There’s no doubt that 2016 has been a year of incredible changes. But while the world has been shaken by current affairs in the physical space, 2016 has also been the proving-ground for a huge swathe of digital technology and innovation. We take a look back at some of the events that changed our perceptions of digital marketing this past year.
The result of the referendum on 23 June sent waves through every industry, and Digital was no exception. But while businesses planned for future outside the EU, there were other forces at work in the digital sphere. The implementation of the GDPR looms ever closer, and the new law will affect every business, brand and agency that handles data. Whether inside or outside of the EU, marketers here in the UK will have to make sure that they are data compliant for the 25 May 2018. There is a huge focus on consent- companies will need to be able to provide proof of consent for all the data in their control, or risk heavy penalties. As Anthony Humphreys, key account manager, Adestra says, “Don’t forget, the UK had a lot of input into setting up GDPR- let’s not complain about it! It’s a good ethical process that ultimately helps consumers and marketers alike.”
This year also saw the continued use of the much-contested blanket definition “Millennial”. Millennials are, if the media are to be believed, cynical, lazy, over-fond of avocados and responsible for the general meltdown of society. Right. The buzzword and accompanying stereotype has barely been off the news of late, but it would appear that the much maligned millennials hold the future of marketing in their grasp. As more and more millennials enter into that higher disposable income bracket, they are the main target of digital marketers. And being born into the technological age, they are tech-savvier, have a well-established social presence and what’s more, are well aware of the tactic being used by marketers to sell to them. It’s time that the name and its unflattering connotations were dropped, and Generation Y acknowledged as what they actually are – the technology-literate cohort that will lead the next wave of digital innovation.
While fans mourned the departure of The Great British Bake Off from the BBC, there were some helpful take-aways from the show that slot nicely into the marketer’s arsenal. The show has given us some key philosophies for successful marketing, from authenticity, to brand personality, to content marketing, all of course explained with gratuitous images of tasty cakes. As well as this, the move to Channel 4 offers brands the chance to get on board with GBBO and its newly acquired advertising slots, an opportunity that will be much in demand due to the show’s high viewing figures.
July saw our biannual conference take place at the Royal College Of Physicians, with insightful presentations from brands and agencies such as THE OUTNET, Movable Ink, Communicator, dotmailer, CrowdCat and many more. The two presentation tracks covered a wide array of key topics, such as email, social, viral marketing, and UX. And having coincided with the release of a certain, highly anticipated augmented reality game gave a fun and somewhat fitting digital twist to our Twitter feed…
The introduction first of Contactless, then apple pay, has given consumers unprecedented ease regarding how they wish to spend their money. Who’d have ever thought that we would need so many options to pay wirelessly? But, in the spirit of competition, this year Android Pay made it across the pond from the US, where it was launched in 2015, to consumers here in the UK. Despite the success of contactless payment, mobile pay and wearable technology are trailing behind, with only 15 and 10 percent of users adopting them respectively. While it may be too early to tell if the payment service will grow in the same way as contactless has, the remaining big banks should consider getting on board if they’re going to keep up with the new digital payment trends.
Our autumn roundtable was packed with fascinating insights from some leading B2B marketers in the industry. One of them was Hollie Bennett, head of customer marketing at Powwownow, who shared her experience generating engagement in a niche industry. In an interview with Figaro Digital, Bennett explained the importance of maintaining the “human element” in B2B marketing, and gave us a peek of where there strategy will take them in 2017.
Few events this year have had the same colossal impact of the US election, but it also provided an opportunity for agency Havas, in partnership with ITV, to prove their new AI software in predicting the results, and calling a Trump victory even when the pollsters couldn’t. By using billions of data sources to analyse social media responses, and also monitoring press coverage, debates and speeches, the software was able to create a comprehensive map of voter opinions before the event, and predict the outcome that no one else could.
What events in the digital sphere have grabbed your attention this year? Let us know at @Figaro_Digital