A year in review: Marketing 2016

A year in review: Marketing 2016

2016 is coming to an end and it is now time for a review. Marketing-wise, the year was rich in both successful trends and failures. Here are 4 noteworthy facts that illustrated 2016.

Firstly, an important measure was taken in the online marketing department with the relaxation of the 140-character limit for tweets. Indeed, it will now only include text and not pictures or gifs. Twitter is a very important online exchange platform and such a measure granted online marketers more freedom to promote their content. The relationship with customers was facilitated and the possibility to live-react for brands to events, for instance, was given. 

Secondly, Facebook opened Facebook Messenger to third-party chatbots. This not only enhanced brands’ relationships with customers, it also created the possibility to use OTT marketing. What is it? It refers to over-the-top marketing. Customers are given the possibility to bypass traditional services. In this case, they can directly buy online via Messenger for instance. This concept is already well developed in China and will likely gain momentum in the future.

Thirdly, 2016 saw the rise of augmented reality (AR). Whereas numerous experts expected Virtual reality (VR) to reach its prime during this year, users’ interests shifted towards AR instead. Thus, the launch of applications such as Pokemon Go – a worldwide success that we all heard about – greatly raised the public’s interest. AR is not yet used by many companies but its potential to transform the relationship between customers and brands is enormous. Companies will most likely try to build on that concept and offer services that will delight us. A new reality, with numerous features from different brands, will maybe be soon available for us!

Marketing is not always successful and some events reminded us that even well-developed and renown brands can fail in their communication.

It was the case for Coca-Cola in January. The brand was caught in a pollical conflict that greatly tarnished its image in both Russia and Ukraine. Indeed, Coca-Cola published a Russian map alongside their new year greeting. Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave, was missing. Nonetheless, what truly angered Russians was the absence of Crimea. Another map was later published by the brand, this time including both Kaliningrad and Crimea. However, this decision created an anti-Coca-Cola movement in Ukraine. Some users expressed their fury on social medias, by outlining the debatable aspect of Crimea’s annexation by Russia. Pictures of some Coca-Cola being poured in the toilets were also posted online. Facing such strong reactions, the brand chose to abandon altogether the new year greeting. 

2016, marketing-wise, cannot be summarized with just those few events. However, they all bring us some insights on this year as well as on the future that awaits us. Marketing keeps evolving with our society and new trends will rise. Some companies will face failures, while some others will have great successes. We will keep you updated on this dynamic and fascinating cycle, stay tuned. In any case, we would like to wish you all a happy new year!