Changes, opportunities and trends — Marketing in 2017

As we head towards the end of the year, The Marketors is looking ahead to the predicted trends for 2017. With a focus on the role of augmented reality and user-generated content, this wrap up also takes a look at what 2016 has brought to the marketing landscape. This year has been characterised by change and, according to the livery of senior marketing professionals and academics, the new year will be filled with much the same.

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Augmented reality and user-generated content to change the marketing landscape

Global Head of Brand Experience at Blippar Omaid Hiwaizi believes augmented reality will be used more and more in the new year, building on its successful implementation in campaigns throughout 2016.

“I see the biggest opportunity in 2017 being AR. While this technology has been tested by many brands over the last five years, it has now come of age — illustrated by the incredible growth of Pokemon Go and multiple examples of brands like Pepsi and Max Factor using it as a strategic tool, to drive consideration or usage of products or ongoing engagement in the brand.”

Leisure and tourism marketing expert Sue Garland Worthington says 2016 will be seen as the year that digital marketing gained acceptance as part of the mainstream marketing mix. “It’s not something to be put in a separate silo. I expect separate roles/titles such as ‘Head of Digital Marketing’ gradually to disappear.

“2016 was also the year that the customer journey became more complex, with smartphone usage increasing, especially, but not exclusively, in under 35s, and marketers will continuingly have to adapt to this in order to maintain success. I would expect both these trends to continue in 2017.”

“In addition for 2017, smart marketers will be looking increasingly at stimulating and making use of user-generated content, on the basis that contented customers are the best ambassadors for a brand/product, more effective and more cost-effective than much of what a company can itself produce. Marketers should therefore be working to stimulate and harness the creativity of target groups to become brand advocates. The increasing use of smartphones mentioned above will of course play the key role in this.”

David PearsonLooking back at 2016, Master of the Marketors, David Pearson, notes that the year saw the realisation that switching budgets to all things digital wasn’t necessarily the best strategy.

“Just consider Procter & Gamble’s decision, after serious declines in revenue, to switch funds back to the traditional basics of sampling, promotion and awareness advertising. It is evidenced by the concerns over the high levels of fraud in online advertising. And it is evidenced by the fact that the number of Likes does not matter very much. What matters is the number of sales you make. We used to say that 50% of our advertising is wasted. Now some realise that 99% of their online advertising is wasted.

“Ultimately, I believe that 2017 will be the year that anything may happen, but the fundamentals of building brands, collecting customers and matching the two in a desire to make a profit will remain the same — indeed they have to in order for any new technology or trend to work.”

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