16 Global Marketing Experts Share Their Strategies for Success

16 of the most respected voices in marketing look at the trends that will shape your budget and strategy in 2016 — everything from data analytics and content marketing, to the increased importance of mobile and social channels.

“Only 36% of CMOs can show the short-term quantitative impact of their marketing spend, and only 29% the longer-term impact. This cannot continue in 2016.”
— Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of Annuitas

“In many organizations where they are behind on digital. They hire in someone to be a head of digital as a separate function. So you end up with two marketing departments. It’s huge waste of resources to have two teams doing the same thing. That’s a real danger.”
— Amanda Rendle, Global Head of Marketing at HSBC

“The name of the game in 2016 is personalization. Marketers will have more opportunities than ever to deliver the exact content that people want when they want it.”
— Shawn Fitzgerald, VP/Digital Marketing Group at Thomasnet

“What’s most important with marketing to Millennials? Embracing individuality. Millennials may share some characteristics, but they aren’t all alike, and one-size-fits-all campaigns are sure to miss the mark. Fortunately, these digitally-inclined consumers supply marketers with plenty of data to help you understand them better.”
— Andrew Butz, Account Director at ThinkVine

“Marketers will have to manage more technology than ever before. Agile practices — modeled from the software development world — will become a primary enabler of marketing modernization in 2016.”
— Roland Smart, VP of Social and Community Marketing at Oracle

Integrating Marketing Into the Customer Journey

“2016 will be the year that marketing begins to think about their responsibilities all along the customer value chain, influencing all elements of the customer experience, at all funnel stages. The modern marketer must transcend the transaction.”
— Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert

“Now is the time for marketing departments to begin working as one unit rather than in silos. All forms of advertising need to come together with the main goal being the sales cycle and customer service. A seamless experience for a consumer is critical. Marketers will begin using integrated tools, which can track the customer’s journey and give them the ability to engage with the consumer online.”
— Nicole Detsch, Social Media Director at NewMedia Digital

“In 2016, marketers will have even more of a responsibility to impact and improve the entire customer experience. From initial interest (lead generation) and the sales process (sales enablement) to delighting customers (aka retaining and upselling), smart marketers will see the value in closing the loop and learning from meaningful prospect and customer feedback.”
— Brie Rangel, Account Strategist at IMPACT

Marketing in the Mobile Channel

“Marketers have to think mobile first when it comes to every channel of digital marketing.”
— Nicole Detsch, Social Media Director at NewMedia Digital

“Mobile ad spending will top $100 Billion worldwide in 2016, accounting for 51% of the digital market. If you aren’t paying attention to mobile as a content delivery platform or marketing channel, then you may as well pack it up and go home.”
— Tim Moran, Director of Northeast Sales at ZypMedia

Data Analytics Dominates Marketing Strategy

“The data scientist is your next hire.”
— Jeff Bullas, CEO at Jeffbullas.com

“There is a relatively untapped technology that has the power to change everything: artificial intelligence. While artificial intelligence may seem like a futuristic concept, it’s played a pivotal role in disrupting other industries for decades. The story of its impact on the marketing industry has just begun.”
— Paul Roetzer, CEO of PR 20/20

“We need customer insight roles where their job is insight but it’s also about looking at what do those insights really mean? You have so much insight now but can you tell me what we need to do? How do you take all that and turn it into something really useful for our customer? That’s what we absolutely should be doing.”
— Amanda Rendle, Global Head of Marketing at HSBC

“90% of managers said recruiting analysts was harder than — or as hard as — last year. The skills and talent gap will continue to affect our ability to get the most out of data for some years to come.”
— Jodie Sangster, CEO of ADMA

The Rise of Content Marketing

“In 2016, we will see an increased focus on building more marketing assets into your website. Think of these as extremely useful tools, directories, assessments, etc. that are so valuable your visitors would be willing to pay for them, yet you offer them for free.”
— Luke Summerfield, Program Manager at HubSpot

“Content is king, and it is expected to play an even bigger role in 2016 digital marketing. Content should be educational, entertaining (see GE’s Jeff Goldblum video) or enriching, rather than a message centered around a direct sales pitch. A strong strategy of creative, personal, interesting content is eclipsing more traditional areas like SEO management and advertising.”
— Ben Silverman, Marketing Writer for Brafton

“Marketers struggle to tie content and social back to real revenue, this is going to be a huge problem. If they are going to be investing so much of their time into content, then they need to tie it back to some meaningful metrics.”
— Jason Miller, Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

“Marketers need to focus less on content creation and more on content engagement because, when it comes to influencing buyers, how and when you deliver your content is as important as what you say in it.”
— Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing at LookBookHQ

“As the popularity of inbound marketing increases, so does the amount of content available to consumers. This availability will continue to result in high expectations when it comes to quality. Smart content creators will factor in users’ preference for video and image over text, their preference for informative and useful content over blatant sales efforts.”
— Julie Ellis, Social Media Week

“Next year, we’ll see inbound marketing really begin to take off. And not just because the technology and the methodology work, but because customers are demanding a better experience — a marketer that understands them, their preferences, and their frustrations. Outbound sales is dying and the days of the cold calling are coming to an end. The new sales playbook will consist of a personalized approach to buyers.”
— Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot

Social Media’s Role Evolves

“No longer can you rely on Facebook to provide free traffic to your website or blog. It’s become just another paid advertising channel. All social networks are now in this game and as social media has become just another media channel that reality is not going away. You are going to need to adapt.”
— Jeff Bullas, CEO at Jeffbullas.com

“Social media must be part of every digital marketing budget in 2016. It needs to tie in with all other means of marketing including your website and email campaigns. There is such a huge audience to reach on each social platform, and if your aren’t taking advantage of that, then you are missing the mark. Social media platforms offer many new capabilities for targeting to the right audience, generating clicks to a website and creating overall brand awareness.”
— Nicole Detsch, Social Media Director at NewMedia Digital

“Social media is now to be treated as just another digital channel. The reality has set in and the question is being asked ‘What is the return on investment?’ The CEO is saying, ‘Show me the sales.’ It’s time to stop chasing every new social media distraction. It’s time to get serious and focus on what matters. Moving beyond vanity metrics like traffic, likes and sharing to the sharp end of the sales funnel. Return on investment.”
— Jeff Bullas, CEO at Jeffbullas.com

“Social media tends not to be either the first or last platform touched during the purchase funnel. As a result, it’s extremely difficult to measure the marketing impact of social media to achieve business goals.”
— Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide

“2016 will see companies turn increasingly to an underused resource in the effort to get the word out: their own employees. Employee social advocacy programs, which encourage staff to share updates about the business on their own social media accounts, have grown 191% since 2013 and are due to take off in the year ahead.”
— Ryan Holmes, Fast Company

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