2016 Marketing Predictions: Ashley Baxter

Ashley Baxter is a seasoned digital marketer with a decade of success helping brands find, and connect with, their target audiences online. Through innovative strategies in search, social, content, and branding she has led companies like AT&T & JCPenney to stronger performance in communications and eCommerce. In addition, Ashley is an educator and correspondent for online marketing trends at ModernMarketingSchool.com. In her free time she enjoys hot yoga, travel, and cooking.

What role do you see Influencer Marketing playing in brand marketing strategies in 2016?

Influencer marketing will play a huge role in the strategy of successful brands going forward. While the FTC continues It’s one of few ways for brands to gain trust with their target market instantly. Before, influencer marketing was just another lever to pull. However many are now recognizing that it’s an investment in relationships that can catapult them to the next level with speed.

What is the most widespread mistake you’ve seen brand marketers make in 2015 that you hope they learn from in 2016?
In 2015 I saw many brand marketers execute their campaigns in a silo. I’d see great ads for various promotions, but once I went to their website (or a physical store location) to learn more there was no additional information. In 2016 I hope to see more brand marketers join working closely with other internal departments. That’s how they’ll give consumers the best possible experience.

What word do you hope is officially banned from marketing vernacular in 2016?
Viral. Any good marketer knows that viral campaigns don’t come from thin air. It takes a lot of content creation, planning, seeding, PR, media pitching, and promotional dollars to make “viral” happen as a brand. My hope is that marketers (and business leaders) will focus on results in 2016 without needing the viral label.

What marketing events are you most looking forward to in 2016?
The IM+T Summit (http://www.imtsummit.com/overview_2016/) held by Chief Marketer is at the top of my list. They really focus on practical advice that you can easily implement in your own marketing organization.

I’ll also be at CES. While it’s more focused on technology than specific marketing strategy, there is a lot to learn about the new technologies that will ultimately drive new consumer behaviors that marketers will cater to.