Samantha Starr
Associate Account Executive
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2016 was an interesting year that most were ready to put in the past, to say the least. In the marketing world, Snapchat proved itself as a vital digital platform that marketers shouldn’t ignore, while the Russian hacker scandal surrounding the 2016 presidential election has everyone taking hackers a bit more seriously these days.

Content personalization seemed to reign as the top marketing trend of 2016 across all platforms. Millennials have grown up in a high-speed digital era where brand clutter was the norm. They are hardwired to look past the clutter and see what is most interesting to them, and Gen Z will be even better at it. The way to beat this? Tailor your content to your target audience’s needs and interests. Most brands have jumped behind the content personalization trend, but will it dominate 2017 too? Our experts say it will, but let’s see how:

1. Experience: Millennial audiences are especially sensitive to their “user experience.” Brands need to focus on increasing and improving their customer experience and engagement to stay relevant in 2017. Amazon just dazed the world two short months ago with their announcement of AmazonGo, a physical storefront that will allow customers to walk in, shop and walk out with their purchases without ever waiting in line to check out. AmazonGo has the potential to solve one of the biggest pain points a consumer has when shopping in a storefront.

2. Virtual Reality (VR): While VR has been an idea companies have tried to capitalize on for years, Samsung and Google were among the first brands to make it accessible to the masses. Now that it’s available, it’s certain to impact marketers? Travel marketers, for example, have already started using VR to tease consumers with new travel experiences. Reports show that VR campaigns have already caused an increase in visitor numbers.

3. Engaged and Effective Analytics: We’ve known for a while now that success shouldn’t be measured by how many impressions your ad garnered, but by how your audience engaged with the ad. Did they click through that banner ad? Did sales increase? Did more people join the conversation about your brand? Forbes reports that we will see measurement executed with a purpose in 2017.

4. IoT (Internet of Things): In 2016, we began to scratch the surface of truly utilizing the connected network of devices. We predict that marketers will be hearing a lot more of the successes driven by beacons, geo-targeted marketing, URL tracking links, retargeted marketing and more. But why is this so successful? Because IoT will provide invaluable data that marketers can leverage to get even closer to the consumer.

5. Native Marketing: This is nothing new for 2017, but fits perfectly into the idea of content personalization. Native marketing is tailored to audiences in a unique and informational way that doesn’t look like a traditional ad. Native ads integrate seamlessly and can’t be differentiated from true content. Even Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute believes native advertising to be the “gateway drug” to content marketing, but in a good way.

At DEVENEY, we’re anxious to see how brands employ these trends to get even closer to their consumers in 2017. Tell us which new marketing tools and trends are at the top of your by tweeting @DEVENEYMKTG.

Sources: Forbes.com, Content Marketing Institute, Entrepreneur.com, You Visit and AdWeek



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