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100+ Amazing Marketing Stats You Need To Know In 2016

Michael Brenner

Curious about how marketing is shaping up in 2016? Or how your marketing strategy is performing against other companies? And what’s working for other marketers or is keeping them up at night?

Find the answers to these questions and many more in this collection of 100+ amazing marketing stats on everything from content marketing to digital advertising, mobile marketing, social media, marketing budget and spending, lead generation and customer experience.

I hope this will be a great reference tool and source of inspiration and insights to inform your marketing strategy this year. Did I miss any good marketing stats or facts you think others should know about? Please add them to the list in the comments section below!

Content marketing

  1. Content marketing will generate $300 billion by 2019. (Contently)
  2. 75% of marketers saw positive returns from their content marketing efforts. (Contently)
  3. Only 12% of marketers believe they have “high-performance” content marketing engines. (Contently)
  4. 77% of B2C marketers and 76% of B2B marketers expect to produce more content than they did last year. (Contently)
  5. Marketers who blog are 13 times more likely to generate ROI. (Contently)
  6. 74% of readers trust educational content from brands as long as it doesn’t push a sale. (Contently)
  7. Two-thirds of readers have felt deceived upon realizing a piece of content was sponsored by a brand. (Contently)
  8. 56% of marketers claim personalized content drives higher engagement. (Contently)
  9. 88% of B2B companies use content marketing. (Forbes)
  10. B2B brands that connect with their buyers on an emotional level earn twice the impact over marketers who are still trying to sell business or functional value. Buyers feel a much closer personal connection to their B2B brands than to consumer brands. (LinkedIn Pulse)
  11. Potential B2B buyers who feel a “high brand connection” are 60% more likely to consider, purchase and even pay a premium than “low brand connection” competitors. (LinkedIn Pulse)
  12. 93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies. (Forbes via Marketo)

Marketing measurement

  1. 45% of marketers still don’t formally evaluate their analytics for quality and accuracy or, even worse, don’t know if they do or not. (Contently)
  2. Less than 30% of small businesses use website analytics, call tracking, or coupon codes. 18% of small businesses admit to not tracking anything at all. (MediaPost)
  3. One-third of marketers say they don’t know which digital marketing channel has the biggest positive impact on revenue. (MarketingProfs)

Marketing budget and spending

  1. CMOs plan to increase their overall digital marketing spending by 14.7% over the next year, and to raise social media’s share of total marketing spending to 13.5% in the next twelve months (from 9.9% currently), and 22.4% five years from now. (MediaPost)
  2. Digital marketing spending is predicted to grow 12% in the next year, while budgets for traditional advertising will fall to 2%. (The CMO Survey)
  3. B2B digital ad spending has increased 15% to $5.8 billion in 2014 — due largely to growth in native advertising, while display advertising is becoming less important. (MediaPost)
  4. Digital marketing spend is forecast o account for 35% of total budgets in 2016. (Business2Community)
  5. After SEM, which is at 47% of total digital marketing spend, online display advertising (banner ads, re-marketing, and re-targeting) is expected to nab the second biggest share of digital spend at about 34% of total online spending, and about 10% of the total marketing budget. (Business2Community)
  6. The top four channels for increases in digital marketing spend last year were email marketing (61% of marketers increasing spending on this channel), social media (49%), mobile marketing (40%), and SEO/PPC (38%). (Relevate)
  7. The top three responsibilities of B2B marketers, in order of importance, are brand and positioning, lead generation and brand communications. But two years from now B2B marketers expect the top three will be understanding buyers, marketing technology tools and market/competitor analysis. (eMarketer)
  8. B2B product marketing budgets are expected to increase on average 3.1% this year, but budgets for B2B services marketing are projected to grow nearly 7%. (The CMO Survey)
  9. Spending on digital marketing specifically is projected to rise 14% for B2B products and 20% for B2B services this year. (The CMO Survey)
  10. Marketing accounts for 10% of total B2B company spending on average, and 6% of total revenue. (The CMO Survey)
  11. In B2B product companies, marketing staff on average account for about 3% of total employees. But they make up 11% of the workforce in B2B services. (The CMO Survey)
  12. For B2B media companies, the biggest share of revenue comes from events, totaling $12.2 billion in 2014. In proportional terms that’s just over 44% of the industry total. (MediaPost)
  13. A majority of B2B marketers plan on investing more money in programmatic advertising this year. Nearly two-thirds (65%) are set to spend more money on programmatic advertising in 2016, with 78% of B2B marketers devoting up to 50% of their digital ad budgets on programmatic this year. (MediaPost)
  14. While marketers are spending more on programmatic advertising, 44% of B2B marketers say they don’t understand, or have a small amount of knowledge, about how programmatic works. “Lack of understanding” was cited as the top challenge in using programmatic for 47% of B2B marketers. (MediaPost)

Display advertising

  1. Standard banner ads have a 0.12% click-through rate. (Contently)
  2. 56% of display ads are never seen by actual humans. (Contently)
  3. The average click-through rate of display ads across all formats and placements is 0.06%. (HubSpot)
  4. 54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them. (BannerSnack)
  5. Mobile banner ads have a 0.14% click-through rate. (Contently)
  6. Ad blocking grew by 41% year over year in the past 12 months. (Contently)
  7. 45 million U.S. web users have enabled an ad blocker as of late 2015. (MediaPost)
  8. In Europe, around 77 million people now block ads, representing a 35% increase from 2014. (MediaPost)
  9. Ad blockers resulted in nearly $22 billion of lost ad revenue in 2015 for publishers, with U.S. accounting for about half of the total (roughly $11 billion). (MediaPost)
  10. 28% of users say they try to hide their activities from advertisers – second only to criminals. (Contently)
  11. Native ads are viewed 53% more than banner ads. (HubSpot)

Mobile marketing

  1. 80% of internet users own a smartphone. (Smart Insights)
  2. 56% of all online traffic comes through a mobile. (comScore)
  3. 59% of B2B buyers use smartphones to research B2B products and services. (Panvista Mobile via SCORE Philadelphia via PureB2B)
  4. Less than 8% of total B2B product sales are closed directly online, versus 15% for B2C products. (The CMO Survey)
  5. Social ad spending has doubled over the past two years. (iMedia Connection)
  6. By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending. (Payfirma)
  7. Digital video ad spend will exceed TV ad spend for the first time this year. (Contently)
  8. 70% of B2B marketers claim that videos are more effective than other content when it comes to converting users to qualified leads. (Vidyard)
  9. Prospects who are retargeted to are 70% more likely to convert. (HubSpot)
  10. Programmatic advertising currently represents nearly two-thirds (62%) of the digital display advertising market (online, social and mobile) and is expected to grow to 82% by 2018. The size of the programmatic marketing is expected to more than double over the next three years. (MediaPost)
  11. Total spending on Internet advertising is predicted to grow 12.9% next year. Ahead of TV, Internet will become the largest medium for advertising this year. (MediaPost)
  12. In the U.S. alone, digital media consumption has increased 49% since 2013. (Contently)
  13. 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy. (Salesforce)
  14. 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is key to their business. (Salesforce)
  15. 58% of companies surveyed have a dedicated mobile marketing team. (Salesforce)
  16. 40% of all online shopping purchases now happen on mobile devices. (IMRG)
  17. 66% of people subscribed to mobile marketing have made a purchase after receiving a text message. (Responses)
  18. Apple’s Safari makes up 55% of the mobile browsing share. (Contently)
  19. Only 45% of businesses are conducting mobile marketing with mobile websites (70%), mobile applications (55%), and QR codes (49%) as the most common tactics. (StrongView via PureB2B)
  20. About 50% of B2B vendors sell through mobile (including stores and applications). (MarketingCharts via PureB2B)
  21. Mobile apps play a significant role in content marketing, according to 83% of B2B marketers. (e-Strategy Trends via PureB2B)
  22. Half of B2B buyers are using smartphones for business purchases — with 40% of these purchases directly influenced by such devices. Conversely, the allocation for mobile in digital marketing only amounts to 3%. (Webbiquity via PureB2B)

Website, search, and email marketing

  1. Strategic landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire leads. (Marketo via PureB2B)
  2. 49% of B2B buyers prefer using consumer websites for work-related purchases and expect to be given the same array of omni-channel buying options they have as consumers. (The Future of Commerce via PureB2B)
  3. 93% of B2B buying processes begin with an online search. (Pinpoint Market Research and Anderson Jones PR via PureB2B)
  4. Before finalizing a product purchase, 94% of B2B buyers research online. (Marketing Profs via PureB2B)
  5. 76% of B2B buyers use three or more channels when researching a potential purchase. (Blue Nile Research via PureB2B)
  6. The three most commonly used B2B lead generation strategies are email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%), and content marketing (67%). (Demand Metric Research Corporation via Direct Marketing News via PureB2B)
  7. Email ranks as the third most influential information source for B2B audiences, behind colleague recommendations and industry-specific intermediaries. (BaseOne via Imagination via PureB2B)
  8. 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue. (BtoB Magazine via PureB2B)
  9. It is expected that by 2017, the number of emails sent daily will reach approximately 297 billion. (The Wonder of Tech via PureB2B)

Lead generation and lead nurturing

  1. 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal in 2016. (Content Marketing Institute)
  2. Content marketing is used for lead generation by 83% of B2B marketers. (Content Marketing Institute)
  3. 68% of B2B companies are still struggling with lead generation. (CSO Insights via Lattice Engines via PureB2B)
  4. Only 5-10% of qualified leads successfully convert for marketers. (B2B Technology Marketing Community via PureB2B)
  5. Lead generation strategies were only successful for 13% of business in accomplishing their main objectives. (Ascend2 Lead Generation Benchmark Report via PureB2B)
  6. Increasing the quality of leads is the top priority for a majority (68%) of B2B professionals, followed by increasing lead volume (55%). (B2B Technology Marketing Community via PureB2B)
  7. 68% of B2B marketers ranked “generating high-quality leads” as their top priority last year, with 59% also said that was their biggest challenge. (MediaPost) Another study confirmed this fact and found that 61% of B2B marketers surveyed find high-quality lead generation as their biggest challenge. (B2B Technology Marketing Community via PureB2B)
  8. Most marketers are not satisfied with the effectiveness of their lead-generation programs. 80% report their efforts are only “slightly” or “somewhat” effective, and only 16% rate their efforts as “very” or “extremely” effective. 4% say their lead-generation programs as not effective at all. (MediaPost)
  9. A CRM system is believed by 84% of companies to be beneficial in determining the quality of leads. (Demand Metric Research Corporation via Direct Marketing News via PureB2B)
  10. 25% of marketers don’t have any idea of their conversion rates. (B2B Technology Marketing Community via PureB2B)
  11. Verifying business leads before passing it to the sales team is conducted by only 56% of B2B companies. (MarketingSherpa via PureB2B)
  12. With 61% of B2B marketers immediately forwarding leads to sales, qualified leads only amount to 27%. (MarketingSherpa via PureB2B)
  13. Lead generation outsourcing is 43% more efficient than generating leads in-house because of their expertise. (Fearless Competitor via PureB2B)
  14. Only 57% of B2B firms consider converting leads into paying customers as their top priority when devising their marketing campaigns. (HubSpot via PureB2B)
  15. Through the success of content marketing, 49% of B2B marketers follow up with quality sales leads for further assessment. (Content Marketing Institute)
  16. Between 28% and 35% percent of B2B leads come from marketing, while 45% to 52% on average are generated by sales teams. (Direct Marketing)
  17. Live events, including conferences, trade shows and forums, remain the top lead generation source for B2B marketers. (MediaPost)
  18. Marketers cite white paper and eBook downloads as the top producers of B2B leads. Other top calls to action included contact forms (39%), webinars (37%) and free trials (35%). (MediaPost)
  19. 67% of B2B marketers who use lead nurturing see a 10% or greater increase in sales opportunities throughout the funnel, and 15% see opportunities increase by 30% or more. (Iconsive)
  20. Expertise in lead nurturing results in a 50% increase in sales-ready leads, along with a 33% decrease in its cost. (Forrester Research via PureB2B)
  21. More than 79% of marketing leads don’t convert into sales with the lack of lead nurturing as the leading cause. (MarketingSherpa via PureB2B)
  22. Outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads. (HubSpot via PureB2B)

Marketing automation

  1. B2B marketers who implement marketing automation software see their contribution to the sales pipeline increased by an average of 10%. 63% of companies that are growing faster than their competitors use marketing automation. (Iconsive)
  2. 68% of best-in-class companies use lead scoring (a marketing automation feature), in comparison with 28% of laggard organizations. (Iconsive)
  3. 37% of marketers state that budget constraints hinder them from conducting an efficient marketing automation strategy. (Pepper Global via PureB2B)

Customer experience

  1. B2B marketers believe customer experience, personalization, and big data hold the most promise over the next five years. 22% of B2B marketers surveyed named customer experience as the greatest opportunity.(Econsultancy and Adobe via PureB2B)
  2. 83% of CMOs stated that their organizational culture is crucial in the team’s productivity and quality of services they deliver. (Spencer Stuart via PureB2B)
  3. Approximately 90% of B2B companies are likely to switch partners even with just one single bad experience. (CMO.com via PureB2B)
  4. Only 45% of B2B marketers are confident that they have decent, if not high, levels of customer centricity. (FierceCMO via PureB2B)

Social media

  1. There are 3 billion activesocial media users worldwide. (We Are Social)
  2. Internet users have an average of 54 social media accounts. (GlobalWebIndex)
  3. Social media users have risen by 176 millionin the last year. (Social Media Today)
  4. 12 new active mobile social users are added every second. That’s 1 million every day. (Social Media Today)
  5. There are 65 billionactive mobile social accounts globally. (Jeff Bullas)
  6. B2B product marketers plan to increase the proportion of overall marketing budgets spent on social media from 8% today to 18% within the next five years. B2B services marketers plan to increase the share allocated to social media from 12% to 25% over that period. (The CMO Survey)
  7. Just 6% of B2B product marketers—but 17% of B2B services marketers—say they are able to quantitatively prove the impact of social media on the business. (The CMO Survey)
  8. 76% of B2B technology marketers use social media to market their products. (MarketingProfs)
  9. Asked to identify their top social media platforms for product launch, 81% of B2B technology marketers cited LinkedIn. 71% said Twitter, while 54% mentioned Facebook and YouTube. One out of six responded Google+ or SlideShare. (MarketingProfs)
  10. When making a purchase, 75% of B2B buyers use social media for their decision-making. (International Data Corporation via PureB2B)
  11. 80% of B2B decision makers visit vendor-independent communities, vendor-sponsored forums, and LinkedIn at least monthly for business purposes. (Marketing Think)
  12. 81% of B2B decision makers use online communities and blogs to help make purchasing decisions. 74% use LinkedIn and 42% use Twitter. (Marketing Think)

Let’s take a closer look at some social media stats for these specific channels below:

Facebook

  1. 71% of all Internet users are on Facebook, with more than half (56%) of all online adults 65 and older use Facebook. (Pew Research)
  2. There are 968 million active daily users on Facebook. Users spend on average 20 minutes per day on the site. (Infinit Datum)
  3. 91% of millennials (aged 15-34) are on Facebook. (Infinit Datum)
  4. 70% of Facebook users engage with the site daily, and nearly half (45%) do so several times a day. (Pew Research)
  5. Just 28% of Internet users say they use only one social networking site. But of those users, 79% are on Facebook. (Pew Research)
  6. Facebook’s mobile user base increased by 15% in 2014 and the number of mobile-only users increased by 34%. (Twelveskip)
  7. 93% of small business owners/marketers use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%. (Social Media Examiner)
  8. While 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business and that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don’t know whether their Facebook activities are working or not. (Social Media Examiner)
  9. 96% of B2C and 88% of B2B companies use Facebook for marketing. (Statistica)
  10. Most B2C marketers (56%) say Facebook has generated some revenue for their business. (MarketingProfs)
  11. 7% of U.S. companies with 100 employees or more used Facebook for marketing activities in 2015. That share is projected to rise to 85.3% this year and 85.8% next year. (MediaPost)
  12. Among the 50 largest global companies, none of their CEOs are active on Facebook. (MarketWatch)
  13. Globally, 30% of people have liked a brand’s Facebook page. (Link Humans)
  14. Facebook users “like” almost 4.2 million posts every minute. (DR4WARD)
  15. 21% of consumers say they unfollow brands that post repetitive or boring content. 19% say they would unfollow a brand on Facebook if the brand posted too often (more than six times a day). (SocialTimes)
  16. For every 100k followers on Facebook, only 130 people will click on an organic post. (Contently)
  17. 78% of marketers are satisfied with their Facebook ads. (Contently)

LinkedIn

  1. LinkedIn is the largest professional network, with more than 380 million members in 200 countries and territories. The heaviest users are aged 30-64. (Infini Datum; Link Humans)
  2. 57% of LinkedIn users are male. (Link Humans)
  3. Even though Facebook is the most important social network to marketers overall, LinkedIn is the top choice for B2B marketers—41% say it’s the most important network they use. (V3 Broadsuite Blog)
  4. 81% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to help launch new products. (Infini Datum)
  5. 74% of B2B decision makers use LinkedIn to help make purchasing decisions. (Marketing Think)
  6. Just 18% of B2B SMB marketers are using LinkedIn ads. These same marketers are using Facebook ads at a rate of 75%. (Social Media Examiner)
  7. 73% of Fortune 500 CEOs with only one social network listed LinkedIn as their preferred choice. (MarketWatch)
  8. There’s an average 45% increase in engagement when a LinkedIn post contains a link, a 50% increase in comments when a post contains a question, and a 98% increase in comments when the post contains an image. (DMR)

Twitter

  1. Twitter has 302 million active users per month, with 36% of Twitter users who visit the site daily. (Pew Research; Link Humans)
  2. Every minute, Twitter users post more than 347,000 tweets. (DR4WARD)
  3. 23% of adult Internet users are on Twitter. (Infini Datum)
  4. 25% of Twitter advertising budgets are dedicated to mobile, and 89% of Twitter’s Q1 revenue in 2015 came from mobile. (Infini Datum)
  5. 88% of B2B marketers in North America use Twitter for content distribution. (DMR)
  6. 46% of Twitter users follow news organizations, reporters or commentators. (Infini Datum)

Pinterest

  1. Pinterest has 47 million active monthly users worldwide. (Infini Datum)
  2. Women still dominate Pinterest – 42% of online women now use the platform, compared with 13% of online men. (Pew Research)
  3. 80% of Pinterest users are women, and they account for 92% of all pins. (Link Humans)
  4. Every minute, Pinterest users pin more than 9,700. (DR4WARD)
  5. The most popular topic on Pinterest is food, which accounts for 57% of all pins. (DMR)

Instagram

  1. There are more than 400 million active monthly users on Instagram. (Infini Datum)
  2. 75% of users live outside the US. (Infini Datum)
  3. 30% of all U.S. social media users are on Instagram. (DMR)
  4. 90% of Instagram users are under age 35, and about a third of all U.S. teens consider Instagram to be their favorite social network. (DMR)
  5. Roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram. And half of all Instagram users (49%) use the site daily. (Pew Research)
  6. Every minute, Instagram users “like” more than 1.7 million photos. (DR4WARD)
  7. There are 3.5 billion “likes” on Instagram daily. (Infini Datum)
  8. 32% of U.S. companies with 100 employees or more used Instagram for marketing activities last year. That number is predicted to increase to nearly 49% this year and 70.7% next year. (MediaPost)
  9. B2C marketers are more likely (49%) than B2B marketers (32%) to say they plan to increase activities on Instagram this year. (Infini Datum)

Google+

  1. Google+ has 300 million active monthly users worldwide, but less than 6 million made any public posts in 2015. (Infini Datum)
  2. 64% of North American B2B marketers use Google+ to distribute content, but just 17% use it for new product launches, as opposed to 81% who use LinkedIn. (Infini Datum)
  3. Google+ is most used in Indonesia (83% of the online population), India (82% of the online population) and Vietnam (80% of internet users). (Digital Information World)

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Photo Source: flickr

The post 100+ Amazing Marketing Stats You Need To Know In 2016 appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of  The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider GroupHe has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and   a top  CMO influencer by Forbes.

Amazing Digital Marketing Trends And Tips To Expand Your Business In 2015

Sunny Popali

Amazing Digital Marketing Trends & Tips To Expand Your Business In 2015The fast-paced world of digital marketing is changing too quickly for most companies to adapt. But staying up to date with the latest industry trends is imperative for anyone involved with expanding a business.

Here are five trends that have shaped the industry this year and that will become more important as we move forward:

  1. Email marketing will need to become smarter

Whether you like it or not, email is the most ubiquitous tool online. Everyone has it, and utilizing it properly can push your marketing ahead of your rivals. Because business use of email is still very widespread, you need to get smarter about email marketing in order to fully realize your business’s marketing strategy. Luckily, there are a number of tools that can help you market more effectively, such as Mailchimp.

  1. Content marketing will become integrated and more valuable

Content is king, and it seems to be getting more important every day. Google and other search engines are focusing more on the content you create as the potential of the online world as marketing tool becomes apparent. Now there seems to be a push for current, relevant content that you can use for your services and promote your business.

Staying fresh with the content you provide is almost as important as ensuring high-quality content. Customers will pay more attention if your content is relevant and timely.

  1. Mobile assets and paid social media are more important than ever

It’s no secret that mobile is key to your marketing efforts. More mobile devices are sold and more people are reading content on mobile screens than ever before, so it is crucial to your overall strategy to have mobile marketing expertise on your team. London-based Abacus Marketing agrees that mobile marketing could overtake desktop website marketing in just a few years.

  1. Big Data for personalization plays a key role

Marketers are increasingly using Big Data to get their brand message out to the public in a more personalized format. One obvious example is Google Trend analysis, a highly useful tool that marketing experts use to obtain the latest on what is trending around the world. You can — and should — use it in your business marketing efforts. Big Data will also let you offer specific content to buyers who are more likely to look for certain items, for example, and offer personalized deals to specific groups of within your customer base. Other tools, which until recently were the stuff of science fiction, are also available that let you do things like use predictive analysis to score leads.

  1. Visual media matters

A picture really is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, and nobody can deny the effectiveness of a well-designed infographic. In fact, some studies suggest that Millennials are particularly attracted to content with great visuals. Animated gifs and colorful bar graphs have even found their way into heavy-duty financial reports, so why not give them a try in your business marketing efforts?

A few more tips:

  • Always keep your content relevant and current to attract the attention of your target audience.
  • Always keep all your social media and public accounts fresh. Don’t use old content or outdated pictures in any public forum.
  • Your reviews are a proxy for your online reputation, so pay careful attention to them.
  • Much online content is being consumed on mobile now, so focus specifically on the design and usability of your mobile apps.
  • Online marketing is essentially geared towards getting more traffic onto your site. The more people visit, the better your chances of increasing sales.

Want more insight on how digital marketing is evolving? See Shutterstock Report: The Face Of Marketing Is Changing — And It Doesn’t Include Vince Vaughn.

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About Sunny Popali

Sunny Popali is SEO Director at www.tempocreative.com. Tempo Creative is a Phoenix inbound marketing company that has served over 700 clients since 2001. Tempos team specializes in digital and internet marketing services including web design, SEO, social media and strategy.

Social Media Matters: 6 Content And Social Media Trend Predictions For 2016 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Julie Ellis

As 2015 winds down, it’s time to look forward to 2016 and explore the social media and content marketing trends that will impact marketing strategies over the next 15 months or so.

Some of the upcoming trends simply indicate an intensification of current trends, however others indicate that there are new things that will have a big impact in 2016.

Take a look at a few trends that should definitely factor in your planning for 2016.

1. SEO will focus more on social media platforms and less on search engines

Clearly Google is going nowhere. In fact, in 2016 Google’s word will still essentially be law when it comes to search engine optimization.

However, in 2016 there will be some changes in SEO. Many of these changes will be due to the fact that users are increasingly searching for products and services directly from websites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

There are two reasons for this shift in customer habits:

  • Customers are relying more and more on customer comments, feedback, and reviews before making purchasing decisions. This means that they are most likely to search directly on platforms where they can find that information.
  • Customers who are seeking information about products and services feel that video- and image-based content is more trustworthy.

2. The need to optimize for mobile and touchscreens will intensify

Consumers are using their mobile devices and tablets for the following tasks at a sharply increasing rate:

  • Sending and receiving emails and messages
  • Making purchases
  • Researching products and services
  • Watching videos
  • Reading or writing reviews and comments
  • Obtaining driving directions and using navigation apps
  • Visiting news and entertainment websites
  • Using social media

Most marketers would be hard-pressed to look at this list and see any case for continuing to avoid mobile and touchscreen optimization. Yet, for some reason many companies still see mobile optimization as something that is nice to do, but not urgent.

This lack of a sense of urgency seemingly ignores the fact that more than 80% of the highest growing group of consumers indicate that it is highly important that retailers provide mobile apps that work well. According to the same study, nearly 90% of Millennials believe that there are a large number of websites that have not done a very good job of optimizing for mobile.

3. Content marketing will move to edgier social media platforms

Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat weren’t considered to be valid targets for mainstream content marketing efforts until now.

This is because they were considered to be too unproven and too “on the fringe” to warrant the time and marketing budget investments, when platforms such as Facebook and YouTube were so popular and had proven track records when it came to content marketing opportunity and success.

However, now that Instagram is enjoying such tremendous growth, and is opening up advertising opportunities to businesses beyond its brand partners, it (along with other platforms) will be seen as more and more viable in 2016.

4. Facebook will remain a strong player, but the demographic of the average user will age

In 2016, Facebook will likely remain the flagship social media website when it comes to sharing and promoting content, engaging with customers, and increasing Internet recognition.

However, it will become less and less possible to ignore the fact that younger consumers are moving away from the platform as their primary source of online social interaction and content consumption. Some companies may be able to maintain status quo for 2016 without feeling any negative impacts.

However, others may need to rethink their content marketing strategies for 2016 to take these shifts into account. Depending on their branding and the products or services that they offer, some companies may be able to profit from these changes by customizing the content that they promote on Facebook for an older demographic.

5. Content production must reflect quality and variety

  • Both B2B and B2C buyers value video based content over text based content.
  • While some curated content is a good thing, consumers believe that custom content is an indication that a company wishes to create a relationship with them.
  • The great majority of these same consumers report that customized content is useful for them.
  • B2B customers prefer learning about products and services through content as opposed to paid advertising.
  • Consumers believe that videos are more trustworthy forms of content than text.

Here is a great infographic depicting the importance of video in content marketing efforts:
Small Business Video infographic

A final, very important thing to note when considering content trends for 2016 is the decreasing value of the keyword as a way of optimizing content. In fact, in an effort to crack down on keyword stuffing, Google’s optimization rules have been updated to to kick offending sites out of prime SERP positions.

6. Oculus Rift will create significant changes in customer engagement

Oculus Rift is not likely to offer much to marketers in 2016. After all, it isn’t expected to ship to consumers until the first quarter. However, what Oculus Rift will do is influence the decisions that marketers make when it comes to creating customer interaction.

For example, companies that have not yet embraced storytelling may want to make 2016 the year that they do just that, because later in 2016 Oculus Rift may be the platform that their competitors will be using to tell stories while giving consumers a 360-degree vantage point.

For a deeper dive on engaging with customers through storytelling, see Brand Storytelling: Where Humanity Takes Center Stage.

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About Julie Ellis

Julie Ellis – marketer and professional blogger, writes about social media, education, self-improvement, marketing and psychology. To contact Julie follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

The Future of Cybersecurity: Trust as Competitive Advantage

Justin Somaini and Dan Wellers

 

The cost of data breaches will reach US$2.1 trillion globally by 2019—nearly four times the cost in 2015.

Cyberattacks could cost up to $90 trillion in net global economic benefits by 2030 if cybersecurity doesn’t keep pace with growing threat levels.

Cyber insurance premiums could increase tenfold to $20 billion annually by 2025.

Cyberattacks are one of the top 10 global risks of highest concern for the next decade.


Companies are collaborating with a wider network of partners, embracing distributed systems, and meeting new demands for 24/7 operations.

But the bad guys are sharing intelligence, harnessing emerging technologies, and working round the clock as well—and companies are giving them plenty of weaknesses to exploit.

  • 33% of companies today are prepared to prevent a worst-case attack.
  • 25% treat cyber risk as a significant corporate risk.
  • 80% fail to assess their customers and suppliers for cyber risk.

The ROI of Zero Trust

Perimeter security will not be enough. As interconnectivity increases so will the adoption of zero-trust networks, which place controls around data assets and increases visibility into how they are used across the digital ecosystem.


A Layered Approach

Companies that embrace trust as a competitive advantage will build robust security on three core tenets:

  • Prevention: Evolving defensive strategies from security policies and educational approaches to access controls
  • Detection: Deploying effective systems for the timely detection and notification of intrusions
  • Reaction: Implementing incident response plans similar to those for other disaster recovery scenarios

They’ll build security into their digital ecosystems at three levels:

  1. Secure products. Security in all applications to protect data and transactions
  2. Secure operations. Hardened systems, patch management, security monitoring, end-to-end incident handling, and a comprehensive cloud-operations security framework
  3. Secure companies. A security-aware workforce, end-to-end physical security, and a thorough business continuity framework

Against Digital Armageddon

Experts warn that the worst-case scenario is a state of perpetual cybercrime and cyber warfare, vulnerable critical infrastructure, and trillions of dollars in losses. A collaborative approach will be critical to combatting this persistent global threat with implications not just for corporate and personal data but also strategy, supply chains, products, and physical operations.


Download the executive brief The Future of Cybersecurity: Trust as Competitive Advantage.


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How Digital Transformation Is Rewriting Business Models

Ginger Shimp

Everybody knows someone who has a stack of 3½-inch floppies in a desk drawer “just in case we may need them someday.” While that might be amusing, the truth is that relatively few people are confident that they’re making satisfactory progress on their digital journey. The boundaries between the digital and physical worlds continue to blur — with profound implications for the way we do business. Virtually every industry and every enterprise feels the effects of this ongoing digital transformation, whether from its own initiative or due to pressure from competitors.

What is digital transformation? It’s the wholesale reimagining and reinvention of how businesses operate, enabled by today’s advanced technology. Businesses have always changed with the times, but the confluence of technologies such as mobile, cloud, social, and Big Data analytics has accelerated the pace at which today’s businesses are evolving — and the degree to which they transform the way they innovate, operate, and serve customers.

The process of digital transformation began decades ago. Think back to how word processing fundamentally changed the way we write, or how email transformed the way we communicate. However, the scale of transformation currently underway is drastically more significant, with dramatically higher stakes. For some businesses, digital transformation is a disruptive force that leaves them playing catch-up. For others, it opens to door to unparalleled opportunities.

Upending traditional business models

To understand how the businesses that embrace digital transformation can ultimately benefit, it helps to look at the changes in business models currently in process.

Some of the more prominent examples include:

  • A focus on outcome-based models — Open the door to business value to customers as determined by the outcome or impact on the customer’s business.
  • Expansion into new industries and markets — Extend the business’ reach virtually anywhere — beyond strictly defined customer demographics, physical locations, and traditional market segments.
  • Pervasive digitization of products and services — Accelerate the way products and services are conceived, designed, and delivered with no barriers between customers and the businesses that serve them.
  • Ecosystem competition — Create a more compelling value proposition in new markets through connections with other companies to enhance the value available to the customer.
  • Access a shared economy — Realize more value from underutilized sources by extending access to other business entities and customers — with the ability to access the resources of others.
  • Realize value from digital platforms — Monetize the inherent, previously untapped value of customer relationships to improve customer experiences, collaborate more effectively with partners, and drive ongoing innovation in products and services,

In other words, the time-tested assumptions about how to identify customers, develop and market products and services, and manage organizations may no longer apply. Every aspect of business operations — from forecasting demand to sourcing materials to recruiting and training staff to balancing the books — is subject to this wave of reinvention.

The question is not if, but when

These new models aren’t predictions of what could happen. They’re already realities for innovative, fast-moving companies across the globe. In this environment, playing the role of late adopter can put a business at a serious disadvantage. Ready or not, digital transformation is coming — and it’s coming fast.

Is your company ready for this sea of change in business models? At SAP, we’ve helped thousands of organizations embrace digital transformation — and turn the threat of disruption into new opportunities for innovation and growth. We’d relish the opportunity to do the same for you. Our Digital Readiness Assessment can help you see where you are in the journey and map out the next steps you’ll need to take.

Up next I’ll discuss the impact of digital transformation on processes and work. Until then, you can read more on how digital transformation is impacting your industry.

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About Ginger Shimp

With more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, Ginger Shimp has been with SAP since 2004. She has won numerous awards and honors at SAP, including being designated “Top Talent” for two consecutive years. Not only is she a Professional Certified Marketer with the American Marketing Association, but she's also earned her Connoisseur's Certificate in California Reds from the Chicago Wine School. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of San Francisco, and an MBA in marketing and managerial economics from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Personally, Ginger is the proud mother of a precocious son and happy wife of one of YouTube's 10 EDU Gurus, Ed Shimp.