Trendwatching : looking at the future

Digital Marketeers : 5 Trends to watch in 2016

At this time of the year, we are acquainted with trend-watchers posts trying to get a glimpse into the crystal ball, helping our advertising industry to spot the main trends and topics to follow in the next 12 months.

At DigitasLBi, we have been watching the future of Digital, and tweaking it in order to help stakeholders and decision-makers to move on and define now What’s Next.

At this time of the year, we are acquainted with trend-watchers posts trying to get a glimpse into the crystal ball, helping our advertising industry to spot the main trends and topics to follow in the next 12 months.

At DigitasLBi, we have been watching the future of Digital, and tweaking it in order to help stakeholders and decision-makers to move on and define now What’s Next.

#1. Getting finally on the CEO Agenda.

Since Digital is impacting in a major way their business, CEO’s are progressively stopping to sub-delegate “Digital” to MarCom Departments, Chief Digital Officers or Business Transformation Consultants. They will most probably hold the Digital agenda, and tight. Not all will do this naturally at once, not all have the capacity yet to understand within  the appropriate context what “Digital” really means for their business, but there is a good chance that they will pay a higher attention to anything that sounds Digital. In the first place because it matters to their business, thus to their shareholders…

#2. From “Digital disruption” to “New Business”.

After a few years of conferences, seminars, workshops, major consultants interviews on Digital Disruption, (some) business leaders are starting to get it. Digital Disruption is not about Technology, it is about your own business. And how it will evolve, survive and win (or not). Some industries have initiated a profound review of their own organisation to reinvent themselves. Look for instance at banking, with BNP Paribas and their internal initiative (L’Atelier) to drive innovation.  Look also to the travel industry as another exemple, with some players like KLM and others moving ahead with strongly innovating services that put them ahead of competition, inspiring themselves from the sharing economy contenders. Brands should urgently start investigating how they could create new business streams enhanced by technology instead of  looking for self-defensive strategies.

#3. Be prepared for the (real) media switch to performance.

Since some years now, the advertising industry has been witnessing how media spendings have progressively left traditional media (a volume business) to contribute to the surge of “digital media” (a performance driven business). But as it goes, “digital” comes in many different forms and formats. With advertisers getting more understanding of digital media, we could expect more data-driven, more results-measurement, more performance-based campaigns that will not only measure “weak” conversions rates, but rather genuine identified business streams. Real-time campaigns optimisation will become the norm as Real-Time-Bidding and Real-Time-Marketing  next to CRM capabilities gain in popularity (among Marketers) and effectiveness.

#4. There is no “earned” media.
There are only (truly) engaged customers.

Advertisers could still be living for a while on the belief that strong story-telling and creative contents will drive engagement on social media. And that they could surf on a never-ending flow of self-started conversations as a natural consequence of the first. But the reality is that consumers are awakening : with thousands of pieces of content calling for their attention on social networks, they are feeling overwhelmed and confused. And could be tempted by switching to places where the initial benefits of social networks – sharing with friends and families – are still present, like they do with Snapchat. So driving the share-of-social attention your brand deserve will require to get back to the basics of commercial companies, which is servicing. Consumers will keep engaged with those brands that are really bringing to their daily lives genuine additional value, not spamming them with unecessary retargeted commercials. How would you contribute to make your customers life easier and happier?

#5. Customer experience at the core : drop the web page.
And stop asking for a mobile application. Instead define a mobile service.

As the vast majority of consumers are now permanently connected on mobile devices, the move to “mobile first” is becoming “mobile only”. However, in digital agencies, it is common to see mobile applications stuffed with a bunch of functionalities … for which nobody (read : consumers) really cares.
In 2016, we could see the most innovating advertisers progressively adopting digital platforms that will not further rely on traditional desktop web pages but rather be supported by easy to use and navigate mobile services, sometimes integrated with other services to empower consumer’s value.
And to succeed, digital marketers will need to combine perfectly agility (being able to conceive, deploy and optimize digital platforms quickly) and customer experience focus. After all, the GAFAs and the NATUs (Uber, Instagram, Tesla Spotify or Netflix – this last being more and more integrated within existing platforms like TV providers – have set up the path to simplicity…).

So, are you ready for the future ?

At DigitasLBi, we use creativity, data and technology
to help our clients creating connections
that transform human behaviour.

José Fernandez

Managing Director - DigitasLBI Belgium.