As companies prepare their budgets for the new year, marketing leaders are also preparing their strategy for 2016. Outsourced marketing will always be on top of many lists to address inefficiency and cost issues. However, there are many other considerations that marketing executives need to look out for. Let’s take a look at marketing outsourcing trends that will influence decision makers in 2016:
Analysts predict that 50 percent of product investment projects will be directed towards innovative customer experience solutions by 2017. In 2016, creating ads that are relevant to the consumer’s current experience will be a priority for marketing teams. Excellent customer experience will become baseline instead of a hopeful target to shoot for.
It’s no surprise that data and analytics continue to drive marketing outsourcing growth. Most of the respondents to a recent advertising survey said they will increase their budget for analytics and insights. The spending on digital ads also continues to rise.
Big data will continue to inform all aspects of the marketing industry next year. Marketing teams are using data from online sources to develop the right marketing strategy, analyze return on investment and produce creative work with direction. However, data alone is not enough. Marketing success depends on a mix of digital expertise, analytics and creativity. In 2016, creative thinking combined with intelligence gleaned from data will drive marketing initiatives. Data and creativity will also merge to enable marketers to reach their audience more effectively, improve campaigns and improve content distribution.
Industry watchers and bloggers predict that marketers will focus on content and creativity across multiple formats in 2016. As companies have more options than ever when it comes to content generation, they will leverage various options to create a winning digital strategy. A 2015 study reported that 61 percent of customers are more likely to buy from a company that creates custom content.
This year, more advertising will exist within the content (with a focus on quality and relevance. In an age where attention spans are shorter than ever, the key is to keep connected customers interested. Companies will focus on creating rich content, particularly in video format. The industry will also see a growing interest in virtual videos for differentiation.
According to a recent report, 62 percent of companies currently outsource their content marketing to third party specialists. This trend is expected to continue next year as demand for unique content produced by subject matter experts, journalists and other professionals increases.
This year, companies are expected to spend more money on video advertising campaigns driven by the need for engaging, creative content. Besides YouTube, social media networks like Facebook and Twitter will become fresh alternatives for advertisers. Whether the company is targeting a niche or general audience, third party outsourcing providers can help companies create the right video strategy to sell more products. Besides consultancy and technology solutions, third party firms will continue to supply talent to allow marketing departments to scale up or down more effectively.
Virtual reality and 3D marketing are still very new to the industry, but they are starting to become mainstream for good reason. Virtual reality allows consumers to experience the product or service first hand. For example, car manufacturers use virtual reality to allow customers to “drive” their next car. Industry experts predict that 3D marketing will start in the gaming sector and move on to other broader industries as technology becomes easily available.
Micro-moments are brief opportunities for marketers to target the right customer with the right message. 2016 will see more marketers leveraging micro-moments to create effective campaigns. Social media monitoring, analytics tools and smart operating systems use data from consumers to predict behavior patterns, determine the appropriate technology to reach them, and identify opportunities for advertisers to send relevant messages to their target audience.
For example, Johnson & Johnson used social media to identify a specific habit: mothers awakened at night by their children tend to use tablets. The company then created an ad campaign that ran exclusively on tablets. Another innovator, Apple, updated its iOS 9 to predict which applications users will use next and what traffic will be like when they head outside.
Moment marketing is expected to increase the relevance of information and offers that companies send to their customers. Analytics tools and big data professionals that can mine digital information for insights will be in demand in the coming years. Third party marketing providers will invest in the tools, talent and processes to attract clients who want to create effective moment marketing strategies.
This year’s brands will learn to use and optimize omnichannel marketing campaigns to improve the bottom line. Retailers in particular will strive to create a smooth and integrated customer experience. This includes improving the transition between physical store and online transactions.
More data means more opportunities to analyze marketing attribution. Some companies are already combining insights from user-level data with insights from big picture data. Companies like Hershey and Vodafone have invested in attribution analysis to understand the many factors that influence their target demographic. Marketing officers can now tweak their campaigns as consumer media habits change. The result is real-time optimization of running campaigns.
Sophisticated attribution analysis and connection planning requires skilled professionals: data scientists, researchers and consultants must be involved from the earliest stages of the campaign. In 2016, companies that lack the necessary talent and technology will seek help from outsourced marketing providers to develop creative strategies rooted in data.
This year’s marketers will develop strategies to engage young people with specific buying and media habits. Compared to gen X, today’s teenagers move from kids’ products to adult products much more quickly, and they have money to buy these items. They are digitally savvy and ethically conscious, placing emphasis on authenticity. Today’s teenagers also tend to use mobile devices and tablets rather than laptops and PCs. Marketers understand the importance of developing fun, engaging and authentic content for these platforms. Some companies are already testing campaigns targeting specific generations. They run video ads featuring online celebrities, YouTube vloggers and other brand ambassadors that greatly influence the under-18 segment.
Marketing departments can no longer function as isolated units in the age of connectivity. In 2016, more marketing teams will connect with customer service, sales and IT departments as well as executives and board members. There will be tighter collaboration with sales teams and support personnel to boost conversion rates. Data, analytics and other disruptive technologies call for marketing technologists, a new breed of marketers that know how to use data to create effective marketing strategies.
As marketing and other corporate departments become better connected, more companies will use integrated tools to collect and monitor data from customers. These tools allow marketers to track a buyer’s purchase path, measure loyalty, engage with customers online and send the right messages to the right people.
With a focus on data, creativity, fresh content and native advertising, marketing services from external providers will continue to be in demand in 2016. Technology and innovation will be primary outsourcing drivers. Marketing vendors help businesses choose the right channel automation tools, build custom partner portals, and develop better marketing strategies. Companies will look to third party providers not only for technology solutions and process improvements, but also for outside expertise and skilled marketing talent.
In the B2B marketing segment, outsourcing activity is expected to increase to address the ongoing issue of lack of in-house expertise. Companies will need data scientists, marketing technologists, 3D designers, and innovation-minded marketing leaders and personnel in 2016 and beyond. Third party providers can provide cost-effective, qualified people at the right place and time.
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