Ahead of the Curve

Staying ahead of the curve

Blog

February 25, 2016

2015 has gone and 2016 is already racing along quickly. So it’s perhaps a good time to look at some of the things predicted to be ‘big’ in marketing this year. After all, as an integrated agency with an eye firmly fixed on coming up with the right solution for our clients, it’s pretty crucial that we make sure we stay ahead of the curve – wherever it might lead.

Google video

Video ads aren’t new, with YouTube already hosting billions of videos, and platforms like Facebook and Bing giving advertisers a variety of video-based content options. 2016 could see a bit of a shake-up, with Google apparently all set to include video ads in search results for the first time. Time will tell if this new trend becomes irritating or is embraced by the Google web search community (or in other words, the entire human race). But where Google lead, others usually follow, so watch this (video content) space.

Mobile, not desktop

It’s kind of been a case of mobile v desktop for a few years now, but last year was a pivotal one, with Google announcing that mobile traffic actually overtook desktop traffic in no fewer than 10 different countries. 2015 was also the year of ‘Mobilegeddon’ – Google’s algorithm update designed to phase out websites not optimised for mobile. In 2016 surely the trend will gain momentum – making mobile and tablet-focused online marketing more relevant than ever before.

Digital assistants

‘Digital assistants’ like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana need to be factored in when thinking about a campaign’s SEO. They aren’t going to overtake conventional search engines anytime soon but they aren’t going to go away in a hurry either. The key: ensuring that key information is easily accessible to these assistants, thus giving every campaign the greatest chance of success.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality could become a little bit more of actual reality, with devices like Oculus Rift potentially opening up an entirely new medium of online advertising to audiences. What it could also bring: intriguing integration to popular social media channels too. Fad or fact? Time will tell.

Smart devices

Wearable technology continues to go from strength to strength, so keep an eye out for wearable ‘smart’ devices to start to gain even more traction in 2016. It’s hard to believe because it feels like it’s been with us forever, but Apple unveiled the Apple Watch last year and now other manufacturers are beginning to follow their lead. Devices like these will blur the lines between what we know as ‘online’ marketing and ‘real’ marketing yet further. As marketers we should genuinely be excited about the possibilities.

Price

Finally, the online marketing world will continue to be increasingly competitive, as advertisers continue to use every kind of digital tool in their arsenal. This competition could lead to an increase in price, potentially driving the price of online advertising yet higher. Compared to ‘conventional’ advertising, online ads are relatively cheap, but any increase in cost has to be factored in. again, one to take note of, as any price increase can then affect ROI.

What will really happen this year? We haven’t got a crystal ball – but it does pay to be on the ball. From that perspective, we’ll be watching the curve… and doing our best to stay ahead of it.