If 2015 was the year of content marketing, 2016 will be the year of "less is more" content personalization. While 'Content is King' will continue to ring true in the new year, I predict we will see savvy digital marketers focus more on the value of data-driven content personalization to stay ahead of the game.
In 2015 we saw companies increasingly pour money into social advertising, as Facebook declared brands will have to "pay to play" if they want to keep the power of social within their marketing mix. Businesses will certainly be increasing their paid social and ad spend budgets in 2016, and newcomers and early venture startups will need to brace themselves for an increasingly competitive digital space in the new year.
A lot has been written on the value of 'data-driven' marketing, and we've certainly seen an explosion of martech tools designed to help CMOs generate actionable insight from the advent of Big Data. However data-driven marketing will need to shift from being reactive to proactive in 2016; we will see predictive marketing gaining more ground. As noted in The Australian:
"Marketers are already using machine learning to target ads and that will ultimately transform the way we think about advertising and media."
The rise of data-driven content personalization
In 2016 businesses that understand how to weave consumer data insights into their content strategy will greatly benefit from a 'less is more' approach that will help them cut through the noise in today's oversaturated media landscape. Content marketing will also need to go back to the basics; brands will need to relearn the art of great storytelling.
I've previously discussed the need for brands to seize the gap in solid reporting we're seeing in mainstream media, and pointed to the emerging value for brands to probe issues mainstream media have failed to pick up on. We know companies already spend a sizeable chunk of their marketing budget on gaining comprehensive insights into consumer habits, and one of the perks over the data collected is that they have a pretty good idea of the pertinent issues their customers care about.
Clever marketers will be able to leverage the insights gleamed from consumer data to create a customer-centric personalized content strategy, and these brands will be poised to be heard by the right audiences in the new year.
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