9 of the Most Anticipated Marketing Trends for 2017

By: Keith Krach

Speed is one of the major characteristics of the digital age, and marketing helps to set the pace. Entrepreneurs and decision makers in the advertising field have the task of designing messaging that appeals to consumers in an ever-evolving landscape. Due to this constant change, a variety of trends have emerged.

Budding entrepreneurs realize that getting a startup off the ground depends on having a strong foundation of best practices in order to attract consumer dollars. The same can be said for seasoned executives and their efforts to keep an established venture going. At any one time, a number of marketing trends will dominate.

While business leaders should strive to be aware of everything that’s out there, the ultimate strategy can be found in narrowing down the options and formulating an actionable campaign. Looking ahead at industry predictions for 2017, here are a number of viable marketing strategies to consider.

1. Native advertising to take center stage

The concept of native advertising has been around for a while, but lately it has garnered a lot of attention. Investment in this form of advertising may reach as much as $21 billion in the next two years. An example of these types of ads are those that appear organically in a social media feed. They don’t interfere with the user experience, as they look organic in their environment and do not require any extra action from the consumer, such as clicking away. In addition, native ads increase the visibility of the promotion without forcing any kind of engagement on the individual.

2. Augmented reality as a marketing medium

The Pokémon Go craze that appeared in 2016 shed light on the fact that consumers are drawn to augmented reality (AR) experiences. Although Pokémon himself no longer appears in the headlines, the same technology is a rising trend, bringing with it marketing opportunities. This new medium for posting ads and promotions, whether in games or other apps, will likely be one strategy that marketers take advantage of in 2017.

3. Increased use of live video streaming platforms

Video is another marketing method that has driven success for years. With the new capabilities of live-stream video, companies can reach consumers in real-time in a more engaging way than the traditional video ad. Several platforms deliver this kind of technology, including social media sites, and people are becoming more accustomed to it as everything from concerts to presidential debates are now broadcast via a live-stream feed.

4. Improved visualization of data analysis

From an internal perspective, marketers will continue to benefit from advancements in data visualization technology. The ability to aggregate numbers and to configure and display them in a way that is accessible and explanatory is paramount to evaluating marketing campaigns. While several tools already exist to aid in the process, the demand for more sophisticated programs should be met in 2017.

5. Marketing to narrower audiences

Personalization has received a real push in the marketing space as of late, and this trend is expected to continue to develop in 2017. One way that companies will navigate this trend is by selecting key demographics and reaching out to them. Narrowing it down to a specific audience will help to achieve new levels of personalized content, and it will also improve the connection between the business and the consumer. It’s easier to reach customers in a smaller pool of competition than in a group of millions.

6. Harnessing the presence of influencers

Influencer marketing leverages the public platform of an individual or organization to reach out to consumers. By and large, this occurs on social media channels where businesses have celebrities, for example, post about their experience with certain goods or services. Consumers can then make a connection between their role models and the respective companies, improving the likelihood of a purchase.

7. Artificial intelligence fielding more questions

A part of providing real-time consumer engagement involves offering support around the clock. The innovation of chatbots enables businesses to put in place an automated customer service team that can respond to questions at all hours of the day. Artificial intelligence programs are increasingly refined and capable of parsing language and providing a helpful response.

8. Expiration dates to create consumer deadlines

Similar to live-stream video, social media advertisements have the ability to draw attention through urgency. Having an expiration date on a piece of content means that it is important to look now before it’s gone. Marketers will still need to experiment with this approach to find out which method best suits their needs, but using ads that expire will help cut through the competition.

9. Social media on the comeback with focused engagement

Besides Facebook, Twitter, and other leaders in the social media space, new companies are attempting to improve upon old models every year. The increase in social media options will require more decision-making in 2017. Not every platform will benefit the needs of every business, so executives will face the task of identifying the one or two that best facilitate consumer engagement.