Now, more than ever, marketers are asked to do a lot more, with a lot less. They need to conceptualize, create and execute a segmented campaign, deliver content marketing by persona, determine which campaign was most effective, figure out how to make it even more effective the next time – and so much more.
With the endless number of trends and changes constantly flooding to the gates of the marketing space, we know it's not only hard to accomplish all this every day, but it can also seem nearly impossible to stay in the know about what the trends and – dare I say – shiny new objects, even are. We speak with hundreds of marketers every week, ranging from countless titles and industries. As a result, we've compiled what we feel are (and still will be) the top marketing trends of 2017. Let's take a peek and see if you’re on trend, or getting lost in (marketing) space.
This is both an old standby and a current trend. Omnichannel marketing has been considered valuable for years, but it’s taking on a whole new life in today’s marketing landscape. Where omnichannel might have been limited in years past to a combination of direct mail and email marketing, or something along those lines, the options are nearly limitless now.
While email marketing remains one of the most effective (both in time and in conversions) channels in your arsenal, other avenues like LinkedIn InMail, syndicated content, in-add games or POS displays might be even more attractive channels to explore, based on your business model and audience preferences.
In fact, we have a huge list of channels you can leverage in our Digital Marketing Basics path that you can download right here.
Attribution & Analytics
Knowing how to attribute your engagements and revenue to marketing efforts and touchpoints can get you far in yielding better marketing ROI.
But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and the time you spend learning how to implement smart attribution will pay off in dividends. Once you’re able to connect the dots between marketing efforts and actual revenue, you can use this data to inform future decisions.
It wasn’t too long ago that merely producing a piece of content every so often was enough to feel like you were on the content marketing bandwagon. But writing a blog post or shooting off an email now and again isn’t going to cut it in the content world anymore. Consumers expect interactive materials, in which they can engage and participate. New tools like SnapApp have come on the scene, helping marketers to be even more effective with producing interactive content that works together seamlessly.
A recent study reports that 75 percent of marketers plan to increase the use of interactive content than in previous years.
We understand the value of interactive content too!
So we leverage it in our own curriculum by having our learners work in mock environments, build gamified learning scenarios, calculators, simulations and a lot more. You can see a little sample of that here:
Machine Learning & AI
No matter the industry, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are buzzwords that are all the rage.
Who doesn’t love thinking about cool, burgeoning tech and all the possibility it holds? This is rightly a trending topic, as there’s almost no telling how ML and AI can advance the marketing world (which has always been forward-thinking and progressive with technology).
This type of tech can be used to comb through data and begin to predict consumer actions and desires, increasing the ability for marketers to deliver the exact message to a specific person at the right time in an ideal way (in other words, resulting in more prospect conversions and contented customers).
Live Video & Stories
If you’re not familiar with Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and other “as-they-happen” mediums for broadcasting content, then I honestly don't know where you've been the last couple years! All kidding aside, this trend is major and still gaining steam. The “live” nature of these options plays on people’s fascination with the unexpected, as there’s no way to edit or manufacture the events of a live stream. It delivers a certain element of uncertainty, along with authenticity, of which viewers can’t seem to get enough. And the landscape is always evolving.
Case in point: YouTube used to be the holy grail of video sharing, but native Facebook videos get 10 times more shares than those on YouTube. Savvy marketers are advertising on Facebook, and are also figuring out ways to leverage Snapchat Stories for business (especially B2C companies). Just a word to the wise: Don't forget... it's live! So while you might get more eyes on what you're sharing to the world, remember it's uneditable and unchangeable. So be intentional and be wary of any technical glitches that may or may not arrive!
Another ongoing trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down is what some fondly refer to as “social hijacking.” It’s not as heartless as it sounds; in fact, it’s a pretty smart technique for businesses that want to insert themselves into timely conversations and catch the eye of influencers.
The gist of this tactic is to keep yourself apprised of trending events, campaigns and hashtags. When something comes up that is relevant to your business, tag yourself and include the relevant hashtags and verbiage (like in the example below).
This will allow you to join the conversation and give you exposure when others search for that particular trending topic.
Hyper-Personalization & ABM
It’s hard to think of personalization as a trend because we all know it’s going to be around for the long haul, but countless businesses and marketing agencies are embracing hyper-personalization in marketing efforts more and more each day. If you’re not personalizing your messaging and every stage of your funnel, you’re missing out. Furthermore, account-based marketing (ABM) is an enduring trend that is serving businesses well.
For B2B specifically, ABM bears the most fruit for companies that are selling (or want to sell) to a few, large key accounts or a specific size or type of company in a specific industry. However, because there is no real way to quickly test to see if ABM is right for you without going all-in, it’s essential to have the right strategy for implementation. Sure, you can test it a few accounts at a time, but done correctly, ABM is a different ballgame compared to the solely inbound strategies of the past.
Are you in the know about all of these trending, important marketing movements? Think you could brush up on some of your knowledge and skills? That’s why we’re here.