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We asked our consultants to dust off their crystal balls and make a prediction for the year ahead.

Australia: The innovative country

Belinda Coniglio, Strategic Growth Advisor As the mining boom wanes, Australia is increasingly turning to innovation to boost its economy. It’s a trend reflected in both the government’s increased focus on innovation, and the growth of entrepreneurship in Australia. 2016 will see innovative business models continue to emerge and flourish, with a particularly disruptive impact on the legal services and real estate industries. Meanwhile, large companies and bureaucracies will need to partner with startups or encourage entrepreneurship to stay competitive. The growing number of emerging enterprises will mean increased demand for Australian professional and consulting services, as they develop growth strategies for Asian markets.  And finally, as workplace re-design and technology enables consultants to build a global brand from anywhere, watch Perth and Brisbane shift from mining towns to Australia’s international gateways to Asia!    

All marketers will need digital skills

Konrad Markham, Digital Marketing Consultant The job title “Digital Marketing Manager” will progressively become obsolete. The disruptive influence and impact that digital is having upon marketing is now so ubiquitous that digital skills are a fundamental requirement for any current or aspiring marketing manager.    

Retailers will focus on customer loyalty to drive growth

Adam Schaffer, Customer Strategy and Loyalty Expert 2016 will be year that Australian retailers fight back against overseas competition and deliver results locally by using loyalty as a key weapon in their marketing arsenal. At the tail end of 2015 we’ve already seen Woolworths and Optus relaunch their loyalty programs. As more companies recognise the value of building deeper customer relationships and developing richer data insights, I’m sure other leading retailers are soon to follow.  

Data will continue to make the world go around.

Mike Ouwerkerk, Virtual CIO Gone are the days when basic information was collected and left to sit as historical record.  Today, the quantity and value of data being captured is changing the face of IT. Companies need to have data quality controlled, stored, backed up, integrated into workflows, manipulated, analysed and acted upon for marketing purposes and to build competitive advantage. However, the increasing value of data also means that companies must focus on data security. Malware (malicious software) development and licensing is a new, incredibly profitable and damaging industry.  

Businesses will embrace marketing automation

Casey Stevens, Email and Marketing Automation Consultant More businesses will implement clever marketing automation which can assist sales prospects through the buying cycle automatically, cutting down on repetitive processes and one on one time from a sales person (though real people are still very important in this process!). Clever marketing automation can also self-adjust to suit a prospect’s particular needs and stage in the sales process, helping business deliver targeted messages which lead to more sales.  

Business users will drive technology decisions

Sam Daynes, Business Software Guru Australian businesses, from startups to enterprise, will continue to adopt subscription based cloud enabled systems. As businesses shift to data driven decision making, they will allocate increasing budget to ‘self service’ and ‘discovery’ analytics tools as well as enterprise data transformation systems. Ultimately business users will be driving technology direction more than ever and their chosen software solutions will have a smaller impact on traditional IT services and skills.  

You’ll be hearing about digital wallets

James Wright, Strategy and Insights Professional Get ready for every bank, credit card company, phone manufacturer and major retailer to tell you how much you need their digital wallet in 2016. The message will be convenience (contactless transactions), security (online payments with tokens rather than your card number) and not having to carry your wallet or purse (make your own mind up on that one!). They will also try to encourage you to spend through targeted offers, although the strength of these will only become clear in time. It took five years for contactless cards to catch on so who knows how long digital wallets will take. One thing is certain though, get ready for a lot of advertising telling you how much you need them.

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