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No doubt about it, 2015 has been a successful year for business marketing especially with the popularity of social media as more and more people have access to the Internet.
In previous year, eMarketer had predicted that the number of internet users worldwide will surpass 3 billion in 2015. And as at November 2015, more than 3.3 billion people have access to the Internet worldwide according to the latest reports.
Nowadays, it’s all about digital marketing as the internet continues to play a major role in how business marketing is done.
Big trends for marketing agencies in 2016
So what are the six big trends for marketing agencies in 2016? What will play a major role in business marketing in 2016? What does 2016 hold for marketing agencies?
In one of its recently published articles, The Guardian featured six industry experts and their predictions on the big trends that will shape 2016 for brands and agencies in 2016.
#1]. New work mindsets for Generation Y
Who are Generation Y? They are those born between 1981 and 1999. In his view, Mark Cowan of Happen UK believes that a new agency era is on the horizon.
If you’re not already thinking about different ways to motivate, recognise and reward your teams in 2016, then it might be worth putting it on the agenda, he further stated.
He believes that 50% of the agency workforce are likely to be made up of the Y Generation by 2020. So what should agencies be thinking about? “Essentially, work needs to feel inventive, preferably in a way that helps people to feel like they have created the way of doing things,” he stated.
He believes marketing agencies should think about how to adopt a new work mindset as it will be essential in continuing to deliver great outcomes for their teams and clients.
#2]. Real-time, personalised conversations
Sarah Todd of Geometry Global UK believes that 2016 will see rise of real-time and personalised conversations.
She also believes that 2016 will witness retail analytics, where retailers track the movements of customers, engage directly and nudge them to buy well in real-time, in-store.
She thinks this will be made possible with the help of free Wi-Fi and mobile everywhere.
“Until now, we have been able to track shopping behaviour and engage with people via loyalty programmes, e-commerce, social media as well as at the till, but real-time, personalised conversation in the physical world has (frustratingly) eluded us,” she further stated.
#3]. Digital transformation
Mette Davis of Marketing Agencies Association believes that we will see a more aggressive focus on digital transformation within both marketing agencies and client organisations in 2016.
According to her, there is the need to move from the traditional siloed approach to working as truly integrated teams.
Mette believes this will be partly driven by changes in consumer media consumption and purchasing behaviour.
Also, she thinks digital transformation will help address the current skills shortage by encouraging collaboration and shared learning, as well as attracting a more diverse workforce to the industry who offer fresh thinking.
“Agencies will develop creative ideas that are more relevant for today’s consumer and sell more for brands,” she further stated.
#4]. Retail as an APISimon Hathaway of Cheil believes e-commerce is growing very quickly – arguably from a small base – but it’s been fast enough for marketers and agencies to be caught without capability or process to make it work.
“We’re learning quickly that the ability to use content, especially film, enables brands to tell stories in a way that has been impossible in traditional retail, which means we’re seeing work that is not just driving sales, but also building equity,” he said.
He stated that brand marketers and agencies that traditionally focus on brand have very little experience in retail, while shopper agencies typically don’t have depth and capability in content and film. This structural issue will need to change in 2016 according to him.
#5]. Real action to re-balance the gender diversity issue
James Whitehead of J Walter Thompson believes that if 2015 has been a year of talk, 2016 will be the year of action on the issue of gender balance and diversity.
“It’s vital that we get this right,” he stated. Not only is equality a pre-requisite for any industry in the 21st century, but diversity of thought a requirement too, according to James.
He said, “as an industry our thinking drives the advertising that influences culture and society – and the quality, relevance and acceptability of our product is driven by our talent.” James thinks imbalance and a lack of diversity adversely affects their work.
#6]. A media and advertising reunion
Fern Miller of DigitasLBi believes that 2016 will be a media and advertising reunion year.
She stated that as the real world descends into turmoil and real people retreat to their homes to watch Netflix and hope for the best, the two protagonists of the advertising industry’s own romcom – advertising and media – will inch toward a reconciliation years after their bitter divorce.
According to her, a formal reunion seems on the cards. “We could be looking at a cross-agency tryst within one of the holding groups or a more formal agency merger, complete with a slightly embarrassing party or two at which a visibly matured version of the original party reenact the high-spirited days of their youth with a heaving buffet and too much champagne”, she stated.
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