This column is the first in an 11-part series. Check back for the remainder of the series and a deep dive into each of these 10 trends.
As the new year draws closer, it's an ideal time to reflect on this past year's marketing strategies -- those where you hit it out of the park, as well as those where you may have struck out. This honest self-reflection on historical performance is the key to continuous improvement and the development of a solid 2016 strategic marketing plan. Equally important is the ability to look ahead to marketing trends on the horizon that will or already are impacting your company's growth.
As such, consider these top 10 2016 marketing trends as contenders for your 2016 marketing plan.
2016 is expected to bring an explosion in proximity or beacon marketing, with nearly half of retailers launching these programs in 2015 -- up from just 15 percent in 2014.
Expect a new form of search engine optimization -- specifically for digital assistants like Siri and Cortana -- to become a focal point. Siri alone processed 1 billion search queries per week in January of this year.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that digital media ad revenue -- including social, video and search -- will surpass TV ad spending in 2016.
Consumer purchase decisions will grow increasingly more complex. The average consumer making a high-impact purchase -- such as insurance services -- visits five websites, engages with each brand of interest in seven different ways, and spends 35 days researching that decision. Sales teams must adapt to this new reality.
Mobile website design isn't just important in 2016; it's everything, with 62 percent of Internet time being spent on mobile devices this year.
Forty-two percent of B2B companies used marketing automation in 2015 to more effectively market on multiple channels online, to automate repetitive marketing tasks, and to track a prospect's brand interaction across all digital channels.
A shakeout in social media providers will take place in 2016, leaving fewer players of consequence with which to contend. Facebook will grow more dominant, and Instagram and SnapChat will be seen as mainstream versus niche players.
A veritable app explosion is expected in the new year, given 87 percent of all mobile time was spent in apps versus browsers in 2015.
Digital silos are evaporating as the terms "digital marketing" and "marketing" are becoming ubiquitous. Our lives are digital after all. That's why savvy companies will be fully integrating digital and offline marketing strategies in 2016.
Prepare for these trends before your competitors, and you may very well create a competitive advantage, which is highly difficult to do in this highly commoditized world in which we live. Check back over the next ten weeks for follow-up columns on each of these trends and a road map for adjusting your marketing plan accordingly.
Lori Turner-Wilson can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.