What’s in store for marketing leaders in 2017?
Having reviewed the best and most memorable marketing of 2016, I’m now focused on tackling 2017 head-on. What might our clients expect in 2017? What trends should our team be tracking as we consider our plans and programs for clients?
Look no further than this handy synopsis of opinion and insight from marketing leaders about what’s in store for the year ahead, complete with MMK’s two cents.
These C-level insights come from a diverse group of leaders brought together by the good folks at MarketingTech. Some notable trends to watch:
- The Role of AI in Social Media
- 63% of customers (and even more millennials) reach out to a call center as a last resort according to data from Lithium Technologies. Katy Keim, CMO at Lithium, says Chat Bots and AI will continue to be a big deal in social media, but marketers must know how to tame this beast to tailor a customer experience that allows for seamless transition between bot and human interaction.
- MMK’s take: Expect more colaboration with teams outside marketing to deliver an improved Customer Experience.
- Marketing Tech = New Risks
- Alex Comyn, CSO of Amaze, predicts new tech such as AI, smarter use of data and beacon technology will be taken to a new level in 2017. He advises marketing leaders to be cautious as existing issues with personalization (and the consumer reaction to it being “creepy”) will also increase.
- MMK’s take: Marketing risk management is going to get a whole lot more interesting.
Fortune gazes into its crystal ball to predict the headlines we’ll likely see out of Silicon Valley in 2017:
- Facebook and Google's Power of the Platform
- Encryption Goes Mainstream
- Artificial Intelligence is the Real Deal
- Snapchat Soars And Apple Stumbles
- Tech Vs. Trump
MMK's take: Keep an eye out on the Platforms. Always.
Over on Mobile Marketing, retail expert Brent Franson, CEO of Euclid Analytics, lays out three themes:
- Brick-and-mortar will revamp shopping experiences — “…Physical retailers will accelerate efforts to be competitive with eCommerce…it’s about hitting that trifecta of maximizing your physical space, nailing digital and executing on a more effective mobile strategy.”
- Retailers will get more creative on social — “…anything from engaging with consumers with a more human and quirky tone or offering fun promotions you can only get through the platform.”
- Beacons will continue to be doomed — “Retailers should refocus on what they’ll get the most from: macro-level behavioral data, like how long a customer spends in the store or frequency of shopping, to shape their promotional approach.”
MMK's take: Integrating online and offline retail experiences have never been more important.
Shopify talked to a solid roster of retail experts and received a wide range of responses, touching on data, convenience, personalization, mobile, and digital. One major theme it spotted: “Retailers and consumers are getting smarter.”
“Retailers will use technology to make every single piece of media — be it social, online, mobile, or conventional — a direct path to purchase.…Conversely, the physical store is becoming a powerful form of experiential media. Your store should convey a powerful brand story through every touchpoint, provide lots of opportunities for immersive product experiences…. If you design your customer experience well, your store is the most powerful form of media at your disposal.” — Doug Stephens, Founder of Retail Prophet, and Author of The Retail Revival
“The physical store retail format will continue to evolve into smarter environments. Brands will continue to learn how to truly incorporate technology to create a connected store” — Melissa Gonzalez, Founder, The Lion’esque Group, and Author of The Pop-Up Paradigm
“…accelerated shift to mobile and cross-platform interactions. Mobile share of global ecommerce is expected to grow from 40% in 2015 to 70% by 2017, as we see the vast majority of online shoppers start transactions on one device and end on another.” — Arish Ali, CEO at Skava
MMK's take: Smart marketing always wins.
As AdAge notes, media buying agency Zenith forecasts that by the end of this year, 75% of online content consumption will be mobile. “For mobile marketing, a moment of transformation is at hand.” Here’s how:
- Consumers redefine purchase boundaries; mobile marketing, brand partnerships deepen
- Department stores, mobile marketing partners tackle the 'Amazon Effect'
- Programmatic accelerates: brands, tech, marketing continue to invest
- Technology drives measurement, verification advances
- Next-generation creative, video redefine mobile engagements
MMK's take: Mobile can’t be a silo anymore. Integrate mobile strategy and experiences in your campaigns from the start.
Brandwatch offers a pretty complete and appropriately skeptical look at the highly competitive world of digital marketing. Trends it calls out include:
- Immersive marketing (augmented reality, 360 video)
- Live video
- Better use of big data insights
- Increased personalization
- Native advertising — due to the “diminishing penetration of many ads – through ad blockers, reduced social media organic reach, and the decline of banner ads”
Bonus: Brandwatch's 3 B2B Content Marketing Trends Set to Rule in 2017 highlights the importance of video, paid social media marketing and actually developing a strategy.
MMK's take: It’s going to take something special to get noticed in 2017.
Bring on 2017
Retail and digital marketing are fast-moving spaces, and there is certainly no sign they are slowing down. Buckle up!
What’s on your mind for the coming year? Get in touch to discuss how you can incorporate the right marketing trends for your target audiences.