Digital marketing has always been a very dynamic field. It's always adapting to industry evolution and the latest technology changes. Today marketers are finally get the respect they deserve, and that is mainly because new generation entrepreneurs understand the importance of building brands and winning over consumers.
In this article we present several marketing trends that are defining 2017 and help companies to make their offer more attractive and competitive in the new year.
1. Virtual Reality
It's here!! This is completely new technology, which requires a new marketing approach. Currently companies like Facebook's Oculus Rift are still developing their technology’s 3D capabilities and we already can play many different video games on their devices. Oculus has now finally been released to a lot of excitement for gamers and movie-goers alike. Samsung has joined the fun now and gaming companies are also jumping on board. Let's also not forget about Augmented Reality gaming which became a phenomenon in 2016 with the incredible (if only temporary) success of Pokemon Go.
But how will virtual reality technology influence marketing? In the beginning it will do it in the same way as any other type of content. Companies and entrepreneurs will post VR videos to download in order to improve their content marketing strategy. With the further development of VR we can expect companies to use this technology for helping customers to experience their products in the best possible way. Currently VR is mainly used for gaming company promotion, but soon tour agencies will take people to Bahamas even before they book their flight and real estate agents will make more detailed home tours to buyers... all with a little help from virtual reality technology. The possibilities are endless.
2. The Future Of Twitter
Twitter's future is uncertain with declining usage, disorganized leadership, stagnant revenue, disassembling of Vine, and possible sales rumors to Salesforce and other suitors. But one thing is for certain: Twitter isn't dead yet. Need proof? Just look at this past election with businessman Donald Trump literally winning because of his Twitter account and 16+ Million followers. And don't get me started on all of the media outlets Twitter usage and Wikileaks. I'm apolitical but as a Twitter marketer the implications of this are astounding.
It is still acclaimed by media companies as one of the best apps for on-the-spot news sharing. Fast development of smartphone technology enables companies to target their audience anywhere and at any time. Twitter, with its smart user interface and real-time character, is going to help them to do that. The reason for this is also the fact that more than 78% of Twitter users now log in from their smartphones.
In the past, companies mainly used Facebook pages as their prime digital marketing channel. Now the game is changing and Twitter’s swiftness and simplicity makes it widely used by both marketing and customer relations experts. A great example of this is the new Domino Pizza campaign that enables customers to order pizza simply by tweeting emojis.
And we all know the importance of social signals and traffic generation on your website SEO including the biggest search engine Google. Twitter is great for that! The only aspect to monitor is the increasingly growing competition from newer popular platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
3. Location, Location, Location...
Although brick and mortar stores are slowly being replaced with e-commerce ones, in 2017 they will be able to boost their revenue a little by introducing new location-based marketing technologies. Recently big retail chains started using iBeacons. These are small Bluetooth transmitters, compatible with Apple’s iBeacon protocol. They send promotional messages to nearby devices, enabling stores to promote their sales and special offers.
iBeacons capabilities doesn’t stop there. They can also be used for promotion and information sharing on crowded places like: seminars, Super Bowl games, political rallies or concerts. Although this probably won’t bring brick and mortar stores back into spotlight, it will definitely help them to increase their on-spot sales in 2017. Companies just need to ensure that they are keeping their data secure.
4. Customer Relations
Currently many big companies are switching from maintaining good customer relations to becoming customer obsessive. Growing customer service measures create many opportunities, but it also spoils customers and can create more required work. In today’s world anything less than perfect is simply not enough, which is why companies need to constantly improve their customer relation procedures. They should do that by:
● Creating more personalized outreach, launched through social network channels
● Answering all customer complaints in the fastest way possible
● Introducing ‘Pay what you want’ deals, and other innovative personalized options
5. War on Ad Blockers & Popups
Ad blocking software is currently becoming more popular and it has become one of digital world’s biggest mainstream trends. In recent years more than 144 million internet users used ad blockers, and today that figure has most likely doubled. This growing trend scared marketers from all around the world, and big publishers like Forbes who earn millions from their website ads decided to block visitors who use ad blocking programs. Bans and blocks are definitely not a good way to tackle ad blocking, and marketers and publishers need to ask themselves why internet users are so frustrated with their ads.
Ads can be really annoying, which is why invention of ad blocking software might be one of the best things that ever happened to digital marketing. These programs will eradicate annoying ads and enable marketers to easily launch their creative ideas in form of useful web content. In this battle between publishers and ad blocking software, the latter received unexpected support from Apple. They announced last year that their newest iOS will incorporate Safari ad blocking software. More operating systems and browsers can certainly follow suit. Ad blockers are here to stay, and marketers will need to adjust to this new software by finding more creative ways to engage their audience.
In related news, Google also just announced that in January 2017 they will begin punishing websites that have popup ads automatically generated when visiting a website if they take up the majority of the screen or making web navigation (nearly) impossible. This is certainly something to keep in mind when it comes to ad revenue generation or display advertising purchases.
With fast advancement of digital technologies, following marketing trends is more important then ever. Proven patterns and templates that worked this past year aren't guaranteed to work well throughout 2017. Savvy marketers need to introduce new and innovative ways to engage their audience if they want to stay competitive.
Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. Nate is the editor-in-chief at Bizzmarkblog.com.
I hope you liked this post on marketing trends defining 2017!
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