Digital marketing is one of the world’s fastest, most exciting industries. And although the rapid change generates new opportunities just about every day, it is one of the most difficult to forecast as a result.

Although it’s almost impossible to predict trends with any kind of accuracy, it is possible to pick out high-level marketing movements based on the success of certain approaches taken in 2016.

AR and VR

From a marketing perspective, 2016 was characterized by the release of two disruptive products - $29 billion game Pokémon Go and Google’s Daydream, both of which represent the current peak of progress in the worlds of augmented and virtual reality.

Accessible, exciting technology that seamlessly blends lifestyle enhancement with mobility is always likely to succeed. The release of games and products in this space has serious implications for digital marketing.

Digital marketers are always looking for ways to push the envelope to win their fairshare of attention, and advertising in an altered reality is now possible.

The fact that both products have been so well-received means there’s going to be a tidal wave of people trying to steal what ideas they can and adapt them to market new ideas.

Expect product placements within the virtual space as well as the attempt to augment every possible facet of our reality within the next year and beyond.

Mobile Dominance Continues

Mobile-based digital marketing has seen revival over the past year or two as improvements to design and stability have opened up new ad units. From Facebook Canvas, with its tilt functionality, and Twitter’s interactive scratch reels, it seems like interactive mobile engagements will become even more important in 2017.

The release of Google’s Pixel smartphone is an indication that, from a hardware perspective, mobile technology is still the dominant force in tech development.

Having said that, as much as our phones are a part of our everyday lives, it’s not easy to see what the next evolution of the device is going to be.

Surely there isn’t that much more that can be done with a handheld screen and a range of apps?
As the ability to innovate on a technical level, marketing is likely to shift away from software development and move towards experiential content delivered directly to the device.

In some ways, all of the rapid development over the last few years might see a return to simple, emotional marketing delivered via social channels. ...

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