product to satisfy his or her need.