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A little while back, Brandwatch conducted a Twitter Influencer study and decided to print some neat Top Trump cards of the 40 influencers included.

Shortly after, Ruxandra from Brandwatch and I decided that it would provide some valuable insight for you guys if we asked the top marketing influencers a few questions.

I asked…

What do you predict will be the next “Big Thing” in Marketing over the next year?

At the time of writing, 18 out of the top 40 marketing influencers provided their insight into my question. Well, there were actually 17, but I had to include the reply from this top marketer, too.

Roxy asked…

What are the top 3 rules to follow for becoming an influencer (on social)?

You can read the Brandwatch article here: #AskTheExperts: 17 Rules to Follow for Becoming an Influencer

Have a read below of what the top marketing influencers had to say about the next big marketing development. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts at the bottom of the page in the comments section!

Top Influencers Discuss The Next Big Marketing Development


Marketing Development Mari Smith

Mari Smith

Video. Live video. Short video clips. Storytelling through video. Customer service via video.

Not only is Facebook the #1 social network on the planet; it’s also the #1 media channel on the planet. Social analytics company, Socialbakers, recently stated that Facebook video is now bigger than YouTube and is ten times larger than the biggest television channel (ESPN). Facebook has the potential of becoming a major online television network itself, with millions of channels.

Now, with the release of Facebook’s new Live feature via the Mentions app, users have the opportunity to create “live television” anytime, anywhere. To stay on the leading edge, savvy businesses and brands will need to plug into this new feature with creative strategies to keep their audiences engaged and coming back for more.

Although the Live streaming video feature is currently only available to Verified Public Figures via the Mentions app, before long, the feature will likely be released to more and more users. Businesses ought to begin preparing now for their live broadcast approach.

As for video content, we’re going to see a big spike in storytelling and even customer service via video, including live. Businesses that do a good job of sharing more personal stories of the founders and team members, as well as revealing behind-the-scenes content, tend to “rise above the noise,” generate significantly more engagement than their competitors and create brand zealots.

Social Media Thought Leader | Top Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker | Author | ‘Mari like Ferrari’ | NEW Facebook course http://signup.marismith.com/fbbb/
Website: marismith.com   Twitter: @MariSmith


Marketing Development Jeff Bullas

Jeff Bullas

The next big thing will be the mainstream adoption of digital marketing automation to achieve scale and optimize conversion by small to medium businesses. We are seeing the maturing of both social media and content marketing that is more about results (leads and sales) than just about traffic and engagement.

#1 Content Marketing Influencer,Social Media Marketing Strategist & Speaker,Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer,Huffington Top 100 Business Twitter Accts
Website: jeffbullas.com &nsbp; Twitter: @jeffbullas


Marketing Development Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin

2015 needs to be the year of doing what I call… Looking People in the Eye Digitally. The last few decades of marketing tactics have made us lazy communicators and I’ve had just about enough. Most often we don’t even pay attention to who we are talking to other than via the data we collect (and even that’s a maybe).

In order to fix this and really start to benefit from social relationships (both as individuals and as companies), we need to start looking people in the eye digitally.’ We don’t need to fit our world to social, we need to fit social to our world.

It’s time to stop making excuses, and start bringing in-person social skills to the digital world. All of the positive benefits are out there waiting, and it’s up to us to make the effort to realize them. Let’s get started!

‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ 🙂
Website: TedRubin.com   Twitter: @TedRubin


Marketing Development Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer

The bigggest trend that is really going to affect everything we do is information density. Finding ways to cut through the noise to be the signal with consumers will impact our strategies, our success, and innovations in the field.

Online marketing success is fueled by content and a targeted audience of course, but there is a third piece missing from the discussion – ignition. Your content has no value unless it moves, unless people see it, engage with it, and actively share it.

A share is different from a “Like” which is just a passive “wave” at your content. When people share content, they become advocates for your ideas! Research shows that shared content is a powerful influence on buyer behavior. So having a social media plan that includes content transmission is both strategically and economically important.
This suggests that we really need to understand who is sharing our content, where they are sharing it, and why — and then get them to do more of it.

Chieftain of the blog {grow} & social media bouncer. Consultant, educator, author of five best-selling books including Social Media Explained & The Content Code
Website: businessesGROW.com   Twitter: @markwschaefer


Marketing Development David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott

The next big thing is here right now. We’ve got a smartphone that can create a video and post it online in seconds, we can use it to see what people are saying about us in real-time, and we can respond instantly. Don’t chase what’s next, use what’s here!

Marketing & Sales Strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of 10 books including The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Newsjacking.
Website: davidmeermanscott.com   Twitter: @dmscott


Marketing Development Doug Kessler

Doug Kessler

What Do You Think Will Be The Next ‘Big Thing’ In Marketing Over The Next Year?

In B2B, Account Based Marketing is heating up quite a bit. Partly because the time is right — more and more businesses are focusing in on a few big prospects — and partly because Jon Miller, a Marketo founder, has a new startup focusing on it!

Creative Director & Co-founder of Velocity, B2B marketing agency to the stars. I tweet on content marketing, B2B copywriting, social media, tech marketing…
Website: velocitypartners.co.uk   Twitter: @dougkessler


Marketing Development Lee Odden

Lee Odden

In 2016 I think we’ll see a lot more of content co-creation and influencer marketing, aka “participation marketing”.

As content marketing effectiveness becomes more diluted due to information overload and lack of consumer trust, marketers will increasingly look for ways to improve content quality, reach and performance.

The problem is, competition for attention grows exponentially with every blog post, tweet and social share. At the same time, marketers are challenged to keep pace with creating a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis.

In order to reach customers in a meaningful way, marketers will increasingly turn to co-creating content with their communities and influencers that have an interest in seeing the outcome of that collaboration succeed. Further optimizing that content for search and social media discovery along with being publicized and influencer activated, brands can boost content relevance, reach and trust – above the noise and ahead of the competition.

CEO @TopRank Online Marketing. Author, Speaker & Consultant for B2B Content Marketing, Social Media, PR & Search. Proud Dad, World Traveler, Foodie, Beardie.
Website: toprankmarketing.com   Twitter: @leeodden


Marketing Development Mike Allton

Mike Allton

What I’m seeing this year and expect to really take off for mainstream marketers and businesses in the next year is a focus on engagement over more casual metrics and social signals. It’s been a challenge up until now because of the high visibility of “likes and “Retweets” and the challenges inherent in measuring engagement. But as social media management tools improve their features, it will be easier to draw direct correlations between engagement and the impact on the bottom line.

Up until now, “engagement” has been a fun word for marketers to bandy about, but how many people actually measure and strive for engagement? As the tools and the platforms themselves improve analytics, it will be easier for businesses to really see the results of their efforts, and there’s nothing like proven ROI to drive future activity.

Social Media and Blogging consultant. SiteSell CMO. HootSuite Pro & Author. Specialties include #ContentMarketing, #SEO and #minestrone.
Website: TheSocialMediaHat.com   Twitter: @mike_allton


Marketing Development Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer

Corporate Alignment. Social programs must be aligned with other functions of an enterprise, and while some social programs have enjoyed more autonomy than others, the time will come for social media marketers to operate under a larger umbrella and become truly integrated into the entire company as social becomes more and more vital companies and executives become better educated on the potential for social business.

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness & @socialtoolssmmt | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker
Website: maximizeyoursocial.com   Twitter: @NealSchaffer


Marketing Development Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock

Brands are becoming much more savvy online and starting to understand the importance of social conversions. We’re now seeing more than ever companies and entrepreneurs alike want (and should!) to generate an ROI from their online marketing. Therefore measuring social media plays a critical role and should be integral in every social media strategy. If you can’t measure it, don’t do it. Simple!

Co-Founder of @CommsAxis with @danpurvis. #Digital #marketing, #socialmedia & #content agency. Get in touch today! Proud mum. #Zumba Tweets are mine
Website: commsaxis.com   Twitter: @lilachbullock


Marketing Development Eric Tung

Eric T. Tung

I think we’re seeing the next big thing in marketing play out right now. Although Ustream and Google Hangouts had social components, neither were truly social.

After Meerkat came out, Periscope quickly followed, and just last week, we had Facebook Mentions to share more spontaneous, more socially engaging streaming videos. Even traditionally conservative b2b companies are getting on the bandwagon, with GE even doing a drone fly-through of one of their engine assembly plants on Periscope.

I think we’ll continue to see companies evolve how to use streaming video in new and interesting ways, and we’ll continue to see social networks continue to integrate more social features into streaming video offerings.

#33 Social Media Influencer, Recruiting Evangelist @BMCSoftware, Social Media Consultant, Trainer & Keynote Speaker, 2 degrees from @KevinBacon, Free Hugs!
Website: ericttung.com   Twitter: @EricTTung


Marketing Development Ian Anderson Gray

Ian Anderson Gray

There is a lot of hype and over-excitement in the social media and marketing world about live mobile video broadcasting- specifically the apps Periscope and Meerkat. Smartphones now have incredibly impressive specifications with fast processors and good quality cameras and more importantly mobile data plans are becoming much more affordable in many countries. Once the giddy excitement dies down from those of us in the social media world (it’s known as SNTS- Shiny New Toy Syndrome) I do believe that businesses, organisations and individuals will be able to utilise live video broadcasting to bring a more personal message to their audiences. A few things need to change though- the quality needs to improve- both from the streaming quality and content point of view. However, I do think live broadcasting via mobile will continue to grow over the next year. Meerkat only launched earlier this year, and Twitter’s Periscope followed shortly after and now Facebook has launched a similar service aimed at celebs. What next?!

Blogger & founder of Seriously Social, co-founder of @select. Speaker, trainer, digital marketer, web dev, geek, Christian, singer (baritone), husband, dad.
Website: iag.me   Twitter: @iagdotme


Marketing Development Adam Connell

Adam Connell

Over the next year I can see online and offline marketing strategies being integrated more closely.

For example, while visiting a local sofa shop and being unable to find anything I was after, I was handed an iPad and asked to sign up for their newsletter so I could see new ranges as soon as they came into stock.

While this isn’t anything new, we’re going to see a lot more businesses, particularly small businesses use these types of strategies.

And as tools keep lowering the barriers to entry, more creative combinations of online/offline marketing will be put to use.

Use my tips to increase your traffic by over 400%. Founder of @BloggingWizard. Fan of Firefly and Chinese takeaways.
Website: bloggingwizard.com   Twitter: @adamjayc


Marketing Development Will McInnes

Will McInnes

Everyone is paying very close attention to the visual space – the media can’t stop talking about gifs, emoji-filled tweets and press releases are becoming the norm as odd as that is, and social visual listening is a rapidly growing space. Predicting the “next big thing” in marketing is a bit like crystal-gazing but smart money is on targeted marketing technology. It’s all about people; knowing who to market to, where they are (in the world and on social media), what their interests are, and who makes up their digital community.

Being able to accurately identify and collate demographics – whether it’s current customers, prospective buyers, or influential public figures – can make or break the success of marketing activities. From social media, to PR and advertising campaigns, and everything in between, understanding the people that your brand sells to or could sell to is absolutely a must. It’s an elusive intelligence that has daunted marketers for years, but there is already technology in the market attempting to address these types of questions. I would tell everyone to keep an ear to the ground for improved technologies for identifying and understanding influencers on social media.

CMO @brandwatch. Board @bbi. Happy days start with squats and end with beer. Music always. People too.
Website: brandwatch.com   Twitter: @willmcinnes


Marketing Development Azeem Azhar

Azeem Azhar

The next big thing in marketing will be a huge shift of ad dollars from TV to digital, with massive implications for TV networks. Digital just overtook TV as the biggest recipient of ad dollars. Nothing will stop that shift now. Of course, video on digital will be a big winner but so will other forms of digital spend (like content marketing, specific platform creative and, of course, influencer marketing.

Entrepreneur, product, strategist, speaker. PeerIndex/Brandwatch, BBC, The Economist, Guardian, Reuters. Exponential change, AI, data, neuroscience, philosophy
Website: azeem.io/s   Twitter: @azeem


Marketing Development Marsha Collier

Marsha Collier

We’re always talking about “the next big thing.” I’ve been in marketing for over 20 years and with all the “agents of change” today, we’re still following many untenable practices.

I could easily say the next big thing is visual scanning for brands in online photos and videos. It sounds plausible and useful. But wouldn’t it be better if we had a goal to make a conscious commitment to ethics?

In this age of transparency, its time to shed our attraction to sparkly objects and spend more time deciding what is right for the brand and the community? If we devoted enough time to 21st century ethos, we could create campaigns that benefit all stakeholders. Wouldn’t that be a next big thing we could all benefit from?

Author 48 books: Social Media Commerce, eBay, Online Customer Service. Forbes Top 10, Analyst, Futurist, Founder #CustServ chat #techradio host. StarTrek nerd
Website: coolebaytools.com   Twitter: @MarshaCollier


Marketing Development Seth Godin

Seth Godin

I really don’t have smart answers for you, I’m sorry. Good luck!

Author, blogger, a lifetime of projects.
Website: sethgodin.typepad.com   Twitter: @ThisIsSethsBlog


Marketing Development Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson

The next big thing in marketing could be the evolution of social selling.

Selling in social media feels like one of the most underdeveloped objectives to me, from both a technological and marketing point of view. It’s strange, because I’m sure it’s the most appealing goal for all business owners who invest in social marketing.

Platforms have started to integrate more lead generation features and marketers are crafting better sales-focused tactics. It’s a fine balance – to sell in spaces where doing so might contradict social etiquette. I do think that this will be the biggest mover over the next year, though.

Digital #Marketing Strategist | Marketing Manager at @CoretiumMedia | #Blogger at stuartjdavidson.com | Author of How to Win in Social Media | Views=Mine
Website: stuartjdavidson.com   Twitter: @RealSocialShark


What Do You Think?

What do you predict will be the next big marketing development over the next year?

Is there a significant marketing development that the top influencers missed?

What do you think was the biggest marketing development last year?


Images courtesy of Brandwatch.