As 2015 comes to an ever colder close, for the majority of businesses it’s that time of year to review all activity and forecast for the next 12 months. Whether that forecast is financial, structural or regarding future marketing activities, it is essential for us in the digital marketing industry to be able to spot 2016 digital trends.

Whilst researching online into future trending topics can be a resourceful way of planning your marketing activities, there is still no better way (in my opinion) to spot future trends then to directly ask those influential members of the industry. If you recall last September (a long time ago I know), we pulled together some of the best minds in the digital marketing industry and created a nifty little post regarding what they thought would emerge in 2015.

DIGITAL-MARKETING-TRENDS1-1 Experts Give Their Opinions on Digital Trends for 2016

Being the nice people we are, we have decided to provide you all, again, with a round up of digital experts giving their expert opinion on what they believe will come into fruition within the digital world in 2016. There are some interesting statements and definitely some points we can pick up on and research into further. Get your notepad out and have a scan through, and let us know in the comments section any insights you can give.

Digital Trends 2016

As I look forward, I see the biggest shift actually happening within Sales and Marketing departments of organizations.


As I look forward, I see the biggest shift actually happening within Sales and Marketing departments of organizations. Because Sales teams have less influence than ever (on the actual sale), and ...Click to read more


As I look forward, I see the biggest shift actually happening within Sales and Marketing departments of organizations. Because Sales teams have less influence than ever (on the actual sale), and because Marketing teams have more than ever, we’ll see a shift on how companies hire, attribute revenue, etc.

It also means sales/marketing automation and measurement tools (like a HubSpot for example) will become more important than ever.

In the future, there won’t be separate “Sales” and “Marketing” teams. They’ll essentially be merged. Silos will be eliminated. They’ll be of one mind, goal, and vision.

And if they don’t achieve this, they’ll be left behind by companies that do “get it.”

I see advertising becoming more and more important for businesses to make sure they are found on search and seen on social.


I see advertising becoming more and more important for businesses to make sure they are found on search and seen on social. With the ongoing algorithm changes made by Google, Facebook, and others ...Click to read more


I see advertising becoming more and more important for businesses to make sure they are found on search and seen on social. With the ongoing algorithm changes made by Google, Facebook, and others, you have to find one avenue of reaching your customers where you are in control, and that is typically going to be advertising if you have the right budget.

A key trend within the management of marketing today is the shift in control of marketing technology from IT and Sales to Marketing.


A key trend within the management of marketing today is the shift in control of marketing technology from IT and Sales to Marketing. Selecting the most relevant Martech from the increasingly comp ...Click to read more


A key trend within the management of marketing today is the shift in control of marketing technology from IT and Sales to Marketing. Selecting the most relevant Martech from the increasingly complex Marketing Technology landscape is a major challenge as we now literally have thousands of different cloud services vying to be part of the Marketing Stack which covers gaining visibility, customer experience, Big Data, Marketing Automation and Social Media, the list goes on…

In 2016 user behavior will prevail in the digital marketing space.


In 2016 user behavior will prevail in the digital marketing space. From Facebook to Google, all of the popular sites are trying to optimize based on what users want. If you can optimize your webs ...Click to read more


In 2016 user behavior will prevail in the digital marketing space. From Facebook to Google, all of the popular sites are trying to optimize based on what users want. If you can optimize your website (more than just your marketing or ad copy) to provide the best experience to users, you’ll find that your traffic and sales will continually grow over time.

After growing interest for five years, 2016 is the year Newsjacking goes mainstream.


After growing interest for five years, 2016 is the year Newsjacking goes mainstream. For those who don’t yet use the strategy, Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas int ...Click to read more


After growing interest for five years, 2016 is the year Newsjacking goes mainstream. For those who don’t yet use the strategy, Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow business.

The coming bot backlash and the Italian trench coat.


When I ran customer care centers in Europe for AT&T, I received a stern talking-to from our Milan manager Carla. I needed a new raincoat, and in typical American fashion, asked her where I co ...Click to read more


When I ran customer care centers in Europe for AT&T, I received a stern talking-to from our Milan manager Carla. I needed a new raincoat, and in typical American fashion, asked her where I could get the best deal. My ears are still stinging, “WHY would you ever want to buy anything from someone you don’t know?” This is the power of social media. Human engagement at scale. The ability to create real, trust-based relationships that drive sales. I see the seeds of a backlash against marketing automation. The pendulum has swung hard, and we are now trying to auto-, robo-, and pre-write everything, even our social media. Marketing automation may be here to stay, but the next big thing I see in digital marketing is brands strategically using human online engagement. And yes, I still have that trench coat.

Building a content destination takes focus, time and consistency.


Building a content destination takes focus, time and consistency. Most companies don’t do any of these things. In lieu of this, we are going to see more organizations of all sizes look at b ...Click to read more


Building a content destination takes focus, time and consistency. Most companies don’t do any of these things. In lieu of this, we are going to see more organizations of all sizes look at buying media sites and blogs (buying an audience) over building one themselves. While many brands are flush with cash, they are limited on patience. Watch for this to start heating up toward the end of 2016.

Building a content destination takes focus, time and consistency.


As content saturation takes further hold, marketers will be forced to adapt and invest more in multi-dimensional forms of content such as video and interactive marketing. Supply ...Click to read more


As content saturation takes further hold, marketers will be forced to adapt and invest more in multi-dimensional forms of content such as video and interactive marketing. Supply is increasing while demand for content has levelled out. This poses a serious problem for smaller businesses attempting to cut through the noise with content marketing. Not only will the creation of such content come at great expense, but effective distribution will also require robust spends. Similar to traditional SEO 10+ years ago: The big spenders will win.

Desktop search becomes obsolete outside of workplaces. Mobile usage will continue to surge upon the release of new hand-held technology. Pre-millennials are encouraged to move with the times. Millenials descend deeper into their reliance on fresh tech.

Google’s search results pages consist almost entirely of ads and rich snippets. We’ve already witnessed the SERPs getting taken over by paid results and the Knowledge Graph. The pages we see today are a far cry from those of a few years previous. Remember 10 blue links..? Just recently Google have been testing 4 ads at the top of a page, including ads with 2 lines of structured snippets. The impact on mobile results is substantial. Natural listings are nowhere to be seen within a few thumb scrolls of a smaller screen.

Digital Assistant Optimisation (DAO?!) begins to become ‘a thing’. With the ever-growing use of Siri, Cortana and similar assistants, it will become essential to ensure all website information is accessible by these platforms.

Apps will begin to replace websites. Apps offer intuitive, convenient, accessible experiences in a more action-focused environment. ‘Browsing’ becomes antiquated. People will be coaxed and lean towards ‘doing’ rather than searching with little intent to take action. Google’s enhanced indexation of apps and their recent ad penalisation release are clear indicators that the market is set on this route.

The Internet of Things (IoT) & Virtual Reality (VR) introduce new dimensions of marketing. Wearable tech and real-time marketing mean yet further complex means of delivering behaviourally targeted ads and material to consumers on-the-go.

This also urges businesses to invest heavily in marketing automation and relationship marketing software to nurture sales.

It’s becoming very costly to ‘do marketing right’.

There will be more buzzwords than ever in the year 2016! 😉

So there we have it, words from the experts themselves. Did you see anything worth noting down or acting upon? Or likewise, do you have any thoughts of your own on the matter? If so let us know in the comments section below.

We intend to make this into the ultimate digital predictions for 2016 post, so stayed tuned as we update with more expert opinion.