Digital Media is the culmination of most of the trends of the past 5 years. Everything from website optimization to SEO to email marketing is included. Add to that social, mobile, apps, gamification, messaging apps, and even IoT and we're just about there.
Here's what to look for in 2016:
1. Global Mobile. Mobile is literally everywhere and in many cases has bypassed desktop/laptops altogether. There could be more mobile phones that people on the planet soon with The mobile only category is the epitome of digital media. Projecting your brand DNA in mobile applications and user experience has never been more critical. Do not be the brand that neglects design and craftsmanship in mobile -- you will be ignored. And remember, even search is now mobile so make sure you understand what that means to your brand and your consumer's buying cycle.
2. 2016 is the Year of Messaging Apps 2.0 I wrote about this trend in the beginning of 2015 and nothing is slowing it down. The ability to communicate one-to-one privately has been lost in the world of social applications so both business and consumers have turned to WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and Messenger to fill that gap. This will continue to grow and we'll see new business applications come on line.
3. Distribution Is King. While content is still vitally important, most of us realize we are awash in more content than we can consume. On-demand is being time-shifted more and more. I believe distribution will be more critical than ever. Great content is literally sitting on the shelves with no audience. Nothing gets shared if it doesn't get watched or listened to in the first place. Getting content i\onto the mobile device of your consumers and audience has become the next big frontier. Brands are now experimenting with new distribution platforms like Snapchat, while at the same time we see distribution platforms like Netflix getting into the content business. Watch for this merger to continue as music, video, movies, TV, photos, long-form articles, advertising will rise and fall with effective and efficient distribution.
4. Big Data Will Become Big Intelligence. As many firms and marketers have found out, big data can be a big mess without an intelligence plan. Data needs to be turned into actionable business insights in order to truly aid decision-making. I've seen too many marketers stare at social dashboards and get lost in the data. Same thing happens with big consumer and trend data. Look for really smart analytics to take a seat at the table as we continue to field massive amounts of data into true intelligence. In addition to providing insights, this intelligence can then drive content and distribution.
There much more we will see in 2016 in terms of media, virtual reality, wearables, sharing economy, bitcoin, and more. Going to be super exciting and I'll keep you posted as it unfolds.
Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit LLC, a strategic advisory firm located in Beverly Hills. She also teaches at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is the author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing.