Marketing Trend Predictions for an Unpredictable Year

What would a new year be without a few trend predictions? In a profession driven, in part, by current events and news cycles, as well as new technology, 2017 is poised to be a pretty unpredictable year for marketing, but I asked our team to give it a shot. Here are our top three marketing trend predictions for 2017:

1. Mobile will finally become the dominant marketing channel.

The first “year of mobile” happened back around 2012. Since then, we’ve seen the growth of mobile in pretty much all ways imaginable. Eighty percent of Internet users now own a smartphone, according to data from Global Web Index; in 2015, Time reported that the average person looks at his or her phone 46 times every day; and, according to a recent Forbes article, “in Q4 of 2015, mobile video views exceeded desktop views for the first time ever.”

“Mobile video views grew six times faster than desktop views throughout 2015,” said Blake Fife, creative director at BLASTmedia. “Mobile will continue to grow in 2017.” Blake pointed out that this growth was likely driven by millennials. For example, “70 percent of millennials are likely to watch a company video when shopping online,” he explains.

Account executive, Kate Burkhardt also expects mobile to become the dominate force in 2017, but not because of consumer behavior, but rather because of actions taken by the world’s largest search engine. “My marketing prediction for 2017 [is that] marketing will actually be mobile first—instead of everyone just saying that they’re mobile first,” says Kate. “Google announced in late 2016 that it would index search results based on mobile content, meaning that sites with poor mobile design will suddenly fall in search rankings. While the algorithm is a temporary ‘experiment,’ the step is Google’s first towards primarily ranking mobile content rather than desktop.”

2. Brands will seek out ways to infuse authenticity into their identity.

This year, “brand identity will be more important than ever — particularly to marketers,” according to BLASTmedia director of accounts, Grace Williams. As with mobile video, Grace sees this a trend driven by millennials. “It’s no secret that millennials love ‘authenticity’ more than any other generation of consumer — and based on the increasing buying power of this generation — marketer should too,” she says. “The better brands become at creating authentic experiences for customers, online, in-person and beyond, the more the coveted millennial consumer will be swooned. Brands like Starbucks are already adopting this tactic, swapping out over-produced sales-driven ads for more lifestyle, user-generated content, giving the brand an approachable feel. Smaller brands and local shops should follow suit.”

3. A demand for fact checking will influence the editorial process. 

As for me, I expect to see changes in the editorial process as concerns over fake news drive an increased focus on fact checking within the media. With the rise of digital, publishers see putting out a publication with wide coverage and high standards of fact-checking and reliability as increasingly difficult. Even know well-known publications like the Washington Post and CNBC have fallen into the trap perpetuating inaccurate news, but many are trying to do something about it. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s annual predictions report speculates that “hundreds of browser extensions and message bots offering fact checking services” will come about by the end of 2017.

For those of us who specialize in media relations, I’m interested to see how fake news and the demand for fact-checking will influence the editorial process and if those changes will impact what journalists need from sources. 


Looking for a PR team to help your company traverse the unpredictable landscape of 2017? We want to help you tell your story. Contact 
Lindsey Gropper to learn more.

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About Anna Julow Roolf

Anna is a director of accounts at BLASTmedia. When she's not leveraging her social media and media relations expertise to provide results for her clients, she's binge-watching bad TV, decorating and learning to cook. Anna's go-to online sources include Twitter and AudienceSCAN's daily newsletters.

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