Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2016 - Round 1

April 7, 2016   //   Digital Marketing, , ,

In 2016 these five technologies are revolutionizing the way marketers generate leads. We summarize why these technologies are trending and what may only be the latest fad.

We’ll start by looking at two that have been rising fast over the last few years – responsive website design and marketing automation platforms.

Here is a quick summary of why these technologies are trending and what may only be the latest fad.

Responsive Websites

“Responsive Design” is a type of web design that fluidly responds to the shape of a display screen so the website automatically resizes to fit a phone, tablet or desktop device.  This is done through the combination of media queries, flexible widths, and flexible images.  While responsive web design’s birth might be considered as early as 2010, incidentally the same year iPad was first introduced, it has steadily increased in popularity and is the #1 reason clients contact SWC Technology Partners for a website redesign.

In 2013, the amount of mobile users began to exceed desktop users and responsive design continued to grow as a best practice in website design.  In April 2015 Google began to include mobile-friendliness as a part of its ranking algorithm – meaning if you want search traffic, you best have a site that displays well on a smartphone.  Adobe Systems found that non-mobile friendly websites lost 12% of its mobile traffic within two months after this infamous “Mobilegedden”.  You can leverage Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site works and find recommendations for improvement.

Responsive web design is important for online conversion as well.  Think of how uncomfortable it is to fill out a form when you need to constantly resize your screen.  What about opening an email on your phone to find a page of text that is too small to read?  Responsive web design may be the most impactful digital trend for lead generation in 2016.

For those interested in learning more, SWC features a Responsive Web Design & SEO seminar from time to time that may be of interest.

Marketing Automation

Pardot, Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, Dynamics and more – you’ve heard their names but do you know what they do?  Many organizations leverage marketing automation to increase lead generation and improve lead nurturing; in fact Marketing Automation Insider found an exponential growth in marketing automation adoption over the past five years, growing the industry from $225M to $1.6B.

The demand for this growth in marketing automation technology derives from its ability to automate the marketing process, namely improving lead management, allowing better targeting and frequency of messaging, and improving the speed at which new campaigns can be setup and managed.   This is ideal for smaller organizations that need some form of automation due to limited marketing staff, as well as for larger companies that are running numerous campaigns and need to easily review metrics and manage channel performance.  Most firms investing in these tools are looking to implement or upgrade their current email system and, rightly so, this technology allows for dynamic content (content that pulls external data), triggered emails and nurturing campaigns.  It also easily integrates with common CRM platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics without customization.

We demonstrate this scenario at our SWC Chicago Technology events regularly and it is often eye opening for mid-size businesses that have yet to explore this level of marketing capability.

For example, a company sends an email.  Recipients open the email and click a link to a webpage where they perform a transaction such as downloading a PDF or entering data into a form.  An automated response email is then triggered with an additional offer sent a week later.  The emails and landing page are generated by the marketing automation platform and all recipient actions are displayed on a central dashboard.  Moreover, this information is passed to an integrated CRM system so leads can be quickly worked by the sales team.

If you’re wondering what the impact of marketing automation might be on your business, Pardot has developed a calculator based on their knowledge which may help:

In tomorrow’s roundup, we’ll look at trending marketing channels and platforms you should be leveraging in 2016. Stay tuned!

Want to Learn More About Digital Marketing Trends and Strategies?

For more information on web design, marketing automation, search engine optimization and more, attend one of our Chicagoland Digital Marketing events. These complimentary events are a great opportunity to see what actually works from today’s market leaders.