Out with the old, in with the new: 2016 is almost here.

Though you may be left scratching your head as to where 2015 could possibly have disappeared to, 2016 is just around the corner. As everyone eats their final batch of leftover turkey and makes pledges to keep their New Year’s resolutions this time around, this week OTB is taking a sneak peek into what 2016 has in store for marketing and the key trends to look for in the coming weeks.

Message Marketing

Industry commentators Marketing Week recently published their list of the key marketing issues to keep an eye on as 2016 fast approaches. Hailed as the most important by Marketing Week was message commerce, the concept that merges well established social media and mobile messaging platforms with sales and trade. Marketing week claims that these mobile messaging apps are on the verge of revolutionising the interaction between consumer and brand, arguing that ‘in 2016, it will become much more common for people to use messaging platforms not just for customer service enquiries but also to manage bookings and make purchases.’

Perhaps unsurprisingly Facebook is currently at the forefront of this developing trend when it comes to Western markets, though Marketing Week does point out that this trend has in fact already become a brand staple in other areas of the world such as China through messaging services like Weixin. Hailed by CNBC back in 2014 as China’s ‘killer app’, it is estimated that the service has almost 300 million users, outstripping both Facebook and Twitter in this region and is already being used as a primary method of consumer contact with brands. Commentators are predicting that 2016 may be the year that this trend takes hold for Western markets, as people wave goodbye to more traditional methods of communication like email.

Get in shape

The New Year is always the time that people decide this year will be the year to get in shape, go to the gym every day and maybe even conquer the London Marathon in the process. But when it comes to marketing, commentators are looking to the rise of health-based, socially responsible branding utilised by a number of firms to attract consumers to their product.

The lean towards this trend has indeed already begun, with marketing giants such as Coca Cola revolutionising its marketing strategy and introducing Coca Cola Life to the market. Under the umbrella of Coca Cola’s new marketing strategy (here at OTB we chose this new direction as among our best of the best for 2015), the brand released this latest addition as part of its commitment to ‘offer a variety of drinks, so there’s something to suit every lifestyle and occasion’.

As for 2016, Marketing Week has suggested that this trend towards socially responsible, healthier products looks set to continue. Beverage company Britvic is one of the leaders of this trend, as this week they launched a global ‘Responsible Marketing Code’ aimed at tightening the brands’ commitment around responsibly marketing to children.  According to Britvic’s senior sustainability manager Alison Rothnie, in addition to long term goals for the company Britvic has made short-term goals and marketing plans for 2016 in this area. She argues ‘we want to further reduce the number of calories in our products by 4%, and we’ll see more brand campaigns strategically supporting our health agenda focus. There will also be a number of new innovations coming to market.’

Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy

One of the most likely trends to influence marketers in 2016 is the perhaps inevitable lean towards busy-ness. With ever increasing demands on marketers and the pace of change showing no sign of slowing when it comes to technology, consumer expectations and new opportunities, Marketing Magazine has argued that marketers should expect to be busy above all else when it comes to 2016.

In their recent article covering the publication’s predictions for the coming year, Marketing Magazine interviewed a range of industry professionals on what they thought would be the biggest challenges facing them in the first few months of 2016. According to the Chief Executive of BT Gavin Patterson, he predicts that in the coming months ‘busy [will be] going from superfast to ultrafast’. He argues that ‘if the UK economy remains resurgent, it will be an intensive time across all channels and media’, with challenges such as the predominance of mobile, on the move media requiring marketers to be increasingly creative in their approach to targeting consumers.

Patterson concludes ‘My New Year’s resolution is to continue focusing on customer service, new services and further improvements to digital infrastructure. Naysayers in the UK point to areas where getting online could be easier, and we need to take that seriously, but, having said that, the EU does place us top of its five biggest members for superfast broadband.’

What will your New Year’s marketing resolution be? Contact us here at OTB to share your thoughts or find out how we could make 2016 your best marketing year yet. Happy New Year from all the team here at OTB, we’ll see you on the other side.

Out with the old, in with the new: 2016 is almost here.