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JJ’s 2016 predictions

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So, let’s make one thing clear from the off, we’re not going to show you anything new.

2016 is going to be a big year for marketers but for the most part, the big marketing trends for 2016 will centre on existing and emerging trends that will gain momentum or evolve in the New Year.

As a top marketing agency in Oxford, we make it a priority to stay informed of the latest industry updates and predictions. With experts in PR, digital, creative, media and many other areas of marketing we are very fortunate to call ourselves integrated marketing experts and have been able to utilise this resource to create our predictions list for the New Year. Follow the contents here to learn more.

Quality content

Content seems to be the buzz word of the moment but it’s actually been around since before traditional marketing even existed. Why is content getting so much airtime at the moment? Because brands and marketers alike are realising the importance of offering consumers more. It’s no longer enough to repurpose shoddy content. The internet has created an environment where the consumer can find exactly what they want, where they want it.

In order for brands to compete they have to be creating or curating exciting, original content in all its forms. 51 percent of B2B companies intend to increase spend on content marketing next year, which means more businesses, and not just consumer businesses, are seeing the importance of quality content representing their brand.

What do we mean by content? It’s not simply spinning out a story or news article and putting it on your blog hoping the world will read it. Good content has value – whether that’s through informing, educating or entertaining its audience – and it can encompass everything from infographics and white papers to video and case studies.

Ad blockers

The ad blocker issue has already caused a bit of a stir in 2015 with City AM becoming the first UK publisher to block the use of ad blockers. The controversial issue is set to get more of the limelight next year as more online publishers deliberate the ethics of ad blockers and weigh up which is more important – user experience or the revenue that comes in from advertisers that keeps them online in the first place.

We see 2016 putting an end to this dilemma, or at least paving the way towards a utopia where marketers, the reader and the publisher may be able to coexist and benefit one another. Next year may be a little early to see such a harmony but as the industry continues to evolve, with consumer experience and relative ads being more of a focus, it might not be as far away as we think.

Tech

VR and wearable technology have had lots of headline space this year and that only looks to continue into the New Year. As the first consumer virtual reality headsets launch next year we’ll start to see the technology become more accessible and, once this happens, it can only mean further development.

The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are due to be launched during 2016, which will come with the integration of various other technologies including social and video channels.

Wearable tech has also seen a big focus this year with independent brands and retailers coming out with their own devices. Like VR, as wearables become more common we’ll start to see a greater integration with other technologies, the most significant of which is the Internet of Things (IoT). This is another area that is set to grow in 2016 as more companies team up to deliver a wholly connected lifestyle to consumers, where your coffee machine orders you more coffee as you run low and your Fitbit learns your sleeping habits.

The IoT is set to be a huge talking point next year. And as predicted in this article, we forecast that it will be rare that you’ll see the IoT discussed in 2016 without mention of security. As our world becomes more connected, it’s inevitably going to be at greater risk of being hacked, so the question will be – do we favour simplicity over risk? Or will developers win out and offer a concept that saves people time and effort whilst keeping their private details, well, private?

Video

Video content has been around for a while but as technology such as VR and mobile developments gather momentum, video is set to be a big part of this revolution. It was also announced that Google was testing video ads displayed in search, which could mean a huge change for the search industry in 2016 should it be rolled out in the New Year.

Similarly, 360 video and VR are likely to get even better in 2016 with technology and techniques advancing to give marketers more opportunity and flexibility.

Whatever happens, it’s likely that video will be a big consideration for marketers and brands next year.

Personalisation

Just as quality content is being focused on and we push to see an end to the need for ad blockers, the emphasis on personalising ads and content is predicted to be big in 2016. Just as consumers don’t need to read or watch low quality content, they also don’t need to read or watch anything that doesn’t relate to them.

As technology develops, companies are getting better equipped at using data to better target their ads so that they’re relevant and on point. Brands will utilise this data in 2016 to better forge relationships with their customers and deliver content that’s both personal and relevant.

Programmatic

Programmatic has been around for several years but 2015 has seen the word bounced around in excess. 2016 looks to be no different, with advertisers realising the potential for their clients.

It’s likely that programmatic will enter real-world situations such as politics, as well as continuing to be utilised for ensuring that a brand’s ads are showing at the right time in the right place. Currently, programmatic is treated as a feared monster where everyone is talking about it but very few truly understand it. 2016 is likely to see programmatic being much more widely used and understood by both marketers and brands and devices will be better utilised in the process.

Mobile

Now we’re just taking the mick. No, we hear you, mobile’s importance has been shouted about for years and when Google put the fear of God into every website owner when it released ‘Mobilegeddon’ earlier this year it made a very clear statement that if you’re not mobile friendly, you’re not welcome.

Since then everyone has wised up and 2016 will see this go even further. Next year it’s likely that marketers will focus on mobile conversions and strategy, so be sure you’re prepared.

In conclusion, yes, there are going to be a lot of changes next year but they are all changes that have been a long time coming. The biggest emphasis will be on quality and ROI. The customer is getting ever choosier – and quite rightly so – meaning, ultimately, that we will have to up our game, again. Rather than fearing the unknown, brands are urged to embrace it – this is our opportunity to show who we really are to our consumers, with no cutting corners.

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