Blend Looks Ahead to Trends for 2016
We no longer fear the engineer. We all live in a technology dependent world. There’s no escaping it. Every single business vertical is being disrupted by bold start ups. Legacy marketers are re-inventing their brand communications. Technology is at the center of all of it. You can’t service any modern brand without talented software engineers. Yet non-engineering types like myself are often intimidated or overwhelmed by the foreign processes and working styles of web and app developers. Don’t hate; appreciate!
Dive in. Learn. Ask questions. Creating world-class user experiences takes a village. Freely offer up your unsolicited advice. Argue. Collaborate. After all, they need you as much as you need them. Have you ever asked an engineer to write a headline, produce a video or design a landing page? No. Because chances are they don’t do any of that well. They know their engineering needs to integrate successfully with all of the other elements that lead to a positive, engaging user experience. A lot of them are introverts. Force the conversation. They’ll appreciate it.
Increased Awareness of addressing ‘Technical Debt’
“In this world, you get what you pay for” Kurt Vonnegut.
As we see software touching nearly every function of marketing communications we need to be more aware of how to address the inevitable ‘technical debt’ that comes with building web portals and mobile applications.
Wikipedia describes Technical debt “as a metaphor that refers to work that needs to be done before software can be considered complete. If the debt is not repaid, it will exponentially increase problems going forward. Unaddressed technical debt increases software entropy.”
Software creation never ends. Don’t ignore the problems in code. Don’t build upon faulty app infrastructures. Get in there and fix the foundational issues successfully, then worry about building new features. If you don’t address the technical debt, the foundation will crumble.
Integration will continue to force radical collaboration + yet more integration
Vertically integrated e-commerce brands (think dollar shave club or warby parker) will continue to disrupt legacy business models. To do this, they need solid engineering, compelling content, and attention grabbing design. These are too often disparate skill sets for people and companies. Ever increasingly, marketing executives are building relationships with more fully integrated vendors who are able to tackle multiple consumer touchpoints simultaneously. The modern marketer simply has too many responsibilities to manage multiple agency partners successfully.
More investment in mobile, social + experience marketing
Marketers will continue to invest more in mobile, social and experience marketing and less in television, pre-roll ads and other forms of traditional marketing. The modern consumer wants to engage with their favorite brands on their mobile phone, whether it’s through an app; social media; or via posting a selfie at a brand curated event that provides the consumer with a unique experience. Give them what they want or they will engage elsewhere.