Citizen CMO: What Every Marketer Needs to Know

I’m a sucker for listicles and trend reports. Five superfoods you can’t ignore! Ten places you must visit before you die! Five books to take on a desert island! Sign. Me. Up.

As the CMO of a data company that helps marketers, what I really want from this steady stream of 2016 marketing predictions is insights. Insights on how consumer behavior is changing and what that actually means for modern marketers. And, trust me, I’m willing to comb through a lotta’ listicles to get there.

The beginning of the new year is an opportune time for marketers to reevaluate their existing technologies and how this enhances the customer experience.  From ad blocking software to social applications, marketers need to align their focus on creating a trustworthy experience for the customer and implement the right technologies of their own to support their approach.

So to spare you from having to digest hundreds of articles with little value, I’ve compiled a list of listicles that will help you face the New Years with a refreshed vision and perspective.

5 Martech Challenges that Marketers will Face in 2016 by Ashu Garg

I often come across the latest and greatest technologies that will “surely make me successful.” If only it were that easy. Adopting new technologies should be one of every marketer’s new year’s resolution. This article will help you figure out how to streamline your initiatives and which technologies work and don’t work for you and your team.

  1. Marketers will embrace point solutions, driving wider-scale MarTech adoption. Marketing leaders will need to evaluate:
    • Compatibility

    • Value of training staff on multiple/unique programs

    • Risks of selected platforms dissipating due to competition or stack solutions

  2. CMOs will define MarTech stack (and reject the suite of standalone products).

  3. Virtual Reality will become a reality for brands. The looming decision for brands in 2016 is whether they begin shifting their focus to VR by adding budget and people-power to this burgeoning opportunity or use this period to listen, learn and then strike when the right moment hits.

  4. Brand marketing moves beyond TV to video. This will affect all aspects of marketing and advertising while creating opportunities internally within organizations, with agencies and startups that can build ground-up solutions for the new world.

  5. Agencies will evolve to new models (finally). Regardless of where you marketing budget lies, understanding the consumer shift and evolving a new strategy around it will be pivotal for marketers ahead.

Five Social Trends Marketers Won’t Be Able to Ignore in 2016 by Victor Pinerio

As a result of ad blocking, the next best way for a marketer to find space for their brand is through social marketing. However, social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook aren’t necessarily the right answers anymore. Pineiro gives five insights where marketers should direct their efforts.

  1. Messaging platforms will trump broadcast social networks. Growth of messaging platforms are continuing to rise, outgrowing social media by 25% more registered users. Marketers must find authentic ways to insert brands into messaging platforms without infringing on the user experience.

  2. Marketers will realize that Snapchat isn’t social — it’s TV. Marketers should be aware that Snapchat isn’t a cost-effective organic social channel – it’s not the next Instagram or Facebook, but the modernized TV.

  3. Ad blocking turns all eyes to social. Brands should rethink the role of digital and its place in the purchase funnel. This could mean digital becomes a pull-marketing only space leading to more synonymy with social.

  4. The Hotel California effect will change the game. You can check out, but you can never leave. Brands should optimize for on-platform success and conversation, and minimize CTAs and clickthroughs.

  5. Social video will get more crowded and complicated. Videos must be optimized for every platform it’s posted on in order to leverage opportunity for success.

Has ‘advertising’ swerved toward bad word territory? by David Kirkpatrick

We can’t quite say goodbye to advertising yet, but the adoption of ad blocking software is climbing and will continue to be a problem for marketers in 2016. As more options for ad blocking become available, consumers are increasingly adding that dreadful ad blocker extension to their browsers. Research from PageFair and Adobe show the estimated loss of global revenue due to ad blocking during 2015 was $21.8 billion — yikes. So how should marketers tackle this challenge? Kirkpatrick gives us a couple of suggestions.

  1. User experience, not ROI. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and the World Federation of Advertisers are advising advertisers to curate their practices around the user experience, instead of focusing on ROI.

  2. Transparency. Some companies are adopting the practice of ad transparency, meaning they provide disclosures for any free content which are supported by ads.

It seems like as soon as you nail the latest marketing trend, you are just forced to move on to the next. However, there’s always that obvious common denominator — the consumer. Understand what makes them tick and you’ve solved the biggest part of the problem. I’m excited to see 2016 unfold with new practices and appreciate so many smart marketers doing the lifting to identify key themes for the new year.