What does 2017 have in store for digital marketers? We know you are thinking about it, as you should. We conjured up seven digital marketing predictions for 2017 that we'll revisit in December to see if we were right...

Here are 7 predictions for digital marketing in 2017

Last year, small changes in the digital world had big impacts for marketers. If 2016 was a superhero its primary source of defense would be ad blocking. Digital 2016 forced us, marketers, to become savvier. We rediscovered what the age of social media has been slowly teaching us. Consumers value transparency and emotional connections before making a sale or adopting an idea.

BIG DATA

Data or Big Data is one of the shining stars of 2016 whose light will only get brighter in the year ahead. The concept of big data, put simply, is knowing your customer (not just thinking you know). Why do your current customers use your services? What problems are you solving for them? Having data-driven answers to these questions allowed us to predict user behavior, target specific consumer groups and forecast a more accurate user sales report. In 2017 this practice will only gain traction. Data farms have popped up to give you micro insights to your current customer base. Moreover, it will give more details for targeting future consumers as well.  

ACCOUNTABILITY

Another challenge for marketers, in this past year, when it comes to data was showing the value of non-direct responses. You know, video watch rates, shares on a blog post or even a lost visitor to a website who didn’t convert to a direct sale. All these things have been huge challenges when proving the worth of a digital campaign. In 2017 marketers will again be held accountable, as ubiquity increases. This year, we predict formalized measurements and standards will be enforced to prove campaign success. Digital campaigns should no longer be thought of as a tool for attention but, instead, a tool that helps drive the organization’s financial growth.

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NATIVE ADS

We already know 2016 was armed with the power to block ads. Marketers saw this line of defense and countered with native ads or ad content that fit its surrounding. They go by many names like sponsored content or promoted content, but at the end, it's smartly placed content that does not interrupt the user experience. Our prediction is that 2017 will require us to become craftier. No longer is a Buzzfeed listicle ideal (they’re still good, but we can do better) consumers are going to get bored with being fed this type of content. So dig deep!  

AUGMENTED REALITY

Augmented and virtual reality ruled in 2016! Pokemon Go showed us the way. For all who simply thought it was a game, they missed out on a huge opportunity to learn how to use this function for future marketing tactics. The union of print (or physical marketing) and augmented reality makes things real interesting. Consumers live for experiences. This trend will only grow in the upcoming years. If your plans include augmented or virtual reality coupled with big data you are two years ahead, so see you in 2019.  

VIDEO

Video did it again. It killed the radio star, and now massacred written word in the digital space. Trying to brand a message? Put it in a video, it will last longer. Users view and share more videos than ever before. As apps increase and make it easier to edit and use, we will see more marketers create videos for distribution at a smaller scale (think made for social -- not TV) The popular chat functions that also made a strong appearance in 2016 will be assisted by video in the upcoming year. Companies will also adopt a video service that allows real-time and scheduled interactions to assist with consumer issues.  

INFLUENCER MARKETING

Digital 2016 also birthed the rise of the influencer to mainstream marketing. Many companies are adopting this method to create more engaging brand experiences. This trend will only be amplified in 2017. We predict that influencer marketing will not only include influencers promoting products but also companies will create unique or VIP experiences for consumers interacting with the brand. This will not only leverage the digital reach of the influencer but all in attendance, in real-time. Influencer marketing should not only be thought of as one-to-one, it can also be an event that multiple influential people in your industry attend. Take advantage, use what you know to create something different in 2017.

MOBILE

Everyone has one, I’m sure you heard. Digital 2017 will bring all mobile devices to the forefront, making mobile the first access point for online interactions. What that means for us marketers is, having a mobile-ready digital presence. Marketers will have to think mobile first then desktop, a shift that is being universally adopted. How does your mobile online experience vary from your traditional website? Should there be any difference at all? All these questions will have to be explored when preparing for 2017. In conclusion, digital marketing in 2017 will challenge us to stand out in the digital age of marketing. And it will only become more challenging. Our advice to you, be daring. There is no such thing as making mistakes (just the costs associated with them). Get creative. Need help planning your 2017? Ask us! Try these beginning tips.

Written by Katina Charles

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