The Year of Coming of Age

Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016

When we asked our discipline leaders to make predictions for 2016, an interesting trend emerged: all predicted that 2016 would be the year their particular areas of focus would grow up.

That’s not totally surprising considering we focus our initiatives around areas of marketing or influence groups that are emerging, such as marketing automation or teens. The fact that these areas are all maturing simultaneously is more a function of what we focus on than a statement about 2016 as a pivotal year in marketing.

Yet, in reviewing the predictions from each of the teams, it did strike me that we may be turning a corner in marketing. Some 20 years after the World Wide Web went mainstream, businesses and organizations are finally becoming adept at marketing in a digital world – or at least making significant strides.

I hope you’ll take the time to read the 2016 predictions from our content marketing, marketing automation and analytics teams that will be posted during the next two weeks and will share your perspective on the future with us. In the meantime, here are three takeaways I came away with after reviewing each of the upcoming posts.

– Organizational integration is necessary to develop and manage marketing programs with a strong digital component. We finally seem to be breaking down the silos erected in some previous era to enable more effective and more agile multichannel marketing.

– Marketers who aren’t yet comfortable with technology and what it enables better get there quickly. While the role of digital marketing and analytics specialists is growing, we all need to be familiar with the core capabilities and basic technologies being employed if we are going to create and manage effective programs.

– We have more control of our messages and more ways to reach our audience than ever before. But we also face more competition in connecting with that audience. While technology and analytics rightly get a lot of attention these days, collaboration and creativity have never been more important to marketing success. At the end of the day, we can’t forget our goal is to reach and move people; creative thinking is almost always the best way to accomplish that.

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