What should your New Year’s resolution be for your marketing department?

Where has the year gone? Already Marty McFly has come and left and turkeys have lost their heads over Thanksgiving, which can mean only one thing. It’s that time of year again. You know the time I’m talking about. That’s right…yearend prediction time. So let’s get right down to it. What will marketing look like in 2016?

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it still won’t look much like Back to the Future 2 predicted, but there will be some significant marketing changes. The importance of provable ROI, an exchange of responsibilities, the deprioritizing of some marketing initiatives will be evened out with the reprioritizing of others, etc. will all be taking place in 2016. In essence, there will be some exciting moves forward in how we go about marketing.

What does the ghost of marketing future have in store for you?

For starters…

1. Provable ROI will go from recommended to required – While this may not be much of a surprise since there has been a push for marketers to adopt technology that delivers provable ROI for a few years now, in the past it was only recommended, but in 2016 it will be a requirement for marketing departments. To stay competitive you need to know which initiatives are creating ROI and which are failing to produce. And with so many businesses adopting technology that delivers provable ROI, to stay in the game you can’t have your technology lagging behind.

2. Marketing will take on more sales responsibility – Marketing is constantly on the move to try and deliver more qualified leads to sales. In 2016, marketing departments will take on more of your sales team’s responsibilities to continue to increase the amount of qualified leads they deliver to sales. This will expand to include:

  • Management of referral program and it’s leads
  • Creation and deployment of email templates used to prospect
  • Strategy and management of prospecting through email and by phone
  • Create customer programs for cross sell and upsell

3. Social influencers will become more of a key part of content marketing – Social influencers have been becoming a larger part marketing  these past few years and are forecasted to become an even greater part of content marketing. Social influencers have the ear (and the eyes) of your key demographic and they can ensure that your content reaches beyond the arm length of your business. In 2016, more marketers will focus on developing their relationship with influencers to harness the trust that the influencer’s network invokes and promote their business.

4. Marketing departments will reduce their PPC budgets – PPC has been an easy standby for years. But unfortunately, more often than not first page bids has become exceedingly expensive when it comes to words that you and all your competitors are vying for. Along with that, ad block and the average searcher now prevent and ignore the noise of millions of ads that are assailing them. With this in mind, 2016 will be a time to reduce your PPC budget and reallocate the funds to channels that can deliver quality leads inexpensively. Instead, PPC will be used primarily as a way to fill in the gaps from your organic search.

5. Customer marketing will play more of a strategic role – Customer marketing has become exceedingly important to businesses. In order to successfully upsell, cross sell, avoid churn and increase the profitability of your current clients and customer, you need customer marketers. So it’s not a surprising that it is the hot job to fill in 2016.

6. Customer advocacy will be a high priority initiative – Customer advocacy has been rising in popularity because of its ability to deliver large amounts of high quality leads, increase upsell and cross sell opportunities, improve the LTV of a customer, and decrease churn. But of course, how successful your results are will depend on what technology you use to extend the trust of your advocate’s family, friends, and professional network to include your business. In 2016, more marketers will be developing advocacy initiatives and scouting out referral software to support it.

7. Adoption of account based marketing will increase – In 2016, another form of personalization that will have a higher adoption rate is account based marketing. Account based marketing is an extremely personalized method of targeting key prospects from companies to marketing straight to them. Whole marketing campaign are created and aimed at one lead. This in-depth personalization breaks through the marketing noise and attracts the attention of advocates and marketing leads at a higher rate of success.

8. Mass personalization at scale will drive leads – Consumers and business are inundated with advertisements and emails. If you’re still doing mass email marketing you’re not going to be heard by prospects through the cascade of emails coming their way unless it personally relates to them at the right time. While in the past mass personalization has been worked into certain marketing initiatives, 2016 will be the year to drive all channels of communication and touchpoints with mass personalization at scale.

Another big trend to watch for next year? The dawn of the digital marketer. Learn more about what to expect by downloading the free Salesforce e-book.