Emerging Digital Marketing Trends 2017

Hello 2017. Prepare yourself for another year of digital innovations. Here are seven digital trends our team is watching in 2017:

  1. Programmatic everything
  2. Consumer search behavior expanding beyond traditional search engines
  3. SEO strategies homing in on intent
  4. Live video providing marketers with endless possibilities
  5. Influencer marketing snowballing
  6. Big shifts from click- and view-based ad interactions
  7. Less emphasis on the need for traditional media agencies


  1. Programmatic Everything

Programmatic, at its core, is a method of assigning audiences so advertisers can target at scale across digital properties. Programmatic partners can do this by utilizing proprietary and third-party databases to identify individuals based on an advertiser’s segmentation parameters. Given the growing success and popularity of programmatic advertising, it only makes sense that in 2017 there will be further growth in the programmatic space.

 What does this mean for marketers?

With the continued evolution of programmatic technologies, Nina Hale expects to see better attribution across channels and stronger validation that the digital impressions earned, the television spots aired, and the direct mail materials delivered have a measurable impact on business goals. For programmatic influencer marketing, TV, and direct mail to succeed, ad buyers need to be able to attribute success across tactics.


  1. Consumer Search Behavior Expanding Beyond Traditional Search Engines

Search behavior in 2016 has been expanding beyond traditional search engines (Google, Bing) and into other channels like YouTube, Pinterest, Amazon.

 What does this mean for marketers?

As user intent becomes more important for search, new and exciting types of search engines and results will continue to develop. There may be a need to consider these channels at different points in the consumer journey depending on the intent of the user (research vs. awareness vs. acquisition).


  1. SEO Strategies Homing in on Intent

Brands will grow visibility and traffic in 2017 by creating and prioritizing content focused on consumers’ intent. Intent-driven SEO strategies will ensure that marketers are developing the right content for users and, in turn, search engines will continue to evolve.

What does this mean for marketers?

A greater understanding of your current and potential audiences – who they are, what their current behaviors look like, what their mindset is. With this information, you can dive into each audiences’ journey, analyze how your content supports specific journey phases or actions, and create a plan to meet those needs with a holistic view of content (including videos and images).


  1. Live Video Will Give Marketers Endless Possibilities

With nearly every major social network offering some form of live video streaming, the possibilities for other digital technologies to adopt the increasingly popular content format are endless. Where and how will live streaming video appear next? Search results?

What does this mean for you?

The idea of advertisers streaming live video feeds to consumers doesn’t stop at television. With the ability to target audiences across the internet, pre-roll video vendors and streaming platforms could soon partner up to offer live video marketing that plays across video sharing sites in real time. Because ad tech can identify and serve creative in a fraction of a second, the ability to ping users with video content as it is happening could pave the way for live-streaming video to marry with pre-roll.



  1. Influencer Marketing will Continue to Grow

2017 will be the year of the influencer. The trust and authority that influencers have with their followers can be a great way for brands to introduce themselves, foster new connections, and create loyal customers that will spread the brand’s message within their own circles of influence.

What does this mean for marketers?

Brands are seeing the value in these alternative ways to connect with audiences and drive earned media. As influencer partnerships expand and authenticity becomes more and more important to both the influencer and their audience, brands may have to give up some creative control to allow the influencers speak on behalf of the brands in a voice that is true to themselves.


  1. Shifting from Click- and View-based Ad Interactions

Nearly all historical ad formats have been associated with mouse interactions, but this is shifting with the popularity of Alexa and other voice search tools. 2017 will bring new interaction opportunities and a shift from clicks and views.

What does this mean for marketers?

It will be increasingly important for marketers to quickly learn what the new interaction opportunities of 2017 are. Marketers must understand and address these continual shifts as it completely changes how consumers interact with brands; immediacy and personalization are intrinsic expectations.


  1. Less Emphasis on the Need for Traditional Media Agencies

What does digital have over traditional agencies? Analytics.  What does traditional have over digital? Mass buying power (as in, if they buy a whole lot of TV ad space, they can get better pricing).  However, now that everything is shifting toward programmatic placement, there is little need to buy media separately.

 What does this mean for marketers?

Traditional agencies won’t be able to compete with the measurement chops of digital agencies in the short term (unless they quickly acquire a group who can). Digital will win here, as brands continually become more savvy about what measurement can do. The traditional agencies that will stay strong (without a major overhaul of their offerings) are those whose emphasis is on creative production.




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