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Marketing and Advertising Trends in 2016

Updated on December 13, 2015

Dependent on Dynamic Variables

Marketing has always been a complex activity, especially since its success depends on several dynamic variables. It has to strike the right the balance between an organization’s objectives and the ever-changing customer preferences and buying behavior. Moreover, the rapid evolution of technology will continue to shake and change marketing fundamentals. Early adopters of the latest trends will have a stronger fighting chance, which is why it is critical to predict the trends.

Purchasing Decisions to Become More Complex

The actual buying of a product or service is the most concrete or visible step taken by a consumer. However, there are several steps that a consumer typically takes before making a buying decision. Broadly speaking, these include need recognition, searching for information, and evaluating alternatives. Over the last decade, an increasing number of customers have used the Internet to search for information and evaluate alternatives. According to a survey by GfK Insights, 82% people research online before buying a product.

This trend is expected to grow in 2016, with the buying decisions being increasingly influenced by considering recommendations. These recommendations could be from social media posts by friends and family and even from reviews written by people whom the customers don’t actually know.

Consumer Behavior & The Consumer Decision Making Process

Bid Goodbye to Traditional SEO

With new Penguin revisions planned for 2016, the ROI from traditional SEO is expected to become negligible. Most SEO practices being followed by companies since 2000 will become completely obsolete in 2016, says an article published by Forbes.

Paid Promotions to Become More Challenging

A large number of people downloaded ad blockers, both on their computers and their mobile phones. An even larger number opted out of telemarketing lists as well as cable subscription. These trends would continue in 2016, according to an article by Marketing Insider Group. This makes paid promotions more challenging. Information about consumers and their buying patterns would need to be used more strategically in order for paid promotions to retain their edge.

Content Marketing to Garner Momentum

An increase in content marketing budgets is expected in 2016. More marketers would need to create and publish content that target more precisely what their customers want. Content may be in the form or written articles, apps, videos, infographics, etc.

Content Marketing for 2016

Mobile Marketing will Dominate

In 2015, mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in 10 countries, including the US, according to a report by Google. The report also mentioned that the search giant had released an algorithm update intended to phase out websites that were not optimized for mobile. Moreover, people surfing the Internet using their cell phones are more demanding and less patient than those using PCs or laptops. Therefore, in 2016, consumer expectations for relevance and immediacy will need to be more aggressively met.

Mobile Advertising Spend Rising

Data for Marketing
Data for Marketing

Increased Dependence on Data

All the trends predicted for 2016 increase the need for relevant data. Whether it is to understand buying behavior or to identify what is most relevant to a consumer, data will play a key role in strategic decision making for marketers. The focus will increasingly shift from consumer acquisition to engagement and retention, says an article by Digital Turbine.


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