Three minutes: Five marketing predictions for 2016.

It’s that time of year again - where we take a look back at what we’ve accomplished and start focusing on what and how we’ll be prioritizing in the upcoming year. Based on the work we’re experiencing with our clients, we have five predictions for trends we’ll see in the world of marketing 2016.

1. SEO is back and more important than ever.

The SEO bandwagon feels cyclical: it started in the early 00s, atop the Internet bubble and peaked in the early 10s, with marketers all looking for ways to game the results for newly minted search engines. Eventually Google (and yahoo! and Bing) realized the better long-term business plan was to defend their user experience product relevancy by implementing a more context-sensitive algorithm for search, effectively ending the game of “hide the keywords.” This put SEO on the back burner for many marketers. Fast forward to 2015 —the rise of content marketing has catapulted SEO back into fashion, albeit in a more relevant semantic context. While there’s nothing overly sexy about the concept of keywords and SEO, we predict we’ll see an increasingly strategic use of keywords and tagging for all communications - both internal and external - with no slowdown in sight.

2. Organizations swap employees for users.

Based on what’s happening with the primacy of digital for external audience marketing and communications, we’re predicting a shift in internal communications processes and practices, starting with a change in lexicon for the traditional internal target audience. MarCom professionals will continue to think beyond the term “employee” and traditional cascade models and start building comms plans based on “user” experiences, creating opportunities for more internal two-way dialogue across all levels of the corporate enterprise.

3. Engagement goes from a buzzword to a metric.

For years, external marketers have been focused not just on reach, frequency, followers and likes, but on creating true engagement with their marketing and branding. Internal comms will follow suit - looking for ways to increase overall engagement with the messages they are sending out as well as more tangible ways to measure it.

4. Content will still be king, although formats will vary.

2015 will go down as the year that most organizations finally embraced video and social as critical expressions of brand and tangible parts of their marketing and communications plans. This will continue to be the case as competition increases as production and implementation costs decrease.

5. Adoption of social and mobile practices lead MarCom planning processes and plans.

While many B2B marketers finally incorporated social and mobile into their marketing strategies and plans, the vast majority of campaigns still begin with more traditional marketing elements (sales materials, direct mail, advertising, etc.). We’re predicting this to change with both campaign and plan development placing a higher emphasis on social and digital channels, requiring a more distilled and streamlined message. Instead of marketers focusing on the deepest content first, instead they will focus on smaller, more direct messaging and then build broader and more technical content as a secondary focus.

Bonus insight:

Yep, we said five (because everyone likes odd numbers), but we’ve got one additional expectation for 2016.

6. PowerPoint remains, but expectations for visual presentation will increase.

Our experience has shown PowerPoint remains a critical communications tool for internal and external audiences. And given the number of “decks” that we see every week, this is not likely to change anytime soon. However, what we do expect is for clients (and their internal clients) to continue to demand increasingly sophisticated and well designed presentations that fully utilize the functionality of PowerPoint and help further engage the presenter’s audience. This doesn’t mean overly designed infographics (which seem to be waning, at long last) but instead bringing more of the visual experience audiences are accustomed to during their many hours on the web.

You can always see the future more clearly if you have the right partner.

Since 1985, Magnani Continuum Marketing has made it easier for organizations selling in highly technical and complex markets to deliver the most effective and seamless traditional and digital brand experiences. We’re more digital than advertising agencies. More strategic than digital marketing shops. More creative than management consultants. And a heck of a lot easier to work with than almost all of them. We’ve helped some of the largest corporations in the world, and some of the most exciting new startups. And we’d love to talk with you. Just drop us a note.

Like us but not ready to talk?

Check out our blog

Want a quarterly dose of marketing facts, delivered to your inbox?

Sign up for our newsletter.