Matthew P. Schwartz | The Most Important Marketing Issues of 2016 (Or Not)
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The Most Important Marketing Issues of 2016 (Or Not)

Hardly a month goes by without agency owners and senior managers having to consider another marketing vehicle to get their clients’ messages out.

Do owners and managers double-down on content marketing—which is all the rage in PR and marketing precincts—or do they start to invest some real money in social media platforms, despite generally anemic returns from Facebook, Twitter and other social channels?

What about programmatic advertising, which helps automate media buying by targeting specific audiences and demographics?

The choices are rife. Agency owners—increasingly tasked with providing better returns—have to make sure they’re placing the best bets possible. Better returns for clients mean better retention rates and bigger budgets.

The first Incite State of Marketing Report could serve as a guidepost for agency owners and managers looking to get a better bang for their buck. The study, which was released earlier this summer, identifies the critical issues marketers are spending time and money on right now and how they see the future shaping up.

The authors of the report, which is based in responses from 1,000 marketers throughout the world, spent a significant amount of time investigating three key issues: personalization, content marketing and marketing attribution. (Each of these three topics will be given an independent conference stream at the forthcoming Incite Marketing Summit, which takes place in New York on October 27 and October 28.)

The crux of the report is found in the $64,000 question: What are the biggest issues in marketing right now?

As the chart below indicates, content marketing is atop the heap, with 53 percent of respondents saying it is an essential focus for 2016 and beyond. (The survey distinguished between corporate/end-user/in-house marketers and the rest of the marketing community.)

Following that is sales enablement and storytelling, with 40 percent and 39 percent, and then single customer view and social media for customer service, with 33 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Storytelling, of course, is a very close cousin of content marketing.

The least important topics in 2016, per the second chart,  are programmatic advertising, engaging post-millennials, location-based marketing, social media for customer service and marketing attribution.

The fact that storytelling trumped social media for customer service, as essential for 2016, suggests that consumers are more interested in reading (and/or sharing) a relevant story via whatever media channel than having to rely on social channels as a conduit to customer service.

How do these charts and trends jibe with what your agency considers the most important marketing issues this year?

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 Source for charts: Incite Marketing 

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Matthew Schwartz
matthew.schwartz38@yahoo.com
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