The Winning Curve

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Justin Adler

What 2016 Taught Us About Digital Advertising

We're only a few days into 2017 and our team has been thinking about the past year to see what the data-driven advertising trends of 2016 have taught us.

The Value of the Consumer

The biggest data-driven advertising trend of 2016 that marketers need to keep in mind this year is the importance of the consumer. Today's average internet user is extremely tech savvy and doesn't want intrusive advertising disrupting their user experience. Therefore, advertising must be more organic and consumer-driven. For example, 2016 has demonstrated that consumers respond better to content marketing than they do to pop-up ads -- and the fact that there is more pop-up blocking software than ever before demonstrates this desire. Other elements of consumer-driven advertising include, but are certainly not limited to, the following: omni-channel campaigns (social media, websites, apps), predictive analytics (consumer will do X if Y happens) and consumer database management.

Digital Is King

As our reliance on digital technology becomes more prevalent, the need to accrue data from digital marketing is also key. No longer content with relying on print advertising, radio advertising and television advertising, today's marketers are integrating a full digital experience into each proposal, and this experience includes social media campaigns, the previously-mentioned content marketing, and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. When done correctly, consumers report that the digital marketing experience, according to data-driven advertising trends of 2016, is preferable to any other marketing experience.

The Opportunities Continue to Grow

Another of the most important data-driven advertising trends of 2016 is that the market is not only in a continual state of flux, but a continual state of growth. In terms of flux, Google was able to keep digital marketing professionals on their toes with their frequent Panda, Phantom and Penguin updates. This meant that their content marketing strategy had to grow and evolve significantly over the course of 2016. The importance of original, un-plagiarized content was tantamount, followed by SEO optimization and frequency of original content. With such frequent updates in 2016 alone, it's no wonder that the demands for content marketers grew exponentially.

In terms of growth, then, what the 2016 data-driven advertising trends taught us is that the need for professionals who really had a handle on this type of marketing was unparalleled. In addition to having a strong content marketing strategy, professionals needed to integrate this strategy with social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising and web-based advertising.

Data Needs to Be Very Specific

Finally, but certainly no less importantly, the data-driven advertising trends of 2016 have taught us that getting the proper data is of the utmost importance. In order to create effective campaigns, digital marketers have to understand who they are talking to, why they are talking to them and what they respond to. This, of course, means that the technology used to acquire the data needs to be specifically tailored to the accrual of specific information. More importantly, however, is that the digital marketer must be intelligent enough to appropriately parse the data accrued and make changes to the campaign appropriately. This, ultimately, will lead to a two-fold conclusion: better business results in the form of increased sales and engagement, and happier customers in the form of better user experiences and quality products.


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