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Interesting and Challenging Times Ahead for Marketers

At the coming of the end of each calendar year there comes a practice that appears to be an unavoidable part of our culture. It is understandable that at the end of something there certainly must be a beginning of something else, a sort of evolutionary ideology that mandates a certain continuity of things both past and present. Predicting outcomes of the future, whether by flight of fancy or scientific “guessimation”, has always had a certain risk of accuracy when measured in the hind-sight but it appears that the level of success has had little impact on stemming the seemingly unavoidable practice of prognostication as each old year ending approaches. So what’s coming ahead in the business of marketing in the New Year? How will it propose to be better or worse than from where we have just come?

The digital era will continue to dominate marketing efforts across the spectrum of business sectors. Consumers are dictating to marketers how they want to consume information. Users are no longer using 1 or 2 devices so mobile expansions for marketers is critical. This trend is likely to strengthen in the coming year as the technology continues to improve in scope and ease of use. In 2017, if you haven’t already, embrace mobile!

Content and marketers focused on providing quality content to audiences will continue to dominate the mainstream marketing environment. We have come a long way from the early efforts to first imagine the potential impact of social media marketing and then to follow through on its promises by mastering effective and more conversational and interactive content messaging. The conversation will continue to project the brands promise to seemingly individualized consumers while finding that efficiency sweet spot. The keyword in content will become “personalization”, which doesn’t fit in 40 characters or less.

The Influencer factor will continue to motivate consumers’ as confidence and trust rise in those who will be viewed as thought leaders. Selecting the appropriate influencer will be critical in establishing brand credibility.

Purpose Driven Marketing continues to extend marketing efforts beyond the sale and promotes a feel-good impression with customers. Look to see more brands form charity partnerships with non-profits in 2017.

Social media channels will continue to grow in quality and selection as yet unproven technology like livestreaming, virtual and augmented reality arrive to satisfy the appetite of 2.5 billion active social media users worldwide. Marketers will be challenged to identify and utilize those channels that work best for achieving their goals. Messaging apps will begin to find their utilization. Chad Martin, North American Director, Social and Emerging Media at VML, states that, “The idea of being able to engage with a customer in a one on one way is huge. The hurdle will be figuring out how to develop relevant content to so many.”

Given the surprises in the geopolitical world in 2016, we cannot underestimate the likelihood of something unforeseen and unpredictable in 2017, whether it’s new technology or yet undetected swings in consumer tastes. The unexpected can certainly arise. Whatever the reality of marketing trend predictions, it promises to be a very interesting and challenging time ahead.

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