Top Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing

Analysts identify the top digital marketing trends, and where they place on the Gartner Hype Cycle.

In their session at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference, Adam Sarner and Mike McGuire, research vice presidents for Gartner for Marketing Leaders, pinpointed specific trends on the Gartner Digital Marketing hype cycle to describe which ones will have the most impact on digital marketers.

The hype cycle illustrates technologies that move through the peak of expectations to the trough of disillusionment and eventually to the plateau of productivity. The trends break out into underlying trends, emerging trends, and prevailing trends that continue to provide value to marketers.

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New Emerging Trends

These tends are rising to the peak of inflated expectations and will reach the plateau of productivity in less than five years:
Real-time marketing. This moves in customer time as consumers create links to each other and to brands.
Quantified self. This includes IoT, wearable computing and is estimated to be a $5B market in less than 2 years.
Digital marketing hubs. These hubs assemble all the data together to be used across the organization and in real-time.
Multichannel attribution. This set of techniques link specific actions marketers take to consumer actions.
Content marketing. Marketers need to build a content marketing supply chain and determine how to create, curate and cultivate content.
Responsive design. This is especially important across mobile and after Google’s new mobile friendly search policy.

Gartner's Adam Sarner and Mike McGuire highlight the key emerging trends in Digital Marketing at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference.
Gartner’s Adam Sarner and Mike McGuire highlight the key emerging trends in Digital Marketing at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference.

Prevailing Trends

These trends have moved through the hype cycle and are very relevant and impactful for marketers:
Social marketing. Marketers should focus on new uses for idea management, market research, social media engagement, social analytics, and social campaigns.
Advocacy/loyalty marketing. Brand can focus on turning their best customers into advocates by giving them the tools and the ability to become their salespeople.
Lead management. B2B marketers are now investing in B2C technologies to maximize data mining, customer segmentation, behavioral analytics, multichannel campaigns, and real time marketing.
Email marketing.  No, email isn’t dead. It’s still valuable since more email marketing is being consumed on the go, through multiple devices and is still extremely measurable.

A video replay of this session will be available on Gartner Events on Demand.