Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to predict the future? Unfortunately, not many of us can – well at least with any certainty, anyhow. They say the only certainty in life is change… but that doesn’t mean you can’t take an educated guess about what’s coming your way. So sit back, relax and take a load off. Here are the most likely marketing trends of 2017.
1. The Future of Advertising is Native
Native advertising is poised to take the world by storm in 2017, say certain of those in the know – and they are backed with a range of stats to indicate that they may well be right. Current estimates are that native advertising will drive almost three-quarters of all advertising revenue by 2021, based on data reported by Business Insider.
Native advertising is the practice of placing advertising within ‘natural’ frames of reference for the viewer. It's where the advertising adopts and extends elements of the setting in which it is placed. The result is a much more natural form of advertising.
No doubt you’ll be seeing it in a setting very close to you shortly. Keep a lookout and see if you can spot some good examples.
2. Marketing Measurement with Meaning
Tired of your marketing analytics only telling some of the story … and even then, not a very good one? Daniel Newman, Forbes contributor, has identified analytics 2.0 – that is, the next, more sophisticated generation of marketing metrics – as being one of the key trends that will emerge in 2017.
The advent of analytics 2.0 will see an alignment of a customer-centric focus with key outcome measures shaping ROI, including customer retention and revenue.
The way to do it? Companies need to begin by ensuring that meaning drives data collection and performance monitoring strategies, and not the other way around.
3. Intentional Content Marketing
Does your company have a content marketing strategy for 2017? Well, Joe Pulizzi over at the Content Marketing Institute thinks that you should.
Don't adopt a scattergun approach to content marketing. Develop a much more considered and deliberate approach.
What is the benefit of planning your approach to content marketing?
Well, for one, Joe argues that this allows you to be much more effective, aligning your content strategy with your key marketing and branding objectives.
Despite this fact, research conducted by the Institute suggests that only one-third of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy… certainly food for thought!
4. Live Video Streaming and Platforms
As advances in technology and broader availability of high-speed internet access has increased over the last few years, users are avidly watching live video streaming, allowing them unprecedented access to real-time events.
Increasingly, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and a range of iPhone and Android apps allow users the functionality to both broadcast and watch live streaming.
It is, therefore, a perfect channel for social media marketers to embrace if they wish to mix up their messaging a little, as Jeff Bullas attests.
5. Continued Importance of Mobile
Continuing on the trend that has seen consumer use of mobile devices skyrocket in recent years, we can expect more of the same in 2017, according to Bill Muller of Chief Marketer.
Muller reports figures from Deloitte suggesting that the projected spend on mobile marketing will increase approximately 118% over the next three years in both the B2B and B2C space.
This position is echoed by sites like Entrepreneur.com, who recently called for firms to make mobile marketing a priority.
Mobile advertising may get significantly more expensive as its popularity increases.
6. The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing involves the strategic use of thought leaders or influencers within your industry to amplify your brand’s message within the market. This can help brands reach a new audience through leveraging the power of the influencer’s network.
YourStory.com cites figures from a TapInfluence/Nielsen Cataline Solutions case study that suggests influencer marketing can deliver 11 times the ROI of traditional marketing, so it’s certainly worth consideration if you are looking for something to give your marketing strategy a serious boost.
Be selective, since a lot depends on the influencer you choose.
7. The Return of Trust
We’ve all heard that people do business with people that they know, like and trust. However, as CMO.com notes, 2016 has not been a great year for trust in marketing. There has been a widespread reporting of investigations into marketing practices in the pharmaceutical and financial services industries.
The solution? Return to trust, transparency, and clarity in marketing. The name of the new game in 2017 will be authenticity … a critical foundation for the new era of relationship-based marketing.
How to do it? Check out this Moz article on 4 Ways to Build Trust and Humanize Your Brand.
8. Content Marketing Comes of Age
There’s some evidence out there to suggest that content marketing is slowly coming to the point of maturation.
There would be few marketers out there who would not acknowledge the need for solid content marketing activity (if not a strategy).
Furthermore, around two-thirds of marketers are reporting that their content marketing efforts are “much more” or “somewhat more” successful than the previous year, as reported by Forbes.
9. Reality: Augmented and Virtual
The rise of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) have been touted for a while now. They are increasingly being applied to a range of contexts. However, they are still out of the reach of most standard marketing campaigns.
However, some pundits predict that 2017 will be the year of VR. This prediction arrives with a steady uptake by marketers across a wide range of industries.
Spokespersons from Adobe and Accenture Interactive, cited by CMO.com, note the many exciting opportunities that will be offered marketers in 2017, with the main challenge likely to be what type of content to be offered through these channels.
10. Marketing Gets Personal
As 2017 rolls around, the word on the street is that personalization will become much more important as a marketing strategy. The ability to shape your message to your audience has admittedly always been important.
However, now zoom in even closer. You need to provide highly tailored content to increasingly more specific segments of your audience.
This trend is especially relevant for content marketing. The challenge of creating content that will engage and attract consumers increasingly depends on the extent to which it is personalized.
Although a challenging task, creating personalized content is seen by many as the key to content marketing success in 2017.