5 Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

5 Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

It’s been quite a year for online marketing — and 2017 won’t be any different.

We can expect marketers to focus this year on using budding technologies to streamline the customer experience. We’re already beginning to see which trends will stick around for the new year, and which will fade away.

Here’s a look at five big trends shaping the future of marketing. Use this list to guide your marketing efforts, and hit the ground running.

Live Streaming

Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon are vying to be the consumer’s live streaming channel of choice. Most recently, the giants are all competing for the rights to stream cricket matches in India. If this rivalry illustrates anything, it’s that live streaming is here to stay.

Live streaming combines the emotional power of video with the quick and instant engagement of mobile. Marketers can creatively tap into this increasingly popular tool with ease. Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat make it especially easy for brands to take action.

A week before Thanksgiving, for example, Taco Bell broadcasted their fourth annual Friendsgiving on Facebook Live. 150,000 people tuned in, and in three weeks, the video garnered 1.2 million views.

Live broadcasts on Facebook Live have quadrupled since May. MarketsandMarkets predicts that live video will be a $70 billion industry by 2021.

Chatbots

Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked, “chatbots are the new apps.” If the past few months are any indicator, Nadella isn’t far off. Chatbots started in China with WeChat, but the Western world has been quickly catching up. Brands such as KLM, Uber, and Domino’s Pizza have begun experimenting with chatbots on platforms like Kik, Facebook, and Slack.

Chatbots offer marketers an additional avenue to connect with consumers. Like live streaming, the immediacy of chatbots makes it an appealing approach. Users can converse with brands freely, and even order, browse, and interact with them.

Virtual Reality

Brands today are eager to get involved with virtual reality. BMW and Volvo opened up virtual test drives, and Ikea a virtual kitchen. Coca-Cola let consumers virtually ride on Santa’s sleigh.

The high-engagement potential of virtual reality should be enough for marketers to hop on the bandwagon. Virtual reality can be used to better show off product features, storytell in new and exciting ways, entertain consumers, and more.

But in order for virtual reality to really take off, we will have to overcome the adoption problem. As of now, VR headsets are not yet mainstream. Hopefully this changes in 2017.

Immersive Experience (360 Video)

If the increasing interest in augmented and virtual reality has taught us anything, it’s that consumers crave immersive experiences. 360 videos are another avenue marketers can take to fulfil this desire. Although Google introduced its 360 Video platform TrueView in 2015, brands have only recently begun to express interest.

360 videos shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality. Yes, you can view 360 videos with a VR headset like Google Cardboard. But you can experience it without one on your mobile device, too. If you’re watching a 360 video on mobile, you can move your phone to change the viewpoint and see the whole scene. In a browser, you can drag the video to explore your environment.

This is a game changer for brands, who are already experimenting with this exciting medium.

Artificial Intelligence

It took time for broad mobile marketing terms like personalization and customization to become clearer, but today they are staples in every marketer’s arsenal. The same will be true for artificial intelligence.

Today, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding artificial intelligence and its definition. Is it machine learning? Big data? Both? In the coming year, marketers will have a better grasp on artificial intelligence, as they begin understanding how solution will enable them to collect users data and apply it to their advertising campaigns.

Facebook Messenger, which uses clues to predict whether users might require specific services, is simply an early form of the coming year’s artificial intelligence platforms. In time, we’ll see more sophisticated solutions that determine patterns and serve ads based on individual user decision making in real time.

BONUS: Hot Marketing Tools for 2017

1. DataRails

DataRails is a smart spreadsheet management solution for enterprises. It adds collaboration and compliance features on top of your Excel spreadsheets. DataRails adds structure and control to the Excel flow, enabling data integrity and control. Perfect for managing complex marketing spreadsheets and budgets.

2. BananaTag

BananaTag is a free email tracking and scheduling tool. It can be integrated into email for Gmail, Outlook, iOS, Android. Users can track email opens, track attachment opens, schedule emails in advance, and create multiple templates. Not only is email tracking a great tool for salespeople, so they can follow up with prospects and leads, but it’s also helpful for marketers and others who need an organized inbox to stay on top of tasks.

3. Oktopost

Oktopost is a social media management platform, where marketers can schedule social media posts in advance and track the success of their social media campaigns. But the best part is that Oktopost can be used for employee social advocacy, too. Every marketer knows that employees are a company’s best asset. Getting employees on board with sharing blog posts and anything else company related is great (free) publicity.