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3 Communications Trends For 2016 (And How They Might Affect You)3 min read

Aston WardAuthor: Aston Ward


Posted on: 19th Jan 2016

If you think how much communications have changed in just the last 5 or 10 years then I’m sure you’ll agree it is not only massive but also tough to predict. We did our best at the Annual Congress with our ‘A Look Ahead’ presentation to speculate about the future and it got me thinking about what to expect even for just the coming year. Here are three things to watch out for…if you’re not watching for them already…

1. Continued Use of Mobile

Global usage of mobile Internet devices crossed over desktop usage in 2014 and continues to grow at a higher rate and there are now more devices on Earth than humans. By the end of 2016 Tablets will exceed 10% of global mobile data traffic, and by 2019 smartphones will reach the 75% of mobile data traffic milestone.

What does it mean?

  • Optimise your website for mobile/different screen sizes and orientations and think about how people will interact with it.
  • Any message you communicate, be it via email, website, social media, forum, intranet, etc. should also be easily read/consumed on any device.
  • Test, test, and test. Have due diligence in checking web pages, email communications, and social media updates across devices.

2. Marketing Automation

A trend expected to grow this year is automation (and to some extent personalisation) – the 2016 consumer is more attuned to messages that are personalised and relevant to them; they want to be engaged with, not sold to.

What does it mean?

  • You need to be collecting the right information, not necessarily more. When users sign-up/register/join you need to ensure you gather accurate data and also the information most relevant to you? Take a step back and ensure you gather only the relevant information you need and will actually use.
  • Look at the small things within your communications – for example can you add users’ names to mass mailouts (e.g. merge tags in Mailchimp) to personalise a message?
  • The importance of targeting has never been more important – is the message you’re sending relevant to all the people in your audience? If not then how can you break it down?

3. Content Continues to Dominate

The content marketing area of communications has really grown significantly showing people want to develop a relationship based on trust and relevancy with a brand or organisation. A survey in 2015 showed that 86% of B2B organizations have a strategic content marketing strategy, whilst another showed only 23% percent of consumers trust content from companies who they are not involved with, but if the source is a company they have a relationship with, that number nearly doubles to 43%.

What does it mean?

  • Develop a strategy to give direction to what you do. A strategy will let you work out why you might need to develop content, who it is targeted towards, and what it should do and be in order to meet those requirements.
  • Make sure you appeal to your users’ needs and wants (and do the research to find out what they might be).
  • Have patience – it takes time to build trust with an audience even if they are heavily invested in your brand or organisations already. Keep it consistent in terms of subject matter, frequency and distribution.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

Aston WardAuthor: Aston Ward
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Aston is Communications Manager at the PGAs of Europe and is also a PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional Member.

You can get in touch with Aston at aw@pgae.com.