5 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2016

Wondering what to expect in the coming year? There’s a few interesting changes in marketing trends that may just surprise a few of you.

Here’s a short primer of some of the big shakeups happening in marketing and the whole Internet of Things this year:

2016 Marketing Trends

1. Digital Advertising Will Surpass Television Ad Placements

Look out NBC, this little thing called the Internet has your number. And it’s going to be dialing to the tune of billions, taken out of your pocket in the coming year! Predicted to be the top media category of the coming year, digital ad spend is predicted to rise in leaps and bounds in 2016 and for many years to come. Maybe more of us are ready to hang up our cable boxes than the millions of cable subscriptions worldwide indicate?

There’s no getting past the current ad spend trends and predictions for the coming years though:

  • More than a 16% increase in digital advertising in both 2014 and 2015.
  • Digital totaled 80% of television ad spend in 2015.
  • Digital spend is expected to reach $69 billion in 2016 and $95 billion by 2019.
Image Credit: seanrnicholson/Flickr

Image Credit: seanrnicholson/Flickr

2. Video Advertising Will Become More Widely Accepted by Platform Users

Social media platform users are already showing a change in how they view video pop-ups and those annoying little 60 – 90 second pre-pops that many of the big media sites are forcing users to watch before they get to the juicy content (I’ll admit that I’m as susceptible to celebrity gossip as much as the next person and the celeb sites have this one down pat).

Ad views, according to Google, are way up. And there’s no sign that things will change in that regard. It’s a sign that users are becoming more accepting of video ads online, and as that marketing trend continues, expect to see more types of video ads popping up in more unexpected places. With Google’s ownership of YouTube, the possibilities are virtually limitless. YouTube, Facebook, Bing — all have their own respective advertising platforms in place. Google’s showing massive innovation with their advertising morals in 2015/2016, showing favor to in-serp video ads as of late.

It’s now or never if you’re looking to build your brand!

3. Head for the Hills! Mobile’s Taking Over Your Desktop!

It should come as no surprise to anyone that mobile traffic finally surpassed desktop visits in over 10 different countries this past year. If you’re a marketer with a budget who still hadn’t mobile-optimized your sites as of April 2015, you might have had to learn about Mobilegeddon the hard way. While a site that’s only optimized for desktop-only will get no love from the Googs after the springtime apocalypse, the search engine is perfectly fine with a site that caters only to mobile — they’ll rank you as they see fit and put you in front of whatever audience searches for the terms you rank for.

I can’t imagine why or how desktop traffic will fade away, or how mobile is a standalone preference. I just shelled out on a sweet 4k 32″ monitor and I would rather work on it than my tablet or smartphone any day of the week. Some people have no choice and others simply don’t care about the viewing and productivity pleasure offered by a large high-def monitor over their devices.

So how this affects marketers is simple: if you’re one of those tardy types who’ve been banking on that old site from 2010 that, while offering great info or a hard-to-beat offer; still forces mobile users to pinch, swipe and scroll unnecessarily, you’re in for a rude awakening when Google shuts down their search engine love for you! Get on board or get off the interwebs!

4. Location-Based Marketing Technology Must be Adopted by Most Marketers in 2016

How can special events, retail and charity-based marketers create an interactive experience? They must target users directly at the point of engagement. Location-based marketing technology, like RFIDs and iBeacons, will help 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.

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 organizers can let visitors easily share their experience with their friends online. Brands can increase shares and likes with a simple photo and tap of the wristband to share across social media.

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 (including push notifications) about the latest news, reducing the need for delayed email communication.

Image Credit: dennis crowley/Flickr

Image Credit: dennis crowley/Flickr

5. Facebook Will Don its Social Crown

Facebook has been named as the most effective advertising platform by industry executives, according to a new report from eMarketer. Executives from 29 companies graded the “Big Three” social platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Along with up-and-comers labelled the “Emerging Three”: Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. A variety of categories were chosen to grade each network including creative capabilities, ad targeting, measurement and ROI.

The report was named “Social Advertising Effectiveness Scorecard: Industry Execs Grade the Leading Platforms.: It asked the execs what grade they would give each platform for ad targeting effectiveness.

  • Facebook was awarded an A for its ad targeting capabilities with Twitter and LinkedIn each receiving a B.
  • Across the “Emerging Three” platforms Instagram was given a B grade while Pinterest received a B+ and Pinterest a B-.

In 2016, Facebook will update its status to THE leading social media platform. The ever-increasing mobile audience will drive its digital dominance in the upcoming year and beyond.

When it comes to how the U.S. spends its time online:

  • 1 out of every 5 minutes people use mobile are spent on Facebook.
  • 1 out of every 6 minutes people are on the Internet are spent on Facebook.

Not much new here really. There’s plenty of other trends to watch for. Trends I’m not convinced will have a huge impact on advertising. App Indexing is something to watch out for — but FREE is still on the forefront of anyone’s mind who’s looking for an “app that’ll do that.”

Wearable Tech is another interesting segment to watch out for. But how many people really want to buy a $500 plus dollar watch knowing they’ll have to shell out more bucks just to get it to do anything?

Obviously, advertising across the board when it comes to the IoT will get evermore expensive in this year and those to come. That’s just inevitable.

Are you up for the challenges and wonderful opportunities awaiting marketers this year?

Share your thoughts on these or any other marketing trends you’re aware of as everyone gears up for what’s to come.


Main Image Credit: Craig Dietrich/Flickr


  1. 5 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2016 – Previomedia.com | mylecturesblog - […] via 5 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2016. […]

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