A Look Back at Our Marketing Predictions for 2016: How Did We Do?


Last January, we made some predictions about marketing trends for the year. We thought we’d take some time to revisit those predictions and see how we fared. We took a look back to see how accurate our marketing forecast was. We actually did quite well!

So what were our specific predictions and how do they mesh with the year in marketing?

Prediction: A continued focus on content marketing

Actual: Definitely, and likely to continue into 2017

The title of Joe Pulizzi’s article for Content Marketing Institute, this prediction was dead on. The title says it all: “Content Marketing Takes a Turn for the Better: New 2017 Research.” Pulizzi writes: “Sixty-two percent of B2B marketers in North America say that compared to one year ago, their organization’s overall approach to content marketing has been much more or somewhat more successful.” Pulizzi reports an almost identical figure in a corresponding piece on B2C content marketing.


Prediction: Cross-platform engagement, recognition and connection with consumers in seamless ways

Actual: Growing, but not quite there yet

According to Sara Hill, Donald Williams and Rahul Sethi writing in mid-2016 for the International News Media Association, “for adults 18 to 64, more than 50% of their newspaper readership is now cross-platform — a significant change from five years ago.” While there is growing utilization of cross-platform media, we feel there is still room to grow in terms of the simplicity and seamlessness of the overall experience.


Prediction: Emerging impacts from both showrooming and webrooming

Actual: Yes

Businesses are finding ways to provide added value for in-store purchases and taking advantage of consumers’ growing tendency to search online first before going to a store. Writing with the approach of 2016’s Black Friday in mind, a Marketwired release from koeppeldirect noted, “For the 2016 holiday season and beyond, consumers can also expect improved in-store experiences with hosted events and one-of-a-kind activities that secure the buying power of the webrooming demographic who have chosen to skip online purchasing.”


Prediction: Increased utilization of virtual reality in marketing

Actual: Yes

How many times did you see the commercials for Samsung’s virtual reality headset in the lead up to the holiday season? Virtual reality is certainly a growing trend, and predicted to increase on multiple platforms – smartphone, PC and game consoles.


Prediction: Podcasting making a comeback

Actual: Yes

NPR is a great example of this trend, with some extremely popular podcasts, including “Hidden Brain,” Invisibilia,” and “Embedded, and according to Variety, “The public radio powerhouse generated more than $10 million from podcasts in its latest fiscal year, more than double what it earned in 2015, and added 2 million users to its listening base between September and October.”


For marketers, 2016 was quite a year in many respects. While marketing developments didn’t necessarily grab the same headlines as politics, war and celebrity passings, we’ve been keeping a close eye on developments in the field, and we feel we did pretty well with our predictions.

Later this week, we’ll share our predictions for 2017.


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