Top Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2017 (Infographic and Analysis)

Top Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2017 (Infographic and Analysis).

Tis’ the season to talk about marketing trends and predictions for 2017. And this year, the online community is delivering in spades.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I find predictions and trends posts fascinating because I love the preview of what’s to come.

The number of posts however, makes it hard for any savvy business owner to figure out what to focus on in 2017. Happily for you, I simplified this by reviewing and analyzing 151 marketing trends and predictions posts. I then compiled the results into bite-sized chunks for your consumption.

There are three ways to dig into the data:

  1. If you just want a quick look ahead, the top predictions and trends are compiled into one handy infographic.

  2. If you want to go deeper, there’s a closer look at the marketing trends and predictions for 2017 beneath the infographic.

  3. If you’re curious about the source data, find links to the 151 marketing trends and predictions posts reviewed below the analysis.

So read on and see what the future has in store when marketing your business in 2017.

1. Top Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2017: the Infographic.

Top Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2017

This infographic first appeared in NewCo Shift.

2. Top Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2017: a Closer Look

Now that you’ve seen the high-level marketing trends and predictions for 2017, here’s some more detail to put it all into context.

Video in one form or another was mentioned in 88 percent of the posts I reviewed, making it the run-away trend for 2017. Let’s take a look at how this category broke down:

  • Livestreaming: If you used Facebook Live, Periscope, or one of the many other livestreaming platforms and tools in 2016, expect to use it more in 2017. “Live video is the cure for synthetic content,” says Tessa Wegert, “and brands that embrace the opportunity to take consumers inside their factories and test kitchens, to their photo shoots and runway shows, and backstage at the concerts and events they’ve been sponsoring for years will be rewarded with increased loyalty and affinity.”.

  • Live video is the cure for synthetic content.

  • The Growth of Video: The use of video grew in 2016, but seems set to explode in 2017. Why? Because it’s just that effective! Want more reach? Use video. Want more leads? Use video. Want more sales? You got it: Use video. Short videos are best when they catch attention but don’t waste time; if you make them an engaging series, they bring consumers back for more.

  • One trend to watch? Short videos used in a series.

  • 360-Degree Video: 360-degree video provides an immersive experience, increasing the effectiveness of customer engagement with your brand content. Facebook in particular is supporting this trend with a page on how to get ready to produce and upload this type of content.

  • Videos in Email: As far back as 2013, email marketers reaped great returns by including videos in their campaigns. With the increasing emphasis on video as a whole, this trend seems like a solid one to bet on.

Heading into 2017, content marketing is alive and well. While “visual content” seems to be all the buzz, here are the five content trends to watch:

  • Virtual Reality (VR): With the rise of Oculus from Facebook and an ever-growing number of mobile VR solutions for both filming and consuming, this trend seems like a big deal. Whether we feel its impact in 2017 is still in question, though, as the technology is still new enough to scare of all but the earliest of adopters. Yet, those who make the VR investment in 2017 likely will see a solid payoff down the road.

  • Augmented Reality (AR): AR made its prime-time debut in 2016 with Pokemon GO; however this technology had already been sneaking into everyday use. “Look for AR to thrive in unexpected places,” say the folks over at Comrade. “Consider the ever-improving Google Translate app, which lets you point your camera at words and phrases in dozens of languages and translates them for you on the spot.” Another example is the Photomath app, which enables you to “scan a math problem for an instant result.”

  • Look for augmented reality to thrive in unexpected places.

  • Storytelling: While the virtues of storytelling in marketing have been touted for years, the need to differentiate your brand in the rising sea of content makes it a need to have skill. “At first, this marketing strategy looked like a glorified ‘About us’ page,” says Michelle Baker, “Business storytelling makes sense in the digital world as it is easier than ever before for people to genuinely engage with a company / brand they favor.”.

  • Business storytelling makes it easier for people to genuinely engage with a company or brand.

  • User Generated Content (UGC): Another trend that’s been around for some time, UGC enables brands to tell stories though the eyes of their customers, adding authenticity and social proof in one fell swoop. Brands can learn a lot here from cause marketers who achieved great success with campaigns such as The Ice Bucket Challenge. Outside of business, UGC has a role to play in sports where it can provide the same benefits.

  • Interactive Content: Whether it’s a quiz like the ones on BuzzFeed, a personality type assessment, or a contest, interactive content is both engaging and provides opportunities to collect customer data such as email addresses.

Whether it’s big data, small data, market research data, or analytics for site and social media, the more you know about your target audience, the better you can market to it. Data has always been a big component of marketing, but is gonna be a key component in 2017. Here’s how:

  • Personalization: Most people think about personalization as something along the lines as using their first name in an email. But personalization has moved way beyond that stage. Imagine sitting at your computer and shopping on a site that highlights specific products just for you based on products you browsed while you were surfing the site five months ago on your cell phone on line at the grocery store. Cross-channel, historical data like this is what feeds personalization these days (as well as data collected by devices — more on that in a bit). The jury is still out: Will it get too creepy?.

  • Will 2017 be the year that personalization gets too creepy?.

  • Data: Thanks to software that can report and consolidate the everyday deluge of data points, 2017 will likely be the year that digital marketing data collection finally comes into its own. Expect to see the rise of “first-party data,” says Christopher Walker, “specific data held within a company that is not shared by anyone else and is used to gain insight into customer profiles and combined with third-party data as required.” Nick Evans predicts that, “Marketers will increase investment in data and analytics to drive value from customer data.”

  • First-party data and increased investment in data and analytics will be hallmarks in 2017.

  • Attribution: When marketers use multiple channels — such as social media, websites, and mobile apps — to reach customers, it becomes crucial to know how each channel is performing when figuring our where to spend. Up until now, the only sure attribution was the “last-touch,” the spot where a customer finally made his purchase. However, technology has finally caught up and will begin to enable 2017 marketers to track and integrate the multiple data points needed to attribute each step of the customer’s journey. This is incredibly important when it comes time to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign as a whole and each channel on its own.

  • Up until now, the only sure attribution was the “last-touch,” the spot where a customer finally made their purchase.

  • Accountability: Up until now, it’s been difficult to track “true ROI” from marketing on social media or via content. However, there are more tools available than ever to measure and track across channels, making 2017 the year of accountability. Marketers will need to demonstrate bottom line results no matter the channel.

  • Marketers will need to demonstrate bottom line results no matter the channel.

  • Omnichannel: Advances in technology and data collection will also contribute to the rise of omnichannel marketing campaigns. “An omni-channel experience creates a seamless, universal experience for your shoppers across all of the channels that you use to reach them,” says Colleen Malloy. “Your desktop website, mobile website, PPC ads, email campaigns, social campaigns, billboards, brick-and-mortar signage, and any other customer touches should work together to create one fluid, integrated experience for your customers.”

  • Cybercrime: With the rise of data collection and use, as well as the rise of cybercrime, data security is key. This especially applies to the security of your customer and client data. If you live in the EU, the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation is coming so you best use 2017 to prepare.

As one site put it, 2017 will be the year of “Mobile, Mobile, Mo-Bloody-Bile!” Let’s take a look at why:

  • Mobile First/Only: First it was mobile-friendly. Then it became mobile-first. Now comes mobile-only as Zenith forecasts 75 percent of internet use will be mobile in 2017. What does this mean? If you want Google search traffic, and happy website visitors, you need to got on board the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project and make sure your site is mobile optimized.

  • Location Marketing: Also called contextual marketing, location marketing is all about hitting the right person with the right message at the right time using geo-targeting, geo-fencing and beacons. When you hook this trend — using mobile devices and augmented reality games like Pokemon GO to track a customer’s location and wearable technology to track their habits and even vital signs — with the personalization trend mentioned above, the possibilities presented to marketers are endless. Not only can you target a customer by location, you can tailor your message to the customer’s stage on the buyer’s journey.

  • Not only can you target a customer by location, you can tailor your message to the customer’s stage on the buyer’s journey.

  • Local Search: Tied in with location marketing, local search techniques enable both businesses with one location and those with many locations, to direct customers, based on where they currently are, to the most appropriate spot to do business.

  • Mobile-Friendly Email: As many customers will view your email marketing campaigns on their mobile phones, marketers will need to be sure the messages are optimized to look good on those devices.

  • Mobile Video: As with email, you need to assure that your videos look good on mobile devices. This will likely drive a move toward increased vertically-oriented video creation.

  • Mobile will up the need for vertical screen videos.

  • Mobile Search: If you uses search engine marketing tools such as AdSense, make sure you optimize your searches for mobile to match the rising trends in mobile internet use.

As the tide of content continues to rise, it’s getting harder and harder to get noticed via search or social media using organic promotion. 2017 will see more brands turn to paid content promotion to help them break through the noise as well as for distribution.

  • Influencer Marketing: Already surging in 2016, influencer marketing will continue to evolve throughout 2017. The Continators predict, “B2B organizations will finally start to adopt influencer marketing tactics like LinkedIn thought leadership, social media influence, and content marketing tactics.” Search Engine Watch predicts the rise of micro-influencers who are “creating the type of content that grabs a consumer’s attention–and they’re able to much more authentically connect with their followers.”

  • Micro-influencers create the type of content that grabs a consumer’s attention–and they’re able to much more authentically connect with their followers.

  • Advertising: As mentioned above, brands will need to cut through the noise and extend the reach of their content distribution in 2017. Advertising solves both issues nicely. For those two reasons, ads will see greater use on social media and search (both mobile and not). In addition, social media will see brands using ads to overcome social media algorithms, which tend to hide business content unless promoted, on sites like Facebook and Instagram. Finally, thanks to both data and artificial intelligence (AI), the use of programmatic ads will continue to streamline the online ad buying process.

  • Brands will use advertising to cut through the noise and extend the reach of their content distribution in 2017.

  • Native Advertising: A form of paid promotion, native advertising is “about producing marketing material that fits seamlessly into what the consumer is doing or viewing.” Expect to see much more of this type of content that “matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears” in 2017 on both websites and social media.

  • Remarketing: Also called retargeting, remarketing uses cross-channel data and personalization to determine which ads to show to a customer. For example, if you visited Amazon and looked a a particular book, you may see an ad for that specific book when you head over to CNN to catch up on the latest news. Creepy? Perhaps? Effective? Definitely.

  • Remarketing utilizes cross-channel data and personalization to determine which ads to show to a customer.

  • Sponsored Content: According to Shannon Porter, “As opposed to native advertising, sponsored content is not brand-biased and its goal is to inform the audience, not convince them.” Though not as widely used as native advertising, it’s still a viable form of promotion heading into 2017.

As marketing becomes more complex — more channels, more tools, more data — using automation to manage a brand becomes more necessary. There were some big strides on this front in 2016 and you can be sure that you’ll hear more about the following four trends in 2017:

  • Bots/Chatbots: As more consumers communicate with brands via social media and messaging apps, the need for brands to respond to would-be customers in a timely manner has grown increasingly important. Chatbots, which use both artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to Jes Stiles, “allow you to have personalized 1–1 conversations at scale, opening up a whole new audience who does not wish to connect with brand over email or download an app.”

  • Chatbots allow you to have personalized 1:1 conversations at scale.

  • AI/Machine Learning: In addition to powering chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are, according to David Daniels, “impacting personalization, with solutions that are leveraging customer behaviors to learn from them and predict the new best offers to present to customers.” Expect to see and hear a lot more about these two intertwined trends in 2017.

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning are impacting personalization, with solutions that are leveraging customer behaviors.

  • Marketing Automation: While not a new trend, automation of the marketing funnel continues to grow in value as marketing gets more complex. Stay alert, however. Jennifer O’Brien warns, “There is a danger of neglecting the need for the customer’s experience and interactions to not only be personalised, but authentic.”

  • Dark Social: Dark social refers to “the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by Web analytics programs. This mostly occurs when a link is sent via online chat or email, rather than shared over a social media platform, from which referrals can be measured.” While there are tremendous possibilities in tracking dark social interactions, especially within messaging apps, there are also many concerns about privacy. One way around that is the use of “messenger bots” with which consumers initiate the conversation.

  • While there are tremendous possibilities in being able to track dark social interactions, there are also many concerns about privacy.

For many years, pundits have been predicting the integration of ecommerce at almost every customer touch point. 2017 will bring us closer to that reality.

  • Social Commerce: Expect to see more “Buy” and “Add to Cart” buttons everywhere — especially in social media and on individual search engine results.

  • Expect to see more “Buy” and “Add to Cart” buttons everywhere.

  • Interactive Email: In addition to buying a product directly from your emails, consumers will be able to enter contests, complete surveys, and take quizzes directly there as well.

In1go Technologies Inc. leverages in value solutions such as Marketing Operations Automation, Trade Marketing Automation, Digital Activation and Marketing Insights.

This article originally appeared on

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Top Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2017 (Infographic and Analysis)

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