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What’s trending in 2016?

We breakdown the hot — and not — marketing trends for the year ahead

Everyone’s looking for the next big thing, wondering how to engage clients in an increasingly busy world.

Marketing teams alternately worry about how to leverage the next wave of technological innovation or whether they’re going to be swamped by it. Take a deep breath and focus, says Luke Taylor, a partner in Victoria-based Loomo Creative Co., a marketing agency that works with a number of credit union clients to tell their stories.

“Any great campaign is one that is engaging — usually that means either very funny or very emotional.” He counsels marketing teams to be aware of four hot marketing trends in 2016, and use them to guide their strategies.

1. Hot: Make communication count

Good marketing anticipates what a client needs and shows him how to get there. If a particular product is relevant to his life, he’ll appreciate your message. Before you send anything out — via email, Twitter, or YouTube — really think hard. “If you want your clients to pay attention, make every message count.” says Taylor.

“If you want your clients to pay attention, make every message count”
—Luke Taylor

Not: Over communication. “Even when you subscribe to a newsletter, you’ll tune it out if your credit union sends too much information or stuff you don’t need.” Worse: your overcommunication might be perceived as irritating.

2. Hot: Leverage Facebook

Taylor calls using Facebook a “no-brainer.” It’s an established platform that’s on-trend because of its longevity. “It remains one of my favourite places to market,” he says, noting that Facebook’s social referrals are gold — we’re more likely to read and trust information shared by friends. And Facebook can provide comprehensive demographic data credit unions can use to hone their messages. The Lookalike Audience, in particular, makes it easy to create large lists of potential new clients who are similar to customers you work with.

Not: Listening but not engaging. Customers expect realtime communication and relevant messaging, so make engagement a priority.

3. Hot: Get visual with video

Video is getting increasingly affordable to produce. More than 60 per cent of online traffic is now on mobile devices, meaning we’re spending more time looking at visuals, less on reading text. Taylor points to the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video as a great idea, executed well. Cheap to produce and funny, it’s evidence that marketing does not have to be expensive.

Not: Marketing does have to be smart. “If your video isn’t engaging — if it doesn’t make the viewer care — then don’t make it.”

4. Hot: Be mobile-friendly

You may decide to advertise in print, online, or on TV, but whatever you do, know that a mobile-friendly website aids conversion. Make sure your landing page — and everything else online — is mobile-friendly.

Not: Poor UX. Almost everyone has mobile devices now, and they expect a good user experience. Ease of navigation should be essential, not an afterthought. “There are definitely marketing trends to keep an eye on,” says Taylor, “but your story is at the heart of everything.” ◊

Top 3 takeaways

Taylor recommends keeping these points top of mind in 2016:

1. Prioritize the mobile experience: it’s the now and it’s the future.

2. Cultivate new clients using Facebook: it’s a huge captive audience.

3. Nurture those leads with smart communication, whether it’s by email or video or podcast, make every message count. ♦