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Top 5 Marketing Investments of 2016 – Are You On Board?

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From social media platforms you never thought would be used for marketing, through to the skills of your people and communications with a difference, here are the top five ways to invest your marketing budget this year.

Marketers are always looking to get one step ahead and 2016 is no exception. This year the smart money for where to invest is on the skill set of your people, marketing technology – but not just any marketing technology, social media platforms that extend way beyond Facebook and communications technology with a difference. See below for the best ways to spend your marketing money this year.

01. Marketing skills

Marketing is increasingly merging with I.T. Successful marketers, even outside of marketing operations, need to have one foot firmly in the I.T camp. On the Venn diagram of marketing and I.T it means more traditional marketeers developing new skills and digital marketeers deep diving into all that more traditional marketing methods have to offer.

02. Marketing technology, the RIGHT marketing technology

42% of marketers don’t have the right technology to do their job.

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A 2015 report from Walker Sands found that 42% of marketers claim the marketing technology at their organisation is not up-to-date or sufficient for helping them do their job more effectively, yet 83% of professionals say that the ability to make data informed decisions is important in times of business disruption. Clearly there is a disconnect between the type of marketing technology in place and the type of marketing technology needed. It may sound simplistic but investment in 2016 shouldn’t just be focused on marketing technology but the right kind of marketing technology.

03. New social frontiers

Instagram, that favourite platform for sharing carefully posed holiday snaps or elaborately decorated coffees only opened its platform to all advertisers in the summer of 2015. Now advertising revenue across the platform is expected to hit $2.81 billion by 2017.

Advertising revenue on Instagram expected to reach $2.81 billion by 2017.

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So what does this mean for marketers? Simply it means that brands are shifting where they invest their paid ad dollars and reaching out to the audience in ever more streamlined and integrated ways. Not convinced? Here are some more stats:

04. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing has been growing in popularity and importance in one form or another for several years now. However, according to Forbes, 2016 could be the year that it moves from a ‘nice addition’ to an ‘essential’ component of your marketing strategy. At its most basic inbound marketing enables, through the use of tactics such as content marketing and social marketing, your brand to be found on the internet and encourages engagement between potential prospects and your brand. Furthermore, inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing and 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information via a series of articles to advertisements.

Inbound marketing, a top investment for 2016, costs 62% less per lead than outbound.

05. Webinars

In the digital world webinars have become one of the main sources of information that buyers turn to at key stages on their purchasing journey. In fact, after your website, webinars are the second most popular tools for driving awareness and lead generation. They also provide marketers with incredibly useful engagement and analytics tools.

Key features of managed webinars: As well as getting the best technology platform the extended team can design your registration pages, give you support for the live event, advise on the most engaging way to run your session, using tools such as audience polling and provide detailed reports to help you with lead generation and ROI.

Takeaways:

  • Invest in the right marketing technology – not just marketing technology.
  • Target lesser known social media platforms.
  • Offering virtual events enables communication without the cost.

Discover collaboration tools that are key for successful marketers in 2016, download Collaboration Tools in 2016: An In‑Depth Guide For Marketers now.

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About the author

Helen Lancaster, has a career spanning 18 years in the IT and Telco sectors spending time at Canadian giant Nortel Networks, US manufacturer Avaya and UK Telco Kcom. Her roles over the years have included various commercial positions in sales and marketing - including four years in Madrid in Spain - leading to her current position of Head of Marketing for Northern Europe at Arkadin. Helen has a passion for data, and all things digital.

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