Every new season is chock full of top 10 lists and prognostications about what the future holds. I must confess that I have read a fair share of these and wanted to distill what I believe will be major tech trends for 2016 (and beyond) that Marketers should keep on their radar. Several of these are still in considerable flux while others are so broad or nebulous that you would be hard put to articulate what exactly they consist of. I am not going to try to add to the confusion. instead, I want to highlight some emerging patterns or trends I am seeing/reading that will increasingly affect how marketing and business are conducted. Some of these may not pan out but I strongly suggest you read up on them and form your own opinion, lest you find yourself left behind.
Going Mobile. Without a doubt, the world is getting increasingly digitally connected. Much of this has been and continues to be driven by mobile computing platforms. Be they tablets or smart phones, we are living in an incredibly mobile & connected world where our pocket portals into the digital universe are seen as extensions of our selves. Call it an addiction or infatuation, we simply feel incomplete without our portable digital accessories. What this means: The implications for business are that all content, communication and messaging strategies will need to be mobile-friendly or at least mobile-ready.
Data as a New Currency. The advent of ubiquitous data capturing technologies/opportunities, intelligent algorithms and the capability of storing & handling ever larger amounts of information are revolutionizing the business world. While this will take many forms across different industries, tomorrow’s winners will be those who are able to capture, analyze and monetize these vast amounts of information. What this means: Think of how and where you can collect information to either improve your company’s performance (forecasting, targeting, new product development,etc…) or to sell/provide value added services & insights based on this data bonanza to your customers.
Farming vs. Hunting. The rise of relationship marketing, characterized primarily by high-value content creation and the use of social medias, is fundamentally changing the marketing repertoire and creating new best practices in every industry. More than ever before, companies are able to create & track, lasting, meaningful and more personalized interactions with current or potential customers. What this means: To help create sustained customer interactions, consider experimenting with digital marketing and reallocating resources and budgets away from classical tools & practices. Consider also updating marketing job profiles to bring in or encourage new skills like content authoring, curation, SEO management, and community hosting. Oh, and watch out for the chat bots!
The Measure of Things. Recent technology advances have created an abundance of opportunities (too many?) for businesses to interact with employees and customers alike. Fortunately, many of these also come with unprecedented tracking and measurement capabilities. What this means: Leveraging these new measurement tools/platforms and conducting the appropriate performance analytics will become a key success factors for any enterprising marketing executive.
Personal Branding. What is good for businesses looking for customers is good for every one of us, be we gainfully employed or seeking new opportunities. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – although never to be considered as substitutes to off-line personal networking – are in fact our personal display windows to the world. What this means: In a competitive, evolving and uncertain business world, ambitious professionals need to embrace social media tools and actively develop their on-line, personal brand and equity.