Few worlds change faster than the digital globe and 2017 promises to be another roller coaster ride set in virtual reality, perhaps. So, for our year-end blog, the elf hopped down from the shelf and asked Fusionites what they see on the marketing horizon for 2017.
Creative Director Michael Zydzik predicts ““Although, the millennials have had a profound effect on creative and marketing expectations across the board, millennial marketing is passé. Instead marketers will focus more on behaviors and emotion rather than distinguishing between generations. "
Fusionfarm Director Kelly Homewood chimes in with similar thoughts. “We’ve all heard that sharing our brand story will help us connect with our customers. The story of why we do what we do and what makes us unique. But it’s how you tell that story that will determine the level of marketing impact you create. Stories create emotion that help people relate to a brand. When told correctly, they are memorable and help to humanize a brand, much more effectively than any marketing tag line. Your brand story will also become an important internal tool to establish your culture and brand promise.”
Still, Product Manager Joe Matar points out that there are also many technical developments on the horizon as well. “I believe that bots will start replacing websites and social channels. Even though it won’t be a major (or even a minor) transition in 2017, as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more intelligent and customizable for each business we will see brands experimenting with AI technology more and more. Think about how this would work: Instead of requiring someone to come to your website and navigate through the site to find what they are looking for (which can often times be difficult especially on larger websites), bots will allow visitors to ask a bot what they are looking for with instantaneous answers all but eliminating the need for a website, at least in the traditional sense. Think Siri on steroids. Instead of building websites on a Content Management System (CMS), brands will start building and training their own bots through bot platforms, replacing a CMS with a Bot Management Systems (BMS).
“Big data will play an even bigger role as data visualization makes greater meaning of data,” according to Liz Kennedy, Website Specialist. As big data becomes more accessible to everyone, visualizing its meaning will become more and more important in overall marketing and analysis.
For Director of Digital Services, Jessica Tomash, who helped launch the local JumpOnIt program, the big trend on her radar is text-based marketing and retention programs. “Response rates blow other forms of marketing out of the water, in part because they create a sense of urgency.” SMS marketing, like other forms, works best when it’s part of a multichannel campaign.
In the social media realm, expect more video. Social Media Community Manager Pranav Shrestha expects live videos to continue to transform content creation and publication. “Facebook and Instagram are pushing live videos and it is something brand should take note of. Twitter is also using live videos but pivoting toward direct partnership with content publishers like NBC and FOX. Shrestha says look for more rich media formats like 360 videos, 360 photos to transform the social media experience. For new ad products, he predicts improvements to pixel and experiential ad products such as Facebook Canvas which will provide more sophisticated ad tools and better marketing attribution models for marketers.
Marketers on the national scene have been predicting Twitter’s demise for several years. Social Media Product Manager Stacey McGurk is in the ranks of those with “Twitter fatigue.” McGurk says, “It’s no secret that Twitter isn’t doing well as a company and has been slow in developing an ad platform that is effective for marketers.” With Facebook and Instagram continuing to develop their networks to enhance user-experience, they will have the market advantage.
Product Manager Tracy Pratt says we will likely also see shifts in influencer marketing, too, as brands experiment with “dark social,” the sharing of content outside of what can be measured by traditional analytics. Adidas, for example, has launched Tango Squads, communities of hyper-connected 16- to 19-year-old football obsessives operating on direct messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Line. Musical.ly is another interactive video and messaging app gaining popularity with younger audiences. Watch for continued growth in brands who want to harness those communication apps.
Within the SEO/SEM ecosystem, we see the world of search continuing its ever-changing ways in 2017. After algorithm changes in 2016, local identity will be important elements of SEO, even for companies with a national reach. And pay-per-click advertisers should see even better ROI with extended text ads (ETAs) taking over at the end of January. They provide twice the number of characters as before which gives advertisers far more messaging than in the past. All in all, providing a great opportunity for advertisers to rise above organic search results.
Marketing has never been more exciting or innovative as it is now. Ready for a pitch? Fusionfarm is a full service and award winning creative agency that would love to transform your brand!