We’re set to see lesser of what we saw and some more of what we hope we didn’t see.
1. Marketers will up their investment in content marketing
Marketers are head over heels in love with content marketing. Over the course of the past two years, marketers have learnt that content is key to success in digital – for search, engagement, social media marketing and CRM.
Content marketing is finally coming of age with the launch of online marketplaces that have virtually uberized (!) the activity of searching, contacting and buying content by bringing content producers and content users together on one platform. A marketer can now go to such a marketplace and buy content that fits the marketing strategy from any listed publisher at the click of a button. Or a swipe, perhaps.
Which means that more junk is headed your way. More listicles if you are B2C. More jargonized garbage if you are B2B. But huge piles of junk hurtling directly at you.
2. More high-profile business leaders will take to social media
Encouraged by the social media success of politicians like Narendra Modi and Shashi Tharoor, to name two, more and more business leaders will begin to engage directly with their customers and the public at large using twitter and Facebook, among others. Discussions on taking the plunge have been doing the rounds for a while, but in 2016, we shall see many head honchos logging in. The PR team is already at work crafting a memorable 140 character line for the first tweet ever.
More junk. Carefully crafted and hard to ignore, but such solid, admirable, pontificating junk.
3. Influencer marketing will come of age
The years 2014 and 2015 saw many platforms uberizing (sorry) the influence trade by bringing together influencers (cough-cough) and brands (read digital agencies). 2016 will, however, see further uberization (sorry again). We will also see a maturing of this market as a result of the evolution of these platforms with deeper insights, gamification, user interfaces and functionality. This will result in a greater adaption of influencer marketing by brands, and on the supply side, it will see higher enrollment rates (after all, who doesn’t want to call himself an influencer).
The uberization (stop reading already) might, just might, look like this:
InfluencerGo: your neighbor next door who hasn’t accessed twitter in three weeks will magically sign paeans to your brand
InlluencerPool: the uncleji and the auntyji who will tweet your lines in between tweeting for your rival brands
InfluencerXL: Everybody in your country will tweet the same damn thing
InfluencerBlack: Access only if your username is mukesh.ambani
4. Telecom providers will become media companies
2015 was the year in which the big debates on Net Neutrality took place and the line between a utility service provider and a content production/distribution/marketing agency got blurred. 2016 is the year in which the line disappears entirely.
A conversation in 2016 might go like this:
“Sir, am calling from Telecom X. Good deal, sir, if you switch from Telecom Y”
“Sir, we have free music, video and news sir. Badiya sports bhi. Le lo sir”
“Sir, we can offer you a CPC of Rs 1.50 for every click on App Z, and sir, the actor can sing your jingle too.”
“Eh? What? How the hell did you know I’m in marketing”
“Heheh. Kaisi baat kar rahe ho… aur app digital marketing mein ho…” Click.
5. Personalized and localized advertising
The big advertising guys have finally figured out a foolproof method to integrate digital and TV/Movie advertising. It started out as a way to measure effectiveness of offline advertising, but we will see beacon technology being used to advertise on your device while you’re actually watching a movie or a television serial.
An evening at your cinema might go like this.
You are watching: Akshay Kumar:
Your phone beeps. Your app notification shows: Available at the interval in the multiplex you’re in
PS: Happy New Year
PSS: The word uberized has been used only FIVE times. Count your blessings!