Top 5 Marketing Communication Trends for 2016


Marketing communications aka MarCom is the way in which a company communicates with the market. Such communication occurs in a variety of ways, ranging from textual to interactive messages. The main objective of marketing communication is to portray the suitability of a product for client’s needs. Technically, it constitutes the “Promotion” component in the Four P’s of marketing mix, namely, product, price, promotion, and place.

Tracing the history of marketing communications, we can go back to about 3000BC where we see the Babylonian tablets carrying message of a scribe, ointment maker and shoemaker and then, to about 1477 when the first English advertisement came to being with William Caxton. Following newspapers and magazines, posters and hoardings took the weight of ads succeeded by television and lastly, the internet revolution. With each of these developments, we face change of strategies: a move from purely-factual to emotive pieces on products. The shift was subtle and most of the marketing occurred with both of these integrated.

With the internet, the methods of fusing them together have evolved so much so that the product begins to emerge as an organism that the client sees as a necessity in his/her life. In 2015, ad fraud and streaming services took center-stage along with the amplified impact of social media and mobile channels. Here are the top five marketing communication trends that will dominate 2016. While some would be the growth of movements that began in 2015, the other trends will find their starting points this year.

Ad-Blocking will be a pandemic!

Throughout 2015, publishers faced loss of $20 billion due to ad blocking with over 195 million active ad-block users throughout the world. There are two categories of ad-blockers: those who wish to avoid ads altogether and those who want to block out certain types of ads. When ads are blocked, users realize that the performance of mobile sites is bettered and therefore, prefer to do so unless the ads are of particular preference to them.

Why do people block ads? Because they feel that the ads are not relevant to their needs. Companies need to make sure that the ads are meaningful and targeted at the right set of audience. The young and tech-friendly sets are repulsed by the traditional tactics of advertising and thus, need revamped approach to marketing the product.

The rise of Customer Experience model

Marketing is today becoming a crucial bridge between the customer service and sales processes. By using integration, marketing can appropriate and retain customers. This will involve the use of tools that would track buying itinerary of the client, measuring the loyalty towards the product and to put out company response to match this amount of inclination. Since most of the online users are already facing information explosion, they depend upon reviews on customer experience before making the final decision. Thus, in 2016, we will see the coming of brand ambassadors with greater significance and a stronger association with sales and support to positively impact conversion statistics.

Social media will be the breeding ground of customers!

Social media is the mirror of customers’ lives. Twitter and Facebook are live commentaries, right out of their autobiographies. These digital matrix stand as reflections of what the evolving consumer base (most importantly, the youthful users) expect of the company. Enterprises only have to hear their demands and this would provide them with what they need to instill in their products. Social media can be used not only to check out how your product should be designed but also to create a loyal lifecycle for the product by interlinking experiences that users share and providing feedback on any negative comment. The most important thing on the social media is that every user matters: you never know which of the comments is an eViral! Did you know that Cadbury used Google+ to get in touch with over 2.5 million supporters and Getty Images posted an outstanding video of 873 images to portray its collection (which has over 2.5 million eye-counts)? Thus, in 2016, companies will need to extract the potential of social media to gain and retain customers on one hand and to increase and sustain their product-life on the other.

Emoting the Game

The highest chance that visitors would buy a product is if the brand story connects with their lives. This could be done through the primal feelings that populate every person’s life: suffering and happiness. Psychology Today posted a piece on how emotions determine what we purchase stating that the emotional reply to an ad has greater impact on the consumer’s intent to purchase the item than the content of the ad. In 2016, companies need to sell their product as they would introduce a companion. The product must have a life of its own which is marketed carefully- with a personality and narrative. Check out Guinness “Wheelchair Basketball” and CoorDown’s “Dear Future Mom” for perfect examples!

Sharing Stories, Sharing Lives: Crowdsouring Experiences

With eYeka, Coco-Cola received 3,600 replies to its online invitation for advertising ideas. The act of making your customer the active part of product marketing allows for the consumer base to associate intimately with it. 2016 will require brands to open their marketing pads to their consumers so that they can write the story of your product. In every customer, you will find hidden a potential outstanding advertisement that could bring to you thousands of other people who will connect to the ad through the person and presented emotion. The Guardian mentioned the significance of crowdsourcing for brands who intend to exploit the digital world for marketing, putting forward examples of Oxfam and Coco-Cola.

Leave your comments on how these marketing trends are going to influence the promotion of your brand in 2016.

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Author : Sahana Rajan Date : 28 Jan 2016