To know… scratch that. To even get a glimpse at the mass mind is no simple matter. To interpret what to do with that insight? Well, that is a bigger challenge yet. But as I love a good challenge, here’s my 2¢ on some of the things that will matter in 2016.
Folks will keep on scrolling with their fingers in 2016. Like. Never. Before.
Today, someone is always listening. This is why the tone is the substance. Your brand gives off a certain tone at your brand’s touchpoints (that is, the places where customers experience your brand). Do you know what your brand’s tone is? Is it Sears-like or Starbucks-like? Are you sure? :) You should care about the substance of your brand’s tone at least as much as you care about the substance of the thingamajig(s) you sell.
More brands will start including love (not the romantic kind) in their communications and core values.
Interactions instead of transactions.
Most businesses will still, sadly, focus the bulk of their marketing efforts and dollars on driving immediate transactions. You. Yes, you. Don’t be typical. Focus on the interactions instead. If you make them as human, simple, and timely as possible, the transactions will happen.
Invest your marketing dollars in places where the average brands aren’t going, or where they wouldn’t even think to go. Be like the brands people love: invest in interactions, not just transactions.
If you get interactions right, you’ll have a chance to catch the ‘next’ wave in branding: movements. Case in point: TOMS shoes. TOMS is doing very well, no? So much so that it is, likely, the most well-known un-Apple-sized movement in the world. (The ‘One for One’ movement.) Ever wondered why TOMS is doing well? Have they invented a new Facebook, or sent a person to Mars?
Look around: people are craving a sense of belonging. The general lack of meaningful, trusted, and valuable community gathering events are leaving people feeling more isolated than ever before. Brands have a unique opportunity to be gathering places for people with shared interests, values, and mindsets.
If you’re a big-hearted entrepreneur, this is an opportunity to set in motion the impact you were born to make.
Help people take things off their ‘thinking list’ in 2016. Case in point: clubw.com. 6 simple questions get you handpicked wines from notable winemakers delivered to your door. Plus, and this is a big plus, you never pay for a bottle you don’t like.
Protecting simplicity is hard. But it’s worth it. If you bother to look around, you’ll notice that it’s often those who narrow their focus right off the bat – way more than an average person would want to — that end up being the brands that people love.
Digital advertising will become more expensive. Why? It’s simple: competition for creativity in the digital advertising world has increased dramatically. Even the so-called late adopters are finally starting to shift away from a worldview where everything revolves around one shiny ad. Here comes the flood. Swim or… ? :)
There will be more pressure to establish a unique presence for every major life platform. A friendly reminder: life platforms are the engines of empowerment. (Think Facebook, Google, etc.) Why are they new engines of empowerment? Because they give us more of what we can’t get enough of: a sense of connection.
Most business will slowly realize that what bacon is to breakfast social media is to their marketing. We’ll see more business leaders than ever before looking for an advertising partner that can help them be and stay relevant on social media.
Email = reach. Email is still the most effective way to communicate with an audience of ANY size. Despite this considerable promise, there are big challenges with email. You see, email is a mature channel. This means that sooo many players — more than ever before — are showing up in people’s emails.
A single but fundamental takeaway: create email campaigns with a mobile-first attitude. 65% of emails get opened on mobile first.
How do you get people’s attention in 2016? The short answer: tell them a story. Better yet, make them part of the story. Don’t just ‘target’ an audience. Support it. Grow it.
Jan 2, 2016