Matt Hammerton: Seven things marketers need to think about in 2017

This story is over

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are out of the way, and our Christmas shopping completed in just a few clicks, it’s time to have a look at what 2017 might have in store for us.

Looking into my crystal ball, I think there will be seven things that marketers will have to be aware of.

More content produced and more creativity needed

Brands will continue to target bloggers, produce content for loyal subscribers, publish updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, send out email newsletters and press releases to keep their name front of mind.

However, they will also need to work smarter and more creatively as people become blinded by the blizzard of content and then ultimately, opt out.

Grabbing people’s attention and engaging them will only become more difficult in 2017. Creativity based on robust insights into the audience and with a clearly defined evaluation process will be the order of the day.

I think a lot of creative energy will be spent developing images, Memes and GIFs and it’s predicted that search engines will become even more astute when it comes to reading and analysing images.

The sniper will replace the blunderbuss

Marketing activity will become even more targeted as we become more aware of exactly who our audiences are. Campaigns will focus increasingly on niche groups or specific sections of a large audience as the message becomes more personal and tailored.

Video use will be widespread

2016 saw a dramatic increase in the number of people publishing video content on their websites and social media channels. Facebook Live arrived, and the social media giant is working hard to make sure the viewing experience is as good as it can be.

With so many people now owning smartphones, all capable of recording excellent quality footage and editing software becoming easier to use, 2017 could see another dramatic rise of people producing their own short films, adverts and infomercials to get their message across.

We will see more productions like the former footballer Stan Collymore’s Monday Night Fiest Night: a combination of radio phone-in, live streamed TV programme and Twitter engagement all made possible through the use of Periscope.

By the end of 2017, I think we will see even more organisations – both large and small – launching their own branded ‘TV shows’ which are broadcast via social media rather than trying secure exposure on more established media channels.

Video will also be used a lot more in pay-per-click advertising, with Google offering to display video adverts with search results (for a fee of course!)

Continued monetisation of social media channels

Marketers will still need to invest money into social media advertising if they want to reach as many new people as possible.

All social media platforms need to make money to survive. So, expect more changes to algorithms which lower the number of people who will see your content organically and make sure that the content you do publish is helpful, funny, interesting, creative and something people will want to share.

Retention as well as acquisition

Most online and social media activity over the last few years has focused on growing communities.

2017 might well be the year people start looking at how many people are leaving the communities they’ve worked so hard to build. Keeping people loyal and engaged will become just as important as attracting new people.

Virtual and augmented reality

Inspired by Pokemon Go, I think we will see more big brands developing and investing in people’s interest in augmented reality, especially as the monster-hunting craze was making in the region of $10 million a day at its height!

The closure of more newspapers and magazines

It will be interesting to see what happens to traditional media, such as magazines and newspapers.

Will circulations continue to decline? Will more newspapers close? Or will there be a revival?

After all, it’s not that long ago that the CD killed records, only for MPs to wipe out CDs but now there’s a revival in vinyl. Perhaps, 2017 might have some pleasant surprises in-store for print media. We will have to wait and see.