The era where a mere click and impression are top metrics is dead, but as Julia Greenberg, staff writer at "WIRED," puts it, "someone still needs to shoot this zombie in the head." The events that will take place in 2016 might surprise even seasoned marketers and advertisers. Here's a short list of predictions, and what readers found interesting in 2015.
Site search has been an important part of the online user experience, but in the age of the customer, search fails as a customer-focused tool. In the past when search engines or Web site search boxes were used to find information by typing in words, things were less complicated. Search worked as a method for finding products, services or brand information on engines or Web sites. In 2016 this will change.
Ford Motor Co., with help from advertising agency Ogilvy, created a blueprint of the top 10 trends to better understand consumers in 2016. Through this heightened awareness it will be interesting to see how the company and others put these trends to use in advertising campaigns from search to video and television.
This year Google's home page became the perfect pitch page for its hardware. Sometimes the Mountain View, California company took advantage of its home page to promote what it deems to be important causes. On Sunday, in the midst of rolling out technology that allows searchers to stream some apps on their mobile device to try before they download, Google's home page became a space to advertise the "best of Google for Android and iOS."
A recent study shows it's possible to manipulate the results that influence voters before an election. The manipulation could become a serious threat to the U.S. political system, swaying voter decision by about 20%. History shows that in close elections, that percentage could decide the vote.
The most-searched Beatles albums, per Google Trends, come to nine music-streaming sites beginning Dec. 24. In fact, Beatles music lovers can find all 13 of the iconic original albums, plus four collections in digital and ready-to-stream.
Google seems to have found a partner to manufacture its self-driving vehicles. Ford reportedly will announce a joint venture with Google at an industry event in January. It's not a farfetched idea -- Google has the technology and robotics capabilities, and Ford has the mechanical engineering background and supply chain knowledge. Together they could build and run the manufacturing facility of the future through automation with support from customer data.
Conversion is an archaic key performance indicator. Retailers need to take a look at the long view of the customer journey. For too many years marketers focused on optimizing for conversion, but in a multichannel world the future needs to detail and define how one experience contributes to the next. That thinking will become key in turning multichannel experiences into interconnected campaigns.
Google will begin giving priority to HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages when crawling and indexing, even when they do not have links to them from any other page.
It may seem a little crazy to think that the marketing committees of U.S. presidential candidates would try to manipulate Web traffic, but an SEO audit of the Republican presidential candidate frontrunners conducted by Walker Sands Digital found that Donald Trump's Web site has 1.35 million backlinks. The count is 934,000 more than the candidate with the second-highest, Hillary Clinton, with 416,000 backlinks.