Trends 2016: Content Marketing, Marketing Automation, “Shopping as an Experience”, Market Shakeout
E-commerce is constantly in motion. In our trend series, we examine the most exciting developments from our experts’ perspective – in a nutshell and in a subjective way.
Today: The most important marketing trends in the opinion of our CMO Alexander Reschke.
Trend 1: Content marketing will become more important than SEO
Content marketing is set to become even mightier through the inclusion of images and videos. User-generated content additionally gains in significance as a result. Content marketing thus involves “the creation and distribution of individually relevant content through the individually relevant channels” and also encompasses SEO. The last bastion of SEO will fall, since technically clean web pages then become the standard – hopefully!
Timeline: The current focus lies on texts, with images and videos to follow later. The first marketeers are beginning to use the enormous potentials of user-generated content in the form of images (Instagram, Pinterest) and videos (Vine, Periscope), also in a targeted way on their own web pages.
Trend 2: An overarching data-centric marketing automation will become indispensible
In order that individual relevance is created in terms of content marketing, consumer behaviour must be measured across individual channels and individual companies. With the knowledge of complete interactions history, small scale content fitting to the situation can be delivered through the channel currently occupied by the user which requires the highest involvement.
Timeline: Many marketeers are occupied this year with the introduction of marketing automation in the online sphere that extends beyond “Other customers were also interested in…”. In the coming years it will be attempted to dovetail this with the customer cards systems of the offline world. In perspective, businesses will strive towards recording purchasing history anonymously across many different companies. In this area, data protection agencies in Germany will be fighting ever more battles.
Trend 3: Hurrah, I love shopping! Shopping as an experience
In order for cross-channel to function lastingly, shopping across all channels must become an experience. Offline, more and more shops are being upgraded to high-class flagship stores featuring high intensity consultation. Online, emphasis is increasingly being placed on personalised, curated shopping and/or data-driven predictive shopping. All of this requires a deep understanding of the customers, a strong brand and corresponding capital.
Timeline: At present, curated shopping is in focus, the development of flagship stores is already on the agenda of many retail groups. The bubble will burst in 2016, since it transpires that margins will then be largely given away. A few will thus get through expensively, but without conversion rates rising across the board. Only when the immense big data is overcome and measurability arrives to this concept can it be rolled out in the mainstream over coming years.
Trend 4: There is no trend – and that devours many
The speed of innovation is increasing further so that there is no longer just one trend (“You must have Facebook”). Instead, there are now many fragmented trends (“You must have Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope …”). This requires, for one thing, that companies test better and faster, make mistakes and then learn from them. On the other hand, it requires capital and risk appetite – and there is a lack of at least one of these among many German players. An increasing consolidation in e-commerce will thus prevail.
Timeline: Now already, e-commerce as a whole is growing noticeably slower. Significant increases in turnover mainly arise through crowding out. This requires a technically based market monitoring, which the majority will be introducing too late. In the coming years, therefore, some of the current shops will likely have literally vanished. The winners will be the players who generate relevant smart data from big data and make courageous decisions on that basis.