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March 8, 2016

Key Digital Trends for 2016

As quickly as we moved into 2016, we will be in 2017 before we know it.

The digital media landscape is ever growing and trends are not occurring over the course of years, but over the course of months or even weeks. There are constantly new and innovate ways to not only experience digital technology, but also to purchase it. The year 2016 holds some key trends to look for to help marketers decide where to place media and messaging.

More and more marketers are looking to join the conversations their audiences are having. Messaging apps will play a large role in that potential conversation. Facebook and WhatsApp currently have, collectively, 1,600 monthly active users worldwide. Facebook is preparing to introduce new services for marketers to utilize while an audience is engaging in these apps.

Mobile wallets are also becoming a more widely used service and the divide between digital and physical commerce will be further increased in 2016. Retailers should focus on connecting to users through mobile wallets, specifically with offers, coupons, rewards and loyalty. In 2016, eMarketer estimates that 37.5 million people or 19% of smartphone users will transact with their phones at the Point of Sale, proving a 61.8% year-over-year increase. Mobile, which continues to play a larger role each year in the marketing space, is projected to gain some traction in the commerce world in 2016. Currently, mobile is seen as an influencer of the retail world. Marketers have previously looked at mobile as a way to drive consumers down the funnel, with more conversions occurring on the back-end. That’s all going to change in 2016. Big players like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are all making it easier to transition mobile shopping to mobile buying.  A few key factors will play a role in this; screen size being larger, mobile pay like Android Pay and Apple Pay, Buy Buttons through Facebook’s mobile commerce, and Mobile Search with Amazon continuing to challenge Google with visual search tools and virtual assistants.

With all of the technological advances, consumers and marketers will see in 2016, user behavior will also change. Millennial and Centennials are becoming more and more OK with releasing data through devices. Connectivity between people and devices is at an all-time high, and will only continue to increase. Consumers are stuck to the convenience and value of the digitally connected world. Although users are claiming to be concerned about their digital security, actions are speaking louder than words. Consumers are not taking any protective measures that will inconvenience their digital habits. This will allow more advertising coordination between media (digital and TV, specifically) to create more targeted, personalized campaigns. Respondents have claimed their main reason for sharing data with companies (57% of people) would be to receive promotions, discounts, and products suggestions.

The digital landscape is ever changing and both marketers and consumers alike are chasing the trends fast to not only keep up with them but to stay ahead of them. Mobile will continue to play an even larger role in 2016, with more data and payment transactions occurring over mobile phones. Users are sharing more and more data with companies online, making advertising campaigns even more targeted to the user.