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7 marketing trends to prepare for in 2016

60% of the time, we're right every time

’Tis the season when we ask some smart Emma staffers to crack open their marketing fortune cookies and tell us what trends to look out for in 2016. Here’s what they had to say.

Ellen Sutton, Product Manager

Marketers have been saying for a while now that mobile is king. But in 2015, it actually earned the crown – mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic for the first time. The scales will only continue to tip toward mobile in 2016. Mobile optimization and responsive design will no longer be a luxury for marketers. It’ll be a must to even get in the game.

Jamie Bradley, Content Marketing Strategist

2016 is the year you’ll finally see the death of the old-school, copy-heavy B2B newsletter and the rise of the cutting-edge email strategies that have worked so well for B2C. Because in the B2B world, it’s still a person you’re actually communicating with – not a nameless, faceless entity – so those best practices still work! Things like personalization, streamlined design, compelling images, hyper-targeted content, smart automation, and a conversational tone will become the norm for B2B brands. And their results will be better for it.

Cale Mooth, Product Manager

I think 2016 will be the year that interactive content in email really takes off. We’ve already seen menus, tabs, and dynamic images. The tailored content experience will only get richer with animation, interactive product blocks, and more immersive visual media experiences. As a result, people will spend less time in the browser and more time in the inbox!

Blake Area, Sr. Account Manager

In 2016, retailers' email marketing will have to evolve beyond being simply a promotion delivery method. There are only so many ways to say "20% OFF! Buy Now!” Plus, email aggregation services such as Milled and and advances in email interfaces such as the new Peek feature on iPhone 6s are allowing subscribers more control over how they receive, view, and interact with emails. So providing real value in the inbox is going to become more important than it already is.

John Peregoy, Production Design Developer

First, Cale nailed it – interactive email will start popping up here and there. It’s still relatively new and untested, but there are a handful of hacks that allow for some pretty cool stuff in email that we haven’t seen before. I think major email marketing programs will start to explore these a little more. Second, Google is going to buy Twitter, and thus, Google will become both the smartest and dumbest place on the net.

Kat Amano, Director of Product

You’ll see more and more brands championing and embracing social responsibility programs (e.g. community service, sponsorships, giving-back initiatives, etc.), but with real authenticity, not just for the PR. Embracing causes that are close to the hearts of employees not only creates a fiercely loyal staff, but it gives customers a sense of what you truly value as a brand. Consumers want a great product, but they also want to align themselves with brands they can connect with on a more human level.

Cody De Vos, Sr. Product Manager

I think brands are going to find more ways to personalize their marketing by having different messages come from different people within the organization. InVision, the prototyping tool we use when designing new features, does a great job with this. I receive product updates from “Clark from InVision,” news about their online store from “InVision Marketplace,” and other assorted updates from different members of their team. It doesn’t feel jarring or confusing – it feels like I’m hearing from individual people who care enough about the news they’re sharing to sign their name to it.

Have some surefire predictions of your own? Call your shot in the comments!