2016 Marketing Predictions: Spike Jones

Spike Jones is a thought-provoking, status quo challenging, communications professional specializing in word of mouth marketing. Prior to his current post as the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the South at Edelman Digital, he spent a decade helping grow Brains on Fire, followed by stints as SVP and Group Director at Fleishman-Hillard and WCG, respectively.

Spike is truly a wealth of knowledge on the topic of influence and word of mouth, having contributed everything from insight to creative execution on offline and online word of mouth programs for companies like BMW, Arby’s, and General Motors. We’re excited to have him on the blog today, sharing his 2016 marketing predictions. Here’s what he had to say.

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

For the smart folks out there, it’ll become more a part of the mix and a tool in the marketing toolbox instead of the buzz word (and entire tool box) it is now. Look, influencers are great for awareness, but let’s not forget those “everyday” consumers. Many brands neglect passionate fans that don’t have large social followings – and that’s insane. Influencer marketing is even more powerful when it’s paired with a peer-to-peer program that lends the whole thing credibility… in addition to the influencer awareness.

What is the most widespread mistake you’ve seen brand marketers make in 2015 that you hope they learn from in 2016?

Spreading themselves too thin. I call it SOS, or “shiny object syndrome.” Some brands are trying to be everywhere instead of focusing on what makes the most sense. And because of it, they’re just adding to the tremendous amount of noise that’s already out there. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

What word do you hope is officially banned from marketing vernacular in 2016?

How about Millennials? You can’t shake a stick with someone trying to figure out this demographic. But I think we should stop trying to analyze a group based on the range of years they were born and start thinking more about people’s behaviors and mindsets. They’re not always the same thing, ya know.

What marketing events are you most looking forward to in 2016?

First and foremost, WOMMA is working on some exciting things and I can’t wait to see what they have in store. The word of mouth industry is going through some seismic shifts and it’s great that WOMMA is providing an ongoing dialogue and forum to bring together brands and agencies of all types to provide best practices and pave the road together. (Full disclosure, I serve on the WOMMA Board.)

Also, those kids over there in Raleigh always put on a great show for High 5. Check it out.

And if you want a whack on the head from something completely unexpected, get yourself to South Dakota and go to OTA. Yes, I said, South Dakota. You’ll thank me.

Spike serves on the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and has presented at private events (Unilever, Michelin, Biltmore Estates, Susan G Komen Foundation) and at national conferences like SXSW, SocialFresh, the Public Relations Society of America events, GasPedal’s WOM Supergenius Summits and the Association of National Advertiser’s Senior Think Tank Committee.

Want to hear more from Spike? Visit askspike.com, or follow him on Twitter.