Marketing and Advertising Trends to Watch in 2016

Marketing and Advertising Trends to Watch in 2016

(Image: BE June 2014)
CommonGround (l-r, Sherman Wright and Ahmad Islam), 2014 Advertising Company of the Year (Image: Black Enterprise, June 2014)

With three months left to the year, the timing couldn’t be better to take a look at a few marketing and advertising trends that will shape 2016. Most people would agree that in order to shape the future, you must understand the past and explore the present. So here’s what we know about a few trends that shaped the marketing world in 2015:

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  • Influencer marketing and content is king. According to a recent study, “92% of consumers trust recommendations from others—even people they don’t know—over branded content.”
  • Mobile marketing and advertising are key components of a digital marketing strategy. Mobile Internet usage has increased. And with 79% of smartphone users having access to their phone for 22 hours out of the 24-hour day, both small and large businesses have found success with mobile advertising, using platforms such as Periscope, SnapChat and Kik, to name a few.
  • Brand Partnerships: Brand partnerships are nothing new but they continue to be a key ingredient in helping brands attract an untapped market or revitalize an aging brand.  This year, Amazon partnered with JetBlue, and most recently Netflix teamed up with Virgin to offer premium services to its customers.
  • Storytelling: Regardless of the platform, people love a good story. Whether it’s shaping a brand’s story through a series of images or allowing audiences to create and share their own stories through social media, finding innovative ways to spread the word about a brand has proven to be very successful.

So where do we go from here? To gain some insight into future trends in marketing and advertising in 2016, Black Enterprise caught up with Ahmad Islam, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Commonground, a Chicago-based marketing agency. Commonground was Black Enterprise’s 2014 Advertising Company of the Year. Check out Islam’s tips below:

Mobile continues to be such an effective domain for engagement. Creatively tapping this venue will require advertisers to get their tech chops up. Here’s why – we know it’s not about ads. Yes, when done right, native advertising provides some assistance. But true mobile success will come from creating technology solutions that solve problems for customers, right on their mobile devices.

Influencer 3.0
Leveraging influence in digital and social media is not new, however, the way the advertising industry looks to engage influence is changing. The past models of “pay me for a tweet or a YouTube video” will linger but will significantly decline in effectiveness. What will replace this is business relationships between advertisers and influencers. Not to be mistaken for endorsement deals, influencers are looking to build their own bonafide businesses in the digital space. How to engage them in ways that are authentic, affordable, and viable with the proper levels of risk management will challenge advertisers on this front. As an agency, we intentionally situated ourselves at the epicenters of culture and its evolution. Our five offices are each located in the epicenter of culture, so not only do we know what is bubbling in the C-suites, we know what is bubbling in the communities.

Internet & Data Insights
With all the talk about data, it’s surprising how little of it is actually used by advertisers. Other industries are light years ahead of advertising when it comes to applying data insights. As consumers’ lives become more connected by their devices and environments, we will need to better tap into how data is affecting how we live. We live in an age where your car will tell your phone it needs gas and your phone will plot the best-priced gas station that you should stop at on your way to work. Because your phone knows that at 8:30AM you’re on your way to work. The challenge for advertisers and agencies will be to understand and implement product development and problem-solving that can benefit the brand in similar ways. Otherwise, CEOs will find other partners to help them in these areas and not rely on marketing efforts.

Do you have any tips on marketing & advertising trends that will shape 2016? Share with me in the comments below.

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