Would it be nice to dream of owning a crystal ball?

The thought is great but the reality is that it is nice to await the unexpected but we can at least try and be visionary and gaze in to the future! Well we have gazed partly in to the future to see what is happening now and beyond 2016 for the next  marketing trends that will help you grow your business and see you kept ahead of your competition.

Marketing Trends

Marketing Trends

Relationship Marketing

Enter relationship marketing from stage left! As smartphone adoption continues to rise with an estimated 2 billion consumers worldwide expected to own a smartphone by 2016, the opportunity for brands to be connected with their customers and prospects is set to be closer than ever.

The goal of relationship marketing is to focus on building stronger loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than on quick, short-term customer acquisition and individual sales. This helps companies develop strong, emotional customer connections to their brands that drive word-of-mouth promotions and lead generation.

So, how can companies personalise their marketing efforts? We don’t need our crystal ball as the answer is in…Data. We now have data in easily accessible formats through which we can develop strong relationship-marketing plans.

Intrusive, mass-target approaches to marketing will continue to dwindle as marketers who focus on relationships grow their businesses. All solid relationships are built on trust. Transparency between customers and brands is essential and so pressing the send button on a campaign to thousands of prospects might not yield the best results!

Automation of Marketing

As marketers today are spending at least 50% of their time on content, companies are coming up with more ways to automate marketing.

Using a marketing automation platform makes it easier to schedule emails, segment contacts, automate social media posting, manage your content, and track the lifecycle of customers in your sales pipeline or marketing funnel.

With even more focus on marketing to deliver results then marketing managers should be taking stock of their team’s skills, noting the gaps and defining a robust automation strategy to help sales through engaging prospects, qualifying leads and shortening the overall sales cycle.

Location, Location, Location,

How can marketers create an interactive experience?

This is done by targeting users at the point of engagement by using location-based marketing technology, like iBeacons and RFIDs to make this possible. iBeacons are small, inexpensive transmitters that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to detect nearby devices that can be housed in retail stores, point of sale displays, and merchandising areas.

iBeacons can also help event attendees make the most of conferences through sign up and engagement in talks and sessions. Furthermore, LinkedIn integration offers the opportunity to connect with attendees and send messages about the latest news, reducing the need for delayed email communication.

A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a small electronic device that contains a chip and an antenna, providing a unique identifier for that tag. RFID wristbands, cards, and apps enable event attendees to interact in new and engaging ways. Event organisers can let visitors easily share their experience online and companies can increase shares and likes with a simple photo and tap of the wristband to share across social media.

It’s all about location, location, location and our ability to make the most of it, in real time.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality technology, like Oculus Rift, will inevitably have a huge impact on the way that marketers engage consumers in 2016. One of the biggest keys to marketing, especially to Millennials, is personalisation and with the ability to literally tell 360-degree stories, companies should be able to engage like never before.

Companies who don’t supply a virtual experience for prospective customers, such as retailers, may  see a drop in sales and the adoption of VR this year and beyond will undoubtedly cause some kind of shift in marketing thinking and if you board the VR ship now you can see beyond the horizon.

Join us next time for part 2 of our crystal ball gazing to see the latest marketing trends to be adopted for 2016 and beyond…