2016 promises to be a year of great change and development when it comes to marketing and promotion. Social media, smartphone technology, and the internet in general are quickly changing the way in which we interact with the world  – which means that marketing strategies are going to have to advance fast to keep up with the zeitgeist. If you want your company to remain on top of the marketing game, here are some trends to watch in the upcoming year:
1 – Get Personal
No longer can you simply aim marketing at broad demographics. Modern people are becoming used to a semi-constant stream of increasingly personalized content. Anything which isn’t directly relevant and which engages on a one-to-one level with their own character is likely to be ignored by vast swathes of potential audience members. Advertising is everywhere nowadays  – as a consequence of which, people have got incredibly good at filtering out anything  which doesn’t speak to them on a personal and individual level. This is a tough ask, but finding ways of personalizing your marketing is going to put you ahead of the game in this changing world. Developing interactive content is a good way in which you could start to personalize your content more. Advertising through things like games and quizzes with which the audience actively engages is an interesting and growing avenue of marketing.
2 – Go Mobile
Gone are the days when the best way in which a company could promote itself was to take out a series of enormous billboards. Now, the advertising real estate everyone lusts after consists of the seven square inches of a phone screen. More and more of us are getting the majority of our information about the world from our mobile phones . If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, make it so, or be left behind. Promoting your business through apps is increasingly becoming the go-to way to make a name for yourself in the world of marketing.
3 – Limit Damage
Social media is a great tool for reaching out to and engaging with your customers. But it also allows your customers to reach out to and engage with you. The bad old days, when customer complaints could be redirected endlessly around the echo-chamber of a call centre are (thankfully) over. Now, an angry customer is likely to express their pique upon social media. Everyone loves to feel righteous indignation against the perceived Goliath of a corporation – and posts which paint your company in an extremely negative light can be lighting up screens around the world within minutes. Poor social media management  can have extremely negative consequences for a company. So much so that many business insurers are now taking long, hard looks at a company’s social media policy before deciding upon premium prices. If you want to lessen the potential of being skewered by a viral post, it’s important to have a team on hand who can deal quickly, smoothly, and calmly with upset customers. Plenty of damage could have been avoided had the company personally responded to customer complaints in a swift and respectful manner.
4 – Be Respectable
As well as being respectful, it’s also important to be respectable. Pop-up ads which obstruct a page people wish to view (for example) are not great marketing – they’re annoying, and will frustrate viewers. Furthermore, they smack of the kind of unsavoury sites with which you certainly do not wish to be associated. Notices flashing across the screen, adverts blaring out unasked from speakers, website redirects – all of these things not only irritate customers, but bring to mind the kind of ads which pour malware into a computer. Everyone by now knows what a dodgy website looks like – and it’s stuffed with all of the aforementioned ‘marketing’ techniques. Keep your advertising respectable, or risk losing clicks.
About the Author: Gemma Dawson
Gemma is a freelance writer and mother. She has a background in business, in particular HR and when her first child was born decided she wanted a balance between enjoying her family and work so took to writing whenever she can. When she’s not writing or parenting she can be found with a good book or covered in mud walking an extremely bouncy Springer Spaniel!
Further Reading Daniel Newman, “4 Technology Trends Disrupting How We Communicate”
 Chris Hastings, “How too many adverts are interrupting your viewing”,
 BBC, “Brain ‘irrelevance filter’ found”
 Pew Research Center, “12 trends shaping digital news”
 Compare NI, “Business Insurance”