As marketers plan for the year ahead, we’re highlighting the top trends for marketers for 2017, with intelligence tracked by Catalyst Alerts.
Trend 1: Chatbots, voice assistants and AI take over your phone and home
According to research firm Futuresource Consulting, 6.3 million voice assistants will be shipped by the end of 2016.
The popularity of smart home devices is giving marketers new ways to connect with their audience – or in other words cash in on AI and voice-activated experiences.
In 2017, expect brands to leverage Google Home and Amazon Echo to find new ways to connect with customers, now that AI is starting to deliver on expectations.
Trend 2: The rise of the marketing cloud including automation and predictive analytics
Even though there’s a saturation of marketing technology solutions out there, the landscape itself remains very fragmented. According to IDC, marketing technology and data and analytics tools are continuing to increase year on year.
In 2017, the rise of the marketing cloud will change how marketers can consolidate all their data in one place, analysing insights and results across the entire customer lifecycle.
The larger software providers, Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle and IBM, will continue to offer marketing cloud packages that are focused around the core elements of content management, marketing automation tools and predictive analytics.
Trend 3: Virtual reality and AR enhances brand experiences
AR/VR is nothing new, but the technology has got much better and this means more consumers are willing to spend time (and their money) on the latest innovations.
We are now reaching the tipping point for mass adoption of VR technologies with Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and November’s launch of Google’s Daydream. The latest figures suggest that VR market is expected to grow to over $17 billion by 2022 (Source: Research and Markets, Aug 2016).
Similarly, augmented reality is also on the rise, with the immersive technology enabling anyone with a smartphone to take part in new branded experiences.
Corporate brands are starting to experiment with these immersive experiences – for example, Topshop created a virtual catwalk experience, and McDonald’s released its own Google Cardboard using a Happy Meal Box.
In 2017, we’ll see many more big brands using AR or VR to create innovative customer experiences than ever before.
Trend 4: Live streaming explodes on social
According to GWI’s Trends for 2016 report, only a small minority of users are watching live streamed experiences, with only 1.5% globally engaging with Meerkat (which was consequently shutdown this year, along with Vine) and just under 2% are using Periscope. But don’t be fooled, as there is a big opportunity for marketers to use live streaming to engage with their audience.
Live video streaming will continue to be a big trend, especially with the rising popularity of Facebook Live. Many brands and companies are using this feature to create interactive for their Facebook fans.
In 2017, live streaming will be taken more seriously, especially by media companies. In fact, LADBible, the fastest growing online media company for men, is currently hunting for a Facebook Live Coordinator as part of their marketing team.
Next year, we’ll also start to see ads seamlessly integrate into the live video experience.
Trend 5: Ad blockers threaten the end of the online advertising industry
According to the Pagefair and Adobe Ad Blocking Report from last year, ad blocking technology continues to be on the rise.
There has been much debate this year on whether ad blockers predict the end on the online advertising industry or if it’s just an evolution of the customer’s buying cycle, as they become more savvy online and expect more personalised content delivered to them, based on their online activity.
We’re all waiting to see how ad blocking technology is set to change the online advertising industry, and next year it will be a battle between the brand and consumer – we’ll have to wait until 2017 to see who wins!
Nick Gregg is the CEO of enterprise intelligence company EditorEye, which created the Catalyst platform for delivering business insights to marketers.
Marketers create personas to better understand their target audience and what it looks like. If marketers can understand potential buyer behaviors, and where they spend their time online, then content can be targeted more effectively.
It’s time to plan the year ahead, so how about starting with a look at the content marketing trends that will make 2017 easier and more effective?
Black Friday is here, but just how important is the day that has historically been the most watched of the holiday shopping season?