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Are you Januready?

We will all need to "train up" this year in "new" digital marketing.

Whether it’s LinkedIn’s own “What big ideas will disrupt” or Jayson DeMer's  piece on the "Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate" 2016 is... 

Going to be a BIG year for the world and for marketing as well.

But are we ready? 

Will we live, as Dave Chaffrey puts it, in in a post-digital era? Or will digital will become more important than every before…

No matter what...

“Marketing today is a new game.” (Jeff Bullas 2015)

And 2016 is gonna be a new year.

However, one thing won't change.

People love posts of lists. 

We all do, like 16 CMO predictions for 2016 or 7 marketing trends to watch out for the world of marketing is full of list posts. And this post is not here to debunk them or that tactic of content production.

With years of experience in marketing and new ideas like augmented reality and mobile gaming, I can see trends forming. So here are some for 2016... 

  • The growing importance of video, for content and advertising.
  • How hyper personalisation will compete against “adblockers”
  • That social media will change as Instagram grows and Facebook shrinks. Fair play to Facebook for buying it’s own competition.
  • That something even newer and shinier than – the newest shiny thing will exists to tempt marketing people.

But underlying all this is something BIGGER  for 2016 – 2017

That is the need for both sides of the commerce world i.e. b2b and b2c, to realise one key thing.

Success will soon be ALL about the experience of your customer.

It's something that Brian Solis knows only too well.

He has written a great book all about it in it he says...

"Welcome to a new era of business in which your brand is defined by those who experience it." (Brian Solis 2015) 
What is really happening pre 2016?

On the front lines... reported by those in the field? As the 2015 Hubspot report shows, the classics of getting enough money together plus justifying why we spend it – are key for marketing. This is NOT something new or surprising BUT the fact that, technology is ranked as the third biggest challenge is something NEW. 

These new technologies are growing and growing.

So business owners and managers now will need to integrate technology into your digital marketing managers skill set. You will need to be trained up in digital marketing. 

As Jeff Bullas puts it:

“To cap it all off  you need to find someone who understands and has the capabilities.”

Or more importantly, if you ARE THAT digital manager, YOU WILL NEED that capacity. And so it is with great interest that I read, and now fully quote the best blog on this point in 2015. Just on the eve of 2016.

“ Training pays.”

“Sometimes, it's easy to underestimate just how much it pays.

Consider an employee who is going to work 2000 hours for you this year. It's not unusual for an organization to spend only 10 or 20 hours training this person--which means about 1% of their annual workload. 

How much training would it take for this person to be 10% better at her job? If you invest 100 hours (!) it'll pay for itself in just six months. There aren't many investments an organization can make that double in value in a year.

But let's take it one step further:

Imagine a customer service rep. Fully costed out, it might cost $5 for this person to service a single customer by phone. An untrained rep doesn't understand the product, or how to engage, or hasn't been brought up to speed on your systems. As a result, the value delivered in the call is precisely zero (in fact it's negative, because you've disappointed your customer). 

On the other hand, the trained rep easily delivers $30 of brand value to the customer, at a cost, as stated, of $5. So, instead of zero value, there's a profit to the brand of $25. A comparative ROI of infinity.

And of course, the untrained person doesn't fall into this trap once. Instead, it happens over and over, many times a day.

The short-sighted organization decides it's 'saving money' by cutting back training. After all, the short-term thinking goes, what's the point of training people if they're only going to leave. (I'd point out the converse of this--what's the danger of not training the people who stay?)

It's tempting to nod in agreement at these obvious cases (or the similar case of getting, or not getting, a great new job based on how skilled you've trained yourself to be--again, a huge cliff and difference in return).

What's not so easy is to take responsibility for our own training.

We've long passed the point where society and our organization are taking responsibility for what we know and how we approach problems.

We need to own it for ourselves.”

Are you owning it? Are you response-able in 2016? 

With January just around the corner, in a year that has gone by with the blink of an eye, are you really Januready?

2016 is going to be a HUGE year, not just for the real world, but for the world of marketing too. We all need to train and re-train before the world changes too much for us to make a difference.

Every month I change our great marketing training workshops. This is because marketing changes EVERYDAY. We have to stay on top of those changes and change with them. So do you?

Here's to 2016 being the biggest year of change yet. 


Thanks to Seth Godin, Jeff Bullas, Dave Chaffrey, and everyone else for this article and thanks to all those who have attended my digital marketing training sessions this year. 

Be that:

 Thank you ALL for 2015.

Here's to making sure 2016 is HUGE for all us.

From Dan Sodergren of Great Marketing Works.