“Technology and social media continue to turn business and life upside down,” said Richard Torrenzano, CEO of The Torrenzano Group. “Yet many marketers and communicators still ignore key digital trends, are slow adopters of new forms of storytelling, and are playing ‘catch up’ to meet dominant new social media developments.”
Torrenzano highlights the top five digital trends for 2016 that communicators and marketers will need to master.
Trend # 1—Crunching Big Data into Intimate Knowledge
Big Data is a big stupid without analytics. The demand and need to sift usable knowledge about consumers and customers from big data will be the most valued expertise in 2016.
Companies—from retail to healthcare, real estate to banking—are finding market intelligence brought about by good data analytics boosts profits. Retail is a great example. According to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, retailers who embrace big data analytics yield a 60% boost in margins and a 1% improvement in labor productivity.
Trend # 2—Internet Stars Are Growing Up
Online Influencers will be to communications, what digital was to traditional advertising.
As many brands today pound their chests about how great they are — a turnoff for today’s informed audience—consumers and customers would rather hear from a friend or someone they trust, find entertaining or helpful. Consumers will respond to Influencers—rather than brands—especially Millennials and Gen Zs.
Influencers will be a key way brands will reach the largest upcoming generations of consumers. Through YouTube and other digital media platforms, Internet stars have emerged since 2011. More are born every day—and many are beginning to grow up and monetize their influence.
Trend # 3—Mobile Optimize or Fail
Mobile optimization is not optional. In early 2015, Google leveled the playing field for digital marketers when it updated its search algorithms to favor mobile devices.
This is more than being mobile friendly, a site that can function on a mobile device. With mobile optimization, the user flow is seamless, content is fitted and designed for mobile.
It’s critical that every company or organization’s website is continually updated and maintained to suit consumers and customer needs as well as Google algorithms.
Websites are a 24/7 storefront, regardless of industry. They must be kept contemporary in look, feel and functionality.
Trend # 4—Post-Digital Thinking Emerging
Social media is a form of communications. It is digital media, not technology.
In sophisticated companies, we have begun to see a post-digital thinking emerge in which digital media is so ubiquitous that it ceases to be a separate category.
Companies can no longer allow messaging to change among or between departments or geographic regions. These partitions dilute key messages and gives rise to campaigns that fail to lift the entire enterprise.
Trend # 5—Capture Magic Micro-Moments
Win or lose someone in an instant. Some 87% of mobile users have their smartphones at their side day and night. Nearly 68% of smartphone users check their phones within minutes of waking, and Millennials check their phones an average 150 times per day.
To take advantage of these micro-moments by mobile users, marketers need to anticipate and commit to be there when they occur and deliver relevant solutions to consumers’ needs. They must also provide answers and connect to what mobile users are looking for, and then capture micro-moments during instants when consumers want to know, go and buy swiftly.
Guest contributor Richard Torrenzano is CEO of The Torrenzano Group. To learn more about the top five digital trends for 2016 download the complete Torrenzano white paper.