7 Marketing Trends for 2017
The pace of change within marketing these days are a blur. It seems that once a new technology has emerged, another one is already there to take its place. But the one thing that won’t change in marketing is the aim of marketing – to provide visibility, engagement and revenue for clients.
So, 2016 has seen the massive uptake of Snapchat and ad blockers are holding web adverts hostage – what will 2017 bring?
1) Social Media Finally Seen as Necessary Marketing Channel
Many companies and their marketing managers are starting to realise that social media is here to stay and can provide traffic and marketing opportunities that marketers could only dream of in the 80s, 90s and 00s. It will become an absolutely necessary marketing channel.
However, people will still have to learn that social media as a strategy itself will ultimately waste time and resources. Also, marketers will realise that social media must become integral to an overall strategy, rather than many micro-strategies hoping to achieve the same marketing objectives.
2) Snapchat Will Be King
It has been a wild year for Snapchat. In a little over 4 years, they have grown from a small company only sending 25 images a second to over 10,000 images sent a second. They tapped into the market of providing a ‘private’ and in-the-moment digital experience that doesn’t leave a lasting legacy on the internet – remember when you had to take down embarrassing photos from Facebook or Twitter before a job interview?
Snapchat has recently rebranded to Snap.Inc and been listed for an IPO. We assume they are ready to branch out from their app-centric business model and invest in other projects, similar to Facebook. We expect big developments in the coming year from this company.
3) Engagement and Effectiveness Are the Key Metrics
Analytics, in the form of Facebook and Google, do a good job at telling you what is happening. However, many analytics tools aren’t very good at telling why it is happening. We suspect that as more companies press for more data about their audiences, they will be looking more at the why through predictive analytics.
There is already a demand for this. But with Facebook admitting that their analytics has bugs, we see whether they will be able to deliver.
4) Mobile Will Truly Replace Desktop
In October, mobile web traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time, in a trend that has started in 2009. On top of that, Google has decided to add mobile friendliness to their search algorithms, meaning that websites will be penalised if they aren’t device-responsive.
It’s a safe bet that mobile will be a priority for marketers.
5) Content Will Still Be King
Content isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Content has too many purposes to a marketer, from increasing brand awareness, leads, sales and SEO. Plus, it is cheaper than many other forms of marketing and provides great resources to share on social and email.
6) But the Type of Content Will Change – Rich Media Will Take Precedence
While content is here to stay, the type will continue to change. ‘Visual storytelling’ will become the go-to format, whether that is with pre-made videos, or with live-streaming. With more than 5 billion videos watched every day on YouTube and 10 billion on Snapchat, it is hard to ignore – and that is omitting other platforms, such as Facebook.
Live-streaming platforms have been around for a while (Periscope, anyone?), but Facebook has launched it to the masses with Facebook Live. Essentially, this has enabled its 1.79 billion monthly active users to become broadcasters for ‘in-the-moment’ content. Follow that up with Facebook’s international advertising campaign, it is certain that 2017 will see more live-streaming.
7) Chatbots Will Take Over
With chatbots, you have a 24/7 personal sales associates that doesn’t need to take showers, sleep or paid but can answer customers queries in real-time.
There are already many companies that will build an AI driven bots for websites. But this has exploded since Facebook implemented Bots for Messenger earlier this year. Some larger chains across the pond are already harnessing the power of the bot, including Dominos that allow customers to order pizzas through Facebook Messenger without any sales operator. In the UK, Pizza Express has implemented Bots for Messenger for their Christmas campaign – expect many other chains to do the same in 2017.
BONUS: What Isn’t Going to Happen in 2017 – Virtual Reality (VR).
A mobile phone’s version of VR is gimmicky at best – Oculus Rift and video game headsets are where true VR should be experienced. This makes it tricky to market as you cannot showcase the experience through a regular 2D screen. But, we may start to see an increase of VR in other channels, such as on shop floors to demonstrate products.
Unless the price for hardware falls dramatically, we are unlikely to see a widespread adoption from consumers this year. VR may take off in 2018/19. Until then, augmented reality (AR) will succeed where VR doesn’t.