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Monday, January 18, 2016

10 Marketing Trends for 2016

LinkedIn wants marketing predictions for the upcoming year. Here's my Top 10:
  1. Pervasive Texting: Your dentist knows how to reach you now, and so does the frozen yogurt place. In between texts from your significant other and your kids, expect a deluge of reminders, promos, and codes from marketers who want a piece of your business.
  2. Temporary Appearances: The allure of Snapchat is that it will be gone. Expect high-end marketing of everything from celebrity interviews to sit-down conversations with world leaders, who naturally lend themselves to rare appearances.
  3. Infowars Goes Main Street: Alex Jones' unique brand of reporting, long considered "fringe," resonates with many for its insistent, even paranoid, suspiciousness. Now that Donald Trump and Matt Drudge have made appearances, expect more savvy influencers to stop by their studios...including those who've been the target of Jones' criticism.  
  4. Sell It On Instagram: Now that it is possible to link from one's photos directly to mobile shopping pages, the sky is really the limit on this endlessly engaging social media site. With few captions and beautiful visuals that draw in a global audience, it is uniquely accessible to all.
  5. Tell It Like It Is: There is a grand tradition in marketing of highlighting the positive side of one's products and services. This will be the year that "plain talk" from "plain people" is celebrated in everything from commercials to speeches to Tweets.  
  6. News From Facebook: It's become a kind of garden sport to predict the demise of Facebook, but I think the opposite is true and FB will become more and more a part of our lives. What this means is that traditional news and entertainment news are going to blend, with entertaining stories about young inventors and lottery winners side-by-side with world news and political controversies, and there will be the constant drumbeat of shocking tragedies. All determined democratically and algorithmically, by what interests people the most. 
  7. Trust Generation X: For decades Gen Xers complained that the lion's share of attention went to Matures, Baby Boomers, and then skipped a generation to focus on Millennials, then Generation Z. This will be the year that this rugged, tribal, family-protecting and mistrustful group gets its due, particularly in Hollywood movies and TV.
  8. Preparation Mode: We've all heard of Doomsday Preppers, but this is a more general mindset of hunkering down that will spread into mainstream thinking. Shoppers will think twice before consuming luxury goods, mindful that there are dire predictions of a looming stock market crash, an unpredictable election forthcoming in the United States, and social instability abroad.
  9. Religious Unity: Despite or perhaps because of all the hype concerning religious strife, people will resolve to find ways to transcend these kinds of divisions. There will be a strong receptiveness to marketing messages that emphasize the unity of all humanity, even as we celebrate our individual differences and cultural heritage.
  10. The Language of Transformation: Dark times bring out the desire for hope, and people will gravitate to devotional, inspirational and self-help books, podcasts, television shows, webcasts, movies, and so on. The desire is for communication that speaks to our highest selves, rather than catering to the lowest common denominator. 
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Copyright 2015 Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. Dr. Blumenthal is founder and president of BrandSuccess, a corporate content provider, and co-founder of the brand thought leadership portal All Things Brand. The opinions expressed are her own and not those of any government agency or entity or the federal government as a whole. 
Photo by the U.S. Agency for International Development via Flickr (Creative Commons). Caption: "At the inauguration of a USAID-funded market, rich frescoes painted by local artists flanked the walkways and interior walls."