In 2015 we set out to host an event series to help marketers make sense of all the noise in this complex and ever-changing digital landscape. We held 8 panel discussions across the globe in a series we dubbed “The Future of Digital.” Marketing leaders gathered to share their point of view on predictive intelligence, forecasting and budgets, publisher power, mobile-first strategies, audience segmentation, programmatic buying, and more.

We checked back in with several of our panelists to get their take on predictions for next year and see where they stand on interpreting the future of digital and technologies. Read on to get our experts’ insights and stay tuned for more perspectives.

For Part 1, we asked these marketing leaders, What are your predictions for digital marketing in 2016?

Bryan Benavides

Director of Digital Marketing, Abt

“There has been a lot of evolution and innovation throughout the recent years, and 2016 will bring even more for Abt and all of the digital marketing industry. Traditional retailers such as Abt are following their customer’s actions online and in-store. 2016 will close the gap even more in creating a ‘customer journey’ and providing data across multiple channels and devices.”

Ryan Bonifacino

Advisor, Alex and Ani

“Digital marketing will continue to win dollars from traditional and opaque mediums as it becomes more measurable, accessible and scalable. As advertisers start to think beyond their digital footprint, digital marketing will also play a larger role in allowing the blend of total budgets to become more systematic regardless of programmatic activities.”

Blagica Bottigliero

Vice President of Digital Media, ModSquad

“2015 seemed to be the year of blocking ads. I see a larger opportunity for native advertising to pick up even more steam. In addition, sponsored posts across social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat will seem more of a norm, even for the not-so-popular social media influencing up and comer.”

Thomas C. Hoegh

Founder, Arts Alliance

“For some time, the promise of cross-channel optimisation has been talked about, experimented with and in rudimentary form done through spreadsheets by CFOs overlooking the CMO’s shoulder. Optimisation of search and social is already underway, but during 2016 we will see data from display, mobile and TV platforms starting to influence search and social campaigns as a premonition of full integration and optimisation of ALL channels in 2017.”

Chris Owen

Director Global Integrated Media, Monster

“Quality over quantity will be a big theme. While much of the last few years’ discussion has been about the scale and CPM efficiency that various RTB/DSP/DMP solutions can provide, we are seeing the discussion turn more to the ‘Attention Economy’. And with that, better ways to measure quality, impact, and business results over just cost efficiency. Add to that the increasing focus on viewability and the push for viewability standards, and digital marketers will put their emphasis back on when an ad is noticed, not just served.”

Simon Trilsbach

VP APAC, Hootsuite

“More businesses are beginning to shift more of their marketing budgets to digital media as opposed to traditional platforms. In the APAC region alone, digital budget is predicted to soar even higher in 2016. Marketers will continue to seek for better ways to engage with their consumers through different social media platforms.”

Brian Utter

General Manager for Search Network and Demand, Bing

“A greater increase in audience-based buying across all channels ‒ a focus on marketing towards people and not just keywords or pages. The ability to understand who a user is and what their interests are give marketers more signals to provide better and more relevant ads. A great example of audience-based buying is our recent launch of remarketing in paid search in Bing Ads. Keywords will always be around in search, but marketers will begin to utilize audience-based data to supplement their campaigns.”

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we get input into the role technology can and should serve in keeping marketers agile.