8 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016

digital marketing trends

By: Brittany Barillaro, Account Marketing Associate

Today, more than 84% of U.S. adults are connected to the internet, enabling us to communicate, share photos, look up news and information, and conduct business across the country and around the world. As a result, we have seen more technological developments impacting digital marketing in the past ten years than ever before. And in the next five years, we’ll see the number of advancements grow and evolve.

1. Content Marketing Remains King

Marketers will continue to invest in content marketing strategies that focus on the importance of developing content that is truly personal, relevant, and speaks directly to their consumers. In addition, the rise of ad blocking software is expected to push online content marketing ahead this year, as advertisers focus on the customer experience and execute messaging that is less intrusive and more engaging, to build trust and loyalty among consumers.

2. Mobile Use to Surpass Desktop

Time spent on mobile devices is outpacing time spent with any other online medium. This is because people now expect information to be readily available to them on demand, with whatever device they have.
In fact, time spent on mobile digital media  in the U.S. is now 51%, significantly higher than desktop (42%). Mobile advertising I will account for 72% of U.S. digital ad spend by 2019. Mobile is a key component in the path to purchase and is not to be ignored.

3. Advertisers Joining Discussion with Mobile Messaging Apps

The top four messaging apps in the world have nearly three billion monthly active users. They’re opened nearly five times as much as regular apps. Because of this, digital advertisers are taking notice and beginning to use the apps to connect with customers. In 2016, Facebook will add more services and marketing opportunities for brands in both Messenger and WhatsApp. Messaging apps are considered the future of social networking and social commerce.

4. Mobile Payment Solutions will Take Off

In short, mobile payments give you the ability to check out either online or in a store with your phone. Apple and Google are the two biggest players currently, but there are a number of additional startups and smaller names that are part of what is expected to be a $27.5 billion industry this year. Brands are expected to integrate mobile payment systems to appeal to the increasing number of mobile-first consumers.

5. Connected “Things” on the Up-and-Up

Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept of connecting any device to the internet, and it’s expected to change our lives in the coming years. In fact, it’s forecast that there will be 6.4 billion connected things used worldwide in 2016, up 30% from 2015, and that number will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Imagine your alarm going off in the morning and a cup of coffee automatically brewing, or getting in your car on the way to work and your car instantly routing you to the fastest way based on real-time traffic information. IoT is expected to change the face of advertising as well, enabling more efficient data to better understand your process and their buying habits.

6. Beacons Are a Win for Marketers and Shoppers Alike

Marketers are turning to beacon technology to efficiently personalize the shopping experience. In return, they hope to obtain customer loyalty and uncover valuable and actionable data. In addition, consumers respond to advertising as a result of beacons. 86% of shoppers say they’d spend more with retailers that offer a personalized online, mobile, and in-store experience. In fact, 79% have made purchases as a result of receiving a mobile push notification in the last six months. The growth of beacons is in the early stages, and its popularity is only expected to rise.

7. The Beginning of Cross-Screen Convergence

Not only are media habits evolving, but the number of devices used by consumers is increasing. On average, consumers turn to 4.1 devices daily. They’re using multiple screens more often and parallel with each other—leaving advertisers with the need to catch up to promote higher quality experiences with their brand. While the value of cross-device targeting is apparent, the industry is still in the beginning stages for execution. First-party data helps make cross-device targeting a possibility, but brands and consumers both feel on edge about protecting and giving data.

8. TV Viewing Becomes More Connected

Connected TV is the most rapidly growing screen, based on time spent year over year. Advertisers now have the ability to reach users accessing video content online through their connected TVs. This medium is a great way to reach engaged consumers who are viewing TV where and when they want it.

Stay ahead of the evolution of marketing by contacting us to learn more about our targeted digital advertising solutions and capabilities!


MarketingLand, 2016, eMarketer, 2015-2016, BI Intelligence, 2015, Forrester, 2015, Gartner, 2015, comScore, 2015, Pew Research, 2015.

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