2017 Marketing Trends

By November 15, 2016Marketing
2017 Marketing Trends

Effective marketing in 2017 requires understanding the tools and techniques that will help your company stand out from the crowd.  The basics of marketing still apply.  You must identify your target customer, identify the right messaging, and use the right medium to reach your customer.  The following tips largely focus on what mediums to use along with how to approach your messaging so that you build credibility and provide helpful content for your desired customers.

Concept 1:  Messaging to the a Growing Customer Segment – while most businesses don’t sell to all types of customers, it is important to understand what customer segments are growing and to target growing segments if it makes sense for your business.  

Market to Millennials
To be able to market to millennials, you have to understand them. Millennials make up approximately 25 percent of the population, and their anticipated buying power in 2017 is through the roof. What does this mean for you? You should probably start learning to speak the language of this suspender-wearing, cat-loving population.

Build a Socially Conscious Brand
For some brands, this could mean choosing to sell or produce sustainable, eco-friendly products. For others, a socially conscious brand means adopting an effort for cause marketing. Regardless, millennials (who are likely your largest target market) are looking for a brand they can trust more than any other generation, and to them, a socially conscious brand is a trustworthy brand.

Wearables.
While mobile devices won’t become obsolete anytime soon, consumers have found that wearables like the Apple Watch and FitBit are oh-so convenient. The market for these items is growing at a quick pace and by 2019 is expected to reach $53.2 billion. Millennials are especially impacted by wearable technology.  So what does this mean for you? The content you create will have to fit the wearable formats if you plan to stay in touch with your customers.


Concept 2:  Make your marketing interactive with your customer – whether it’s telling stories, leveraging visual content or personalizing your marketing, your ability to connect with your customer on a personal level will go a long way to building relationships in the digital age.

Social Media Users Crave an Experience
It’s not enough just to tell your followers how you feel about an event or experience. Let them know what it feels like to be there. New tools like 360 images and easy-to-use video production apps have made it easier than ever to feed this trend.

Good Video Content… And Keep it Coming
While not necessarily a new trend, video use is a trend that will continue to experience growth in 2017. Using video allows you to give more information in a shorter amount of time. According to HubSpot, brands that utilize video in their email marketing experience an almost 300% click-through rate. Brands that fail to take advantage of this trend will likely be left behind.

Personalization.
Large brands like Google and Amazon are certainly leading in this area, but that’s not to say that small businesses shouldn’t jump on the personalization bandwagon, as well. Personalization makes your customers feel like they matter to your business. This can be accomplished through something as simple as directly addressing your customers by name in mass emails or something a little more complex, like focusing your content on your customer’s recent searches and views on your website.

Be a Storyteller in a World Full of Fact-Reporters
Again with the experience topic, but it’s so important. Create content that matters. Your customers don’t need the facts about your company and they don’t want your hokey sales pitches on Facebook. Create content that is engaging and interactive and your customers will come to you.


Concept 3:  Use Data to guide marketing efforts – using data to guide decisions in business is good practice.  While this isn’t a new concept, leverage digital and social data to answer questions like what to post, when to post it, where to post it, and why to post it.

Track your Social Media Progress like Never Before
It’s not enough anymore just to post to Facebook and hope for the best. If you are going to have a strategic social media plan for the year (you should!), then it’s important to track your successes and failures, then adjust accordingly. Take the information that you learn from tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, and come back the following quarter with digital media messaging that will knock their socks off.

 

This piece was co-written by Sean Miller and Nevin Bansal.  Sean is Creative Marketing Manager for Outreach Promotional Solutions and can be reached at smiller@outreachpromos.com.  Nevin is President and CEO of Outreach Promotional Solutions and can be reached at bansal@outreachpromos.com.

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