As the New Year begins, we naturally think about what’s ahead, such as implementing new campaigns, recruiting top talent and increasing the bottom line.

To bring our members the best marketing insights, The CMO Club interviewed many of the world’s top CMOs as part of our CMO Solutions Clubhouse, providing us with a treasure trove of information that was published in 7 different CMO Solution Guides in 2015. By using the key insights garnered from these interviews and by keeping one finger on the pulse what top CMOs really care about, I’ve put together my top 3 marketing trends that will shape 2016:

  1. The Anti-Data

Some top Marketers are moving away from over-dependence on data for all decisions and insights, instead focusing on injecting a human element to their marketing initiatives. There are clearly benefits to having large amounts of data at your fingertips – improved consumer profiles, segmentation, attribution, and testing – but as the internet becomes increasingly cluttered with perfectly targeted messaging, consumers are turning their attention to more authentic interactions.

Take for example Patron, who turned a blind eye to their data after realizing all customers love to tell stories, regardless of psychographics. Instead of segmenting, Patron focused on elevating customers and engaging with UGC to garner more than 1M Instagram posts and nab the #1 place on Twitter.

Another brand whose customers are the marketers is GoPro. By allowing consumers to tell the world what GoPro means to them, the company effectively showcases their product in action, while getting their pick of adrenaline-racing photos to highlight. Not surprisingly, their Instagram following sets the bar high at a staggering 7.5M.

  1. Real-Time and Right-Time Enhance Customer Experience

Optimizing the customer experience is the key to becoming a market leader. This is maybe the single biggest change in CMO’s roles in the last 3-5 years. As one CMO mentioned at a recent dinner, “Great advertising with lousy customer experience is like putting earrings on a hog: it’s still ugly.”

Consumers are no longer surprised by a great online brand experience, but they now expect it – and that will only continue in 2016. That’s why it’s so important to create a consistent experience across all platforms, focusing on the buyer journey at each touch point.

Ushering in this trend of live-time brand interaction, was two of the year’s most talked about apps: Snapchat and Periscope. What they have in common is their focus on capturing content in real-time – and then letting it pass. What this means for brands, is that they have an opportunity to blend real-time and right time to capture their target audiences’ undivided attention, if even for a short time.

Meanwhile, companies like American Airlines have used social media to participate in an online dialogue with customers. They’ve effectively leveraged digital media to respond to feedback and address concerns the moment they happen, greatly enhancing the efficiency of their customer service.

  1. Digital Creates Virtual

As marketing tactics and strategies evolve, so do the marketing organizations themselves. In 2016, you can expect to see flattened business models as marketers move into a truly digital mindset.The modern marketing team has an increasing number of employees working from home. Companies such as Buffer and even The CMO Club have realized the benefits of a remote team, allowing for organizational growth that isn’t limited by an office’s geographic location. It not only fosters diversity and innovation in your company, but it builds a team focused on output rather than hours put in.

As marketers shift to this virtual structure, it also allows executives to widen their search for top talent. Building a great team is no easy feat, especially when you consider that millennials aren’t apt to stay at just one company during their careers. However, marketers need to know that it’s OK to mentor marketing stars knowing they might eventually leave.

By establishing a valuable connection with each member of your team, you are not only helping your company’s bottom line now, but creating a brand ambassador for years to come.

Check out some of the research and CMO insights in the CMO Solutions Clubhouse.