Posted by Jessica Render on Nov 28, 2016
Jessica Render

Working on your 2017 marketing strategy? From mobile-dependence to programmatic advertising, here’s what you need to know about the top trends for the next year in marketing.

There are some pillars in marketing that will never change, it all boils down to knowing your target audience and communicating your unique selling proposition to consumers. What does change are the tools and tactics we use to execute our marketing strategies. Brands that fail to adapt to changing technologies will quickly fall by the wayside in favor of brands with the foresight to embrace new trends and adapt to thrive in whatever environment their target audience demands of them.

What trends coming down the pike for 2017? Let’s take a look!

  1. All mobile, all the time

With 65% of all digital behavior now being executed on a mobile device, we’ve already passed the mobile tipping point and can no longer afford to view mobile optimization as a secondary concern. Many retail brands, like Target, are taking advantage of this new reality and enabling location-based offer alerts to advertise to customers directly through their mobile device while they’re in-store. Look for more brands thinking mobile first in 2017 and beyond.

2. Programmatic advertising

Largely hailed the future of ad buying, programmatic advertising involves using software to purchase ads and participate in real-time bidding for ad space through digital auctions without requiring a human to be present. It’s appealing because it takes human error out of the equation and allows decisions to be made in the span of seconds instead of hours, days or weeks of back and forth between marketing and sales teams. Heading the trend is Google, whose marketing director for global media, Joshua Spanier, explained his push toward the tech giant going “all-in” on programmatic advertising earlier this year.

3. Increased use of data

The growth of popularity for programmatic advertising really serves to highlight an increased desire to make more data-driven decisions. Look for more dependence on data across the board, but especially when it comes to social media, a communication and advertising channel that many brands have been relying on the “spray and pray” method for far too long. Better social analytics have become a necessity.

4. Personalized content and content promotion

Personalization is huge. Today, everybody is a content creator, from the biggest brands in the world like Nike and H&M to the 14 year old kid that lives down the street. Consumers have choices and there’s no real reason to choose you, regardless of your brand’s size, if you’re not investing in a content team that can master personalization. Trying to be everything to everyone all the time is where brands get in trouble. Be specific. Break your audience down and create pieces that reach each segment individually, bonus points for bite-sized, episodic content that keeps users coming back for more. Good content development is an art as well as a science, and brands that see the value in it enough to put a real budget behind it can drive real ROI from their efforts.

5. Reputation marketing

It’s not news that many consumers are hyper-aware and wary of traditional marketing language and tactics. When looking to make a purchase decision most people go straight to review sites, blogs or other third-party content to see what other consumers are saying about your brand. Investing in reputation marketing helps brands take hold of the conversations their customers are having and steer them in a positive direction. A strong reputation management effort can alleviate the disconnect between consumer and marketer by empowering a brand’s existing customer base to be a voice for the company. Similar to the trend of influencer marketing we’ve seen over the past few years, it’s all about building a trusted reputation. Connecting consumers who are on the fence about your product with customers who already made the leap can be the difference between making a sale and not.