Gearing up for the 2017 Marketing Trends

Gearing up for the 2017 Marketing Trends

As we head into the last few months of 2016, corporate marketers and Account Executives are frantically developing their strategic plans in hopes for a more efficacious 2017, and, as one of those aforementioned Account Execs, I decided to research the Top 5 Marketing Trends we can expect for 2017, according to an array of industry experts and marketing connoisseurs.

REAL-TIME VIDEO
While content marketing will still prove to be king, experts believe that the type of content is evolving. According to an article published on Forbes.com, while social content, eBooks, blogs and white papers are still crucial aspects of Marketing, it’s real-time video that will be all the rage moving forward.  While brands and individuals use a lot of videos in their marketing campaigns, those videos are generally pre-recorded available on-demand.  As customers and audiences actively seek engagement with brands in a more human way, real-time social interaction becomes more important than ever. Live video content allows brands to achieve high-touch engagement with their audience – something tweets or posts can never come close to.

RETURN TO EMAIL MARKETING
Many experts, including Neil Patel, believe we are about to see a drastic tipping of scales in favor of email marketing in 2017. Patel told the New York Times, “people jumped on the social media marketing bandwagon far too enthusiastically and the reality has had a sobering effect on them. While the general statistics for social media use is staggeringly good, the fact is that conversions and ROI are simply not that great.”  In 2017, this might actually be the main reason why email marketing will be back. Its limitations are well-known and it is far from being as exciting and as creative as social media marketing, but email marketing has returns that make financial sense.

PERSONALIZE EVERYTHING
There are impressive stats to show that personalization is fast becoming the golden ticket to marketing success in 2017.  In an era where customers value tailored experiences, personalization is not just a nice-to-have option, but a must-have marketing strategy.  Unfortunately, personalization is an under-utilized strategy. A recent study by VentureBeat found that 80 percent of marketers are failing to personalize their efforts. According to Econsultancy, only 19 percent use personalization in their marketing, despite the fact that 74 percent of marketers know it improves customer engagement.  Brands today have more consumer information at their fingertips than ever before, and they can use that data to get to know their customers in depth. However, recent studies suggest that most marketers are still stuck with the basics—email, name, location, and demographics—when it comes to capturing data, while advanced metrics like lifestyle, online purchases and behaviors, and social cues often go unnoticed. Simply put, brands need to track every single interaction they have with a customer from every single touch point, across all channels.

MOBILE ON THE MOVE
According to DMA.org, 4 out of 5 Americans carry a smartphone with them every day (compared to 3 of 5 globally). While smartphones are not likely to be obsolete anytime soon, they may be outpaced soon. DMA projects that by the end of 2016, one out of every four U.S. consumers will be using a wearable device. What’s that mean for marketers and 2017 planning and budgets? That they need to be prepared to produce and distribute content to fit the format, the channel, the time and the place for their current and target customers.

HUMAN CONTENT
Following the popularity of user-generated content, there will be a continued focus on creating authentic, personable content. According to Forbes.com, it is no longer about the crafted persona of a brand; Consumers want to know the culture and people behind it, and how a brand is impacting daily lives. Word-of-mouth thus remains a big influence on consumer behavior; After all, a recommendation from a friendly face is always more convincing than a self-promoting ad.  In addition, there will be a demand for audience participation. As consumers shift from being passive receivers to active partners, more users will appreciate avenues where they can show their side of the brand story; A platform where they can share how they feel a brand/product has impacted their lives.  Authentic, everyday content that’s fronted by real people is set to deliver a bigger impact in 2017.

Regardless of which areas of focus marketers pursue, experts agree that businesses need to be prepared to adapt to new trends and be on the lookout for new ones.  “I think marketing has already begun to change and will continue to, because, with new technologies and ideas, lines continue to be blurred,” said Neil Patel. “We’re always looking to the next thing, and I think that marketers need to feel the same.”

Tracy Weinstein

Sources:
www.forbes.com
www.nytimes.com
www.econsultancy.com
www.venturebeat.com