Digital Marketing Trends in 2016

In recent times, I've noticed a few interesting trends within the Online Advertising space - both professionally as a Digital Marketer, as well as within my own personal life.

My belief is that Advertising is inherently tied to Technology. As such, change is inevitable and something that Advertisers, Publishers and Vendors need to embrace.

The key trends I've seen within H1 of 2016 are:

An increased willingness by consumers to share their data

Back in the day, advertising would be irrelevant, obtrusive and would quite frankly piss people off. I think this is where online marketing got a bad name (admittedly, some still have this perception, not knowing that the Internet economy is essentially built on advertising).

As the years have gone by, those within the industry have gotten smarter. Through the use of data, we have been able to offer more relevant and interesting experiences to users.

I've observed that this trend has pretty much hit the asymptote nowadays. Users are willing to exchange their data at a much greater magnitude than we had originally imagined.

This is evident by brands heavily investing in data co-sharing initiatives, predictive behavioural modelling, automation, and the on-boarding of Data Management Platforms.

Simplicity wins

Creative messaging appears to have gone full circle. We no longer see big and flashy, but rather simple and direct. This is true for both Direct Response as well as Awareness building exercises.

Many Ad Execs are opting for single frame, straight to the point advertisements. This ,to me, is very similar to the trend I saw with websites in general - back in the 2000's everyone was opting for graphics-heavy sites, but now it's all about clean and simple (though the advent of Bootstrap and Wordpress themes probably helped this)!

An appetite to Attribute

Advertisers now more than ever are wanting to understand how their dollars are influencing their audiences.

I can only speak to the Australian marketplace, but Online Ad Attribution has traditionally been very weak. While we were confident we were making a ROMI, there was no true understanding of how our media impacts a consumer throughout their journey, and frankly no real care. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Nowadays, there is a genuine appetite for Marketers to understand the technicalities of things like the Path to Purchase across Devices, the Viewability rate of their ads, the Post Impression to Post Click ratio of their conversions. There is even a healthy level of Cross-Channel Attribution that's taking place (i.e. Advertisers are asking questions like How is my ATL investment influencing Online sales?).

Closing Thoughts

It's certainly encouraging to see the rapid change and innovation taking place within Online Advertising industry.

I expect a lot more interesting trends for Marketers as we continue on this journey!

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