Video: Excited for Change: 2017 Trends for the Modern Marketer

It’s a new year with the same problems for interactive marketers. It’s 2017 and we’re still overwhelmed with the pace of change, excited by the promise of emerging technology, yet unimpressed with how to measure our progress.

By Gina Micek

MIMA’s first event of 2017 set the stage for emerging trends via our panel of marketing innovators. Below are some excerpts from the discussion.

Greg Swan, VP of Brand Innovation at space150 (@gregswan) opened the discussion with 2017’s Must Dos:

  • Pay close attention to patents, art and culture and be sure to embrace change. Look for Black Swan Moments in the media – these events change the world, influence behavior and inspire unexpected solutions.
  • Understand that you can use social media to tell stories and each story doesn’t have to have a strong ROI. America’s trust in media and millennials trust in ads are at an all-time low. You want your online stories to spread.  The last election cycle was a prime example of how to utilize small, “bite-size” sound bites to build a larger store.
  • We live in the attention economy.  2017 marketers need to address how we get our messages to people whose attentions are divided.  Greg calls it “thumb stopping power.”

An example of that “thumb stopping power” was the Pen Pineapple Apple Pen Viral video:

Julie Scheife, Director of Digital Engagement at Land O’ Lakes, Inc. (@juliezscheife) focused on customer needs which means you may need to focus on new ways of selling a products.

  • Talk to customers! Obtain true insights from your users and don’t just rely on what you “think” they want. Sales and marketing will need to leverage these insights and use new technology to be effective. Measurement is everything and proving that a tactic worked will be important in 2017.
  • Everyone wants it now and tweets about it.  Sales, marketing, customer service need to be working in alignment (if not in the same room) to best service customers.
  • Include brand influencers in your messaging.  Leverage their networks.  Present a curated experience and voice throughout your communication channels.

Dish Network launched a customer-centered ad campaign aimed to stopping subscriber slide.

Laurie Blum, Associate VP, Digital, Regis (@blumlau) discussed digital trends that are key for 2017. 

  • Brands need personalized messaging and campaign management systems – web, app, wallet, email, push notifications and POS.  Regis used these technologies to anticipate guest behavior and increase salon visits.
  • Mobile is key to Regis’ business.  Supercuts’ customers don’t use desktops to interact with the brand.
  • Compelling visual storytelling such as educational videos increases SEO and provides evergreen content.  Leverage partner content to supplement your brand’s library.  Regis’ videos include expert advice, how to and styling tips. 

Mitch Hislop, Digital Strategy Lead, fjorge digital (@mitchellhislop) concentrated on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processes.

  • Robots will get smart in 2017, although we won’t see mainstream use. 
  • Personalization coming into its own – Starbucks fine-tuned personalized emails in 2016 which doubled the email redemptions half-way through testing.
  • Use of home systems - Alexa, Siri -increasing.  Will lead to rise of the mesh – all devices working as one and even independently while you perform other tasks – i.e. calling the plumber when your pipe bursts at home and you are at work.

Kate Boeckman, Sr. Manager, Strategic Product Management, Applied Innovation, Thomson Reuters (@kboeckman) discussed emerging tech trends from CES 2017.

  • Branding opportunities exist in Alexa skill creation. Example: “Ask Dominos to get me a pizza.”  Most brands are beginning to work with Alexa.  Available skills have increased from 138 to 7000 and it is Amazon’s fastest growing segment.
  • Google, although behind these other interfaces, has incredible AI capabilities with growth potential.
  • VR creates an emotional connection with users.  Brands are already doing interesting things such as Game of Thrones’ total immersion experience.

Augmented Reality applications are a little behind VR, however, they allow the physical world to be searchable.  Apps like Blippar have many possible uses for AR in 2017. Check them out here:

Overall 2017 looks to be an exciting year for those brands who leverage the latest technology to build customer relationships and grow awareness.  Join MIMA for future events to keep abreast of the latest marketing news and informative insights from industry professionals.