Like seasons, trends come and go. And in an industry where change and innovation happen every other week (if not every other day), it’s not easy to pin down what the next big marketing trend will be for 2016.
However, we do know some things. Three things, specifically.
Mobile Marketing is the way to go
With mobile apps really paving the way, mobile marketing is becoming an integral part of connecting with users. Google even acknowledged recently that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries.
Malaysia is fast emerging as a nation with tech-savvy innovators and consumers, and it’s only a matter of time before mobile marketing dominates the Malaysian market. And 2016 may just be that time.
Toddlers as young as 3 years old have access to smartphones nowadays. As for the older generation, you have everyone from C-suite execs to coffee shop uncles who regularly log on to their smartphones; and we’re not even talking about millennials yet. In fact, about 1 in every 2 Malaysians uses a smartphone. That shows you how much opportunity there is for Malaysian brands to reach out to new consumers.
And that’s the thing about mobile marketing – the nature of it in itself is already so personal that, with a smartly positioned campaign, you can almost guarantee engagement.
Just look at the progression and relevance of billboards, to TV screens, computers and now smartphones – we’re zooming in, literally, closer and closer to our audience. That’s what mobile marketing is about and that is why brands should definitely look to develop and strengthen their new and existing mobile marketing strategies.
Keep an eye out for the Internet of Things
We expect that 2016 is also going to be the year that the Internet of Things (IoT) will start snowballing into effect.
IoT is all about physical objects being embedded with software or electronics, which allow the object to become “smart” – it can do anything from tracking your activities to sending emails, depending on the product. Wearable technology such as smart watches are an example of this and those have already started becoming part of our culture.
Just last year, Apple, Samsung, even China-based Xiaomi released smart watches (or in Xiaomi’s case, smart bands) which can be synced with their smartphones. Even L’Oreal has jumped on the wearable technology bandwagon – and they’re a cosmetics company. So you really don’t need to be a ‘tech’ company to start incorporating the IoT into your marketing efforts.
And what’s great is that branding exercises involving such devices create even more intimacy between brand and consumer. We’re already on route but the IoT is going to even further push the boundaries of what is considered “online” marketing and “real” marketing.
Content marketing will continue being relevant
With technological advances changing the game ever so often, at least we can find some solace in the fact that some things remain tested and true.
If there’s one thing that needs repeating, it’s that content is king. Regardless of what your brand is all about, content marketing is the great glue which helps keep all your branding and engagement intact, which is why it’s still going to reign in 2016.
But brands need to heed that in order for successful content marketing to happen, we need to allow the brand to be itself. Your brand is great and should have its own distinct personality shine through – this personality is what will keep your audiences entertained, intrigued and engaged.
In 2016, brands need to look towards striking a balance between technology and creativity. These two vital aspects need to come together to create products, experiences and content which engages audiences on a deeper level.
Malaysian brands (and by extension, Malaysian agencies) are by no means incapable of thinking big and creating amazing, cutting-edge marketing. Marketing success in 2016 will boil down to how we make available technology and platforms work for us. Here’s to an interesting year ahead!