2017 Marketing Trends

Hiebing Predicts: Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

With minds reflecting on the past and eyes set on a successful future, our agency team is keeping our thoughts on—and hatching plans around—these rising trends for 2017, many of which are as exciting for us as they are for the clients we serve.

Research Gets Quick and Nimble

“The idea of agile design is not new, but adapting those principles to research projects is taking hold. Agile research enables teams to learn more, in more depth, all in less time. However, it does require teams to work differently with research partners. Since there’s no longer waiting four to six weeks for results to be presented, projects require ongoing team involvement and decision-making in real time.” – Ann Dencker, research director

The Growth of Subscription

“Most of the current subscription offerings are in food, apparel, cosmetics and wine—but other subscription ‘services’ are on the horizon. Think oil change subscriptions with the service provided at your home or workplace, a professional organizer that shows up four times a year to cut the clutter, a manicurist that buffs and polishes twice a month.” – Jeane Kropp, strategy director

Video. Video. Video.

“The combination of improving mobile devices, cheaper cameras and more platforms prioritizing video is only going to accelerate the creation and consumption of online video. Better yet, we’re no longer constrained to good old-fashioned clips—consider the live video we’re streaming directly from our devices and the 360-videos that allow the viewer to experience places and events like never before. Video in its various forms will be key in the year ahead. But we must remember that video for the sake of video will just lead to more clutter that gets ignored. If you want people to pay attention, regardless of your platform, make sure you have something to say first.” – Sean Mullen, creative director

Ads for Each and Every Household

“In 2017, the advertising industry will have a greater ability to show different ads to different households that are watching the same program, known as addressable TV. Recently, DIRECTV and DISH came together to form D2, creating the addressable TV option for roughly 20 percent of U.S. households. If the major cable providers were to get on board with this approach, the available household base could surge to 65-70 percent relatively quickly. At that scale, buying TV-based space grounded in household data would become a reality, and the promise of programmatic buying reaching the living room will have truly arrived.” – Barry Edison, media director

Putting the Custom in Customer Experience

“For the past couple of years, customers have grown comfortable allowing access to their information and profile by apps and brands. The trade-off? Getting access to an experience, product or service suited just to them. In 2017, brands will finally begin leveraging the data they’ve collected and start delivering customized experiences for their customers.” – Dana Arnold, PR, content and social media director

The Rise of Messaging and Conversational User Interfaces

“Consumers have grown wary of downloading more and more apps, many of which force them to browse around walled gardens to access the content and services they desire. Currently, 84 percent of phone time is spent using five non-native apps—and six out of 10 of the most popular apps are messaging apps like WeChat, Whatsapp and Facebook messenger. In the U.S., Messenger claims the largest market share of any app with over 1.8 billion active monthly users. Here’s what this means: Because of consumers’ waning interest in standalone apps, and the growth of built-in functionality of these messaging apps, it will behoove brands to start experimenting with messaging platforms now versus later. To do this successfully, brands will need to embrace the conversational characteristics and authenticity of messaging platforms. At this stage of the game, the majority of brands are only just beginning to use chatbots to their benefit, but that’s mostly limited to lightweight, playful awareness-building (e.g., Burberry and Macallan). That said, there are a few brands that are developing richer functionality within messaging platforms to offer services and experiences that rival or exceed those of their websites, such as the Whole Foods recipe engine and the 1-800-FLOWERS.com ordering process.” – Eena Taylor, digital director

Holistic, Multi-Point Attribution Models

“Over the past few years, with the rise of big data and all things digital, we know more about consumer behavior, online, than ever before. Unfortunately, that can lead to a false belief in single-point attribution models, where the click becomes the only thing that matters. The problem? Was it really that banner ad or email that caused the click, or the myriad of richer brand stories that drove awareness, caused a target to better understand a brand proposition and drove a shift in beliefs? We need to avoid the siren call of the easy—the single-point attribution model—and get back to a more holistic understanding of what’s driving our target’s behaviors.” – Paul Thompson, account management and strategy director

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