The world of online marketing is an environment of constantly changing technology and trends. So, when articles get published predicting the future of Online Marketing, how can you take them seriously? I mean, how can someone predict the future of online marketing when everyone’s mind changes from month to month?

The reality is that analyzing industry trends and conducting studies about the effects of specific platforms and strategies takes a lot of research and data. And while trends may change often, some manage to hold strong and become staples in businesses marketing strategies.

When strong trends manage to survive the prediction phase and come true, it becomes more important than ever for businesses to notice and take advantage of these trends’ success.

So, What Are These Trends?

In one of our blog posts from September, 2012, titled “A Few Things to Expect in the Future of Internet Marketing,” we made predictions about growing Online Marketing trends that may have a tremendous impact on marketing strategies of the future. If we go back in time and revisit our three year old predictions, we’ll see that these predictions remain true today and are have become an even bigger part of today’s marketing industry than anyone could have predicted.

Increased Mobile Consumption

In 2012, we predicted that the consumption of Mobile Advertising would become a major player in the way businesses spread their brand name.

“Mobile consumption is rising sharply, putting pressure on companies to ensure that their websites are effective on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers. This is especially critical for retailers that may run primarily from an ecommerce site, but also for any sort of digital media or content that a business may be used as part of their internet marketing campaign.”

Emphasis on Social Media

I don’t think it’s a shock to anyone that Social Media has become a part of our daily lives in 2015, but just three years ago, businesses had a much different understanding of what Social Media could do for their business. In our 2012 blog, we advised businesses to take a more active approach to connecting with their audience through Social Media.

“Companies should be using Social Media at the forefront of their decision making process, rather than afterwards once they’ve found a good strategy. By using customer input and engagement to determine if a certain approach will work, companies can ensure that their ideas and strategies are met more positively and will waste less time on ineffective campaigns.”

Predictions Coming True

As far as these 2012 predictions are concerned, things have gone pretty much according to plan. Part of the success of these predictions is largely due to the increased ownership of smartphones.

Pew Research conducted a survey stating that 64% of American’s now own smartphones. With nearly 10% of those owners saying that their smartphone is the only access they have to the internet. Mobile Advertising has become one of the most effective ways to reach customers.

The increase in mobile usage isn’t the only reason behind the success of these trends. Social Media has redefined the ways business represent themselves on the Internet. The new features of different platforms allows companies to become more casual with their voice.

Through Social Media, businesses are beginning to connect with customers through conversation and constant connection. Livestreaming platforms like Facebook Live, Meerkat, Periscope, and now Blab are connecting people to the real-time activity of other people.

Both Mobile and Social Media have become a necessary part on any marketing plan, but what will happen to these trends in the future? Will they continue, or is the next big marketing “must have” right around the corner? Well… Maybe both.

2016 Trend Predictions

Looking into their crystal ball, Forbes has compiled a list of 10 trends that businesses should look to for their new marketing plans, and our 2012 Mobile and Social Media trends continue to climb the charts in this latest study.

Number one on the Forbes list is Mobile Advertising.

Mobile is going to become the center of marketing. From cell phones to smartphones, tablets to wearable gadgets, the evolution of mobile devices is one of the prime factors influencing the marketing world. As the focus is shifting to smaller screens, brands will be able to strike up a more personalized relationship with their customers by leveraging the power of mobile.”

It doesn’t take too long before Social Media is mentioned as a trend to watch out for in 2016 – coming in at number five.

Social will become the next Internet. Social will become an integral part of the “broader marketing discipline.” As its impact grows stronger, most brands will fully transition their marketing efforts to social channels. As such, social has the full potential to become not just one of the channels but the channel.”

You might be asking yourself, so what’s next? What other trends have been growing and what can we expect to see in the future? Forbes’ list of 10 trends driving marketing outlines what they believe to be the growing industry, so I’ll point out two more trends that we could expect to see in the future.

Creating quality content comes in at the number three trend on Forbes’ list.

The need for good content will not slow down. Ever. Content, particularly visual content, will rule the roost in the online marketing world, evolving into various forms and disrupting the conventional marketing models. Moreover, the speed at which a brand can create amazing content will play a part in their success.”

Finishing off the list at number 10 is the development of more accurate metrics.

More accurate metrics will surface. What most brands do in the name of measuring marketing success is look at hollow “vanity” metrics such as likes, shares, or tweets. Even in terms of data mining, we are still developing more sophisticated means to capture the right data. Many ideas are hypothesized, but few are practical. The future will witness the rise of better analytical tools to help marketers gauge the success of their campaigns.”

The Importance of Knowing the Future

Studying the trends for future marketing campaigns allows businesses to never fall behind this rapidly changing industry. That’s why KeyMedia Solutions is dedicated to our pursuit of constant education. We believe that every business, regardless of their size, deserves the chance to utilize the latest marketing technology, and when we understand which technology will be prominent in the future, we can create a marketing strategy that will be successful not just today, but years from now.