6 Tech Trends Affecting Your Marketing Team in 2016

(Originally posted on LinkedIn.) Say good-bye to the silos between IT and marketing. Today’s most successful companies embrace the powerful fusion of tech-driven marketing.

And so should you.

To compete effectively, your marketing team needs to stay up-to-date on tech innovations — and how they impact your communications with customers and prospects.

To compete successfully in 2016, adapt your marketing strategy to the following 6 tech trends:

1. Mobile Marketing

Mobile truly is the new wallet. Mobile marketing – including companies’ use of mobile websites, apps and search – will grow in importance in 2016, as it helps you reach, connect and build loyalty with customers.

Last summer, Google reported that mobile website traffic finally surpassed desktop traffic in more than 10 countries, as shoppers use their mobile phones to research companies and their offerings. This year, an estimated 2 billion consumers will own a smartphone. As of October 2015, 64% of US adults owned a smartphone, nearly double the 2011 rate.

Also, digital payment services, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Google Wallet, will grow in acceptance. More consumers will demand the convenience of using a tap of their mobile phone to pay and earn loyalty points, so more retailers will invest in these services.

This year, focus on developing and optimizing your website, products, services, payment options and loyalty programs specifically for the mobile user.

2. Personalized, Data-Driven Marketing
To build loyal, lucrative relationships with customers who drive word-of-mouth and lead generation, marketers need accurate, up-to-date data.

US retailer Kroger has earned billions from its successful personalized marketing efforts. The retailer uses shopper data to determine which products an individual actually wants to buy, then sends them custom digital coupons for many of those products.

This year, use data insights on your customers and prospects to create personalized marketing that resonates and proves you understand your target’s needs.

3. Social Business
To capture greater visibility and engagement, companies will embrace social media innovations for a superior customer experience.

In 2016, social media will evolve toward e-commerce, as more companies will add Buy buttons and payment messaging to their social media profiles. Facebook is even testing its own search engine to rival search leaders Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

This year, use these social media innovations to give your target convenient ways to make purchases and promptly tell their friends by posting social proof of their new purchase.

4. Wearables

Marketing teams will gain a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour, as the adoption rate of wearable technology, such as Apple Watches and FitBit fitness trackers, will increase by 28% this year. In addition, ads within wearable technologies will soon help companies target people based on their every move.

Now you can target and reach more users on these small screens, and capture their attention faster than with traditional smartphones.

This year, embrace wearable technology to access richer consumer data and understand consumer behaviour more deeply, so your company can deliver exactly what your target wants.

5. The Internet of Things (IoT)
Related to wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT) uses technology to control objects with an embedded computing system that can interact with the internet.

For instance, IoT connects data from your FitBit wearable to your smartphone. Also, smart yoga mats with embedded sensors can provide feedback on your postures and guide your at-home practice.

IoT’s significance will grow, as McKinsey Global Institute expects IoT to create an economic impact of $2.7 to $6.2 trillion annually by 2025.

This year, consider how to position your company to take advantage of smart products and services, which will build brand loyalty through unique product offerings.

6. Location-Based Marketing Technology
For a superior, interactive customer experience, more companies are embracing location-based marketing technology, like beacons and RFIDs.

Beacons are small transmitters that detect nearby devices, often used in retail stores, point of sale displays and merchandising areas. Beacons can also help event attendees sign up and engage in sessions. Integrating beacons with Linkedin helps companies connect with attendees and send messages faster than email. Business Insider found beacons will drive $44 billion in retail sales in 2016, up from $4 billion in 2014.

A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a small electronic device offering a unique identifier for a specific tag. RFID wristbands, cards and apps allow event attendees to simply tap their event wristband to increase shares and likes with a photo across social media.

By using these sensors in 2016, your marketing team can capitalize on opportunities to connect with and engage nearby customers in real time.

Putting It All Together
All of these technology trends involve harnessing the power of data to deeply understand your customers and deliver a superior customer experience. To position your company for success in 2016 and beyond, thoughtfully integrate these innovative technologies into your marketing strategy – before your competitors do.

What emerging tech trends would you add to this list?

For more marketing tips and trends, sign up for my free monthly newsletter, Strategic Communicator, on my homepage at lisagoller.com

lisa-gollerLisa Goller is a marketing and communications professional with over 15 years of experience serving B2B, technology, retail and consumer goods companies. She helps businesses tell their story through irresistible content marketing and strategic communications. Learn more at lisagoller.com

Related articles:
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Gerber, Ross. Four Big Technology Trends For 2016. Forbes. January 6, 2016.
Hinshaw, Michael. The Future of Customer Experience: 10 Predictions For 2016 and Beyond. CMO.com. January 4, 2016.
Marr, Bernard. 3 Ways The Internet of Things Will Change Every Business. Forbes. August 17, 2015.
Moraes, Meaghan. 7 Game-Changing Marketing Trends To Tackle in 2016. HubSpot.com. September 25, 2015
Murphy, Ian. P. Why 2015 was the year for m-commerce. Retail Dive. December 23, 2015.
Toren, Adam. It’s crucial to keep up with these 6 digital trends in 2016. Entrepreneur.com. January 5, 2016.
Vranica, Suzanne. Ad Executives Scout Out Latest Tech at CES for Marketing Inspiration. Wall Street Journal. January, 8, 2016.

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