Seven Summer Marketing Trends to Watch and Test in 2016 Jessica Lunk With the constant evolution of technology, effectively marketing your company or product means you have to keep an open mind; and keep up with the trends. Summer is traditionally a slow season for many businesses, so here are seven marketing trends to help you get out of the slump and increase your bottom line. Relationship Marketing Relationship marketing is the opposite of intrusive mass-marketing campaigns that annoy many people. It focuses less on making a quick sale and more on developing a relationship with potential customers through data mined from their online activity. This allows companies to push specifically-tailored advertising to people via social media, creating a connection to a product that often lead to word-of-mouth advertising and sales. Mobile-Only Websites With more and more people using smartphones and other devices, Google officials are predicting that the desktop version of websites are no longer necessary. If you are overhauling your site this summer, you may think twice about spending the time and money to do a traditional website and go with a mobile-only one. Check out your Google Analytics to understand how much of your traffic comes from desktop vs. mobile, and if it makes sense to go mobile-only. Marketing Automation Software platforms that allow companies to market across multiple online channels at one time (such as email, social media, and websites) are growing in popularity as marketers look for ways to do more with less, and use their time more effectively. Using a marketing automation platform, you can capture new leads from your website, target contacts, create relevant campaigns, send personalized emails and track your results. Location-Based Marketing Location-based marketing makes assumptions about a customer’s habits and preferences based on their location at a particular moment. Smartphones have built-in location detectors that let companies know where someone is using their phone. They then push out advertisements for products or businesses physically near to that person. For local businesses, location-based marketing can help you reach the right people with the right message. Ephemeral Marketing Ephemeral marketing is messaging that is only available for a very limited time. The best example of this is Snapchat, an app that lets people send pictures to friends and family that disappear after a few seconds. Ephemeral messaging is becoming more popular because it reduces “filler.” With only ten or so seconds to get a message across, it has to be very focused and current. Digital Assistants The rise of digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, is predicted to decrease the use of traditional search engines like Google and Bing. Rather than opening a browser window and going to a search site, you can tell a digital assistant what you are looking for vocally and it will come back almost instantaneously with an answer. No more digging through dozens of possible results. The Internet of Things (IoT) IoT involves using wireless communication technology to connect objects, locations, or people to the internet for the purpose of data sharing. Google Glass, the iWatch and Fitbit are examples of current uses of IoT. Smart devices that gather data and provide it back in real time, without the involvement of IT professionals, allow businesses to quickly create marketing strategies based on data. There are other marketing trends emerging in 2016, but the above seven are some of the most significant. It has not been determined all the different ways they can be utilized so keep an open mind this summer and give something new a try.