Marketers are using ever-increasing numbers of channels and devices to reach and engage with customers and prospects. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, keeping up with the latest trends is an important way for marketers to stay current with best practices and technologies. A new year presents new opportunities to review the landscape and make adjustments to your strategy accordingly. Here are six key marketing trends to look out for in 2017:
1. Increased investment in mobile
Mobile has been making waves for several years, and that won’t stop in 2017. A recent CMO Survey from Deloitte found that spend on mobile marketing is estimated to increase 118% over the next three years across both B2C and B2B marketing. Because of this increased investment, marketers will look for solutions that enhance their understanding of marketing’s true impact across all channels and devices. By de-duplicating unique users who are exposed to marketing touch-points across multiple devices, these solutions will provide marketers with insights into how various devices shape the customer journey, so they can best allocate their budget to meet desired business goals.
2. Continued cross-channel measurement of brand engagement efforts
More and more marketers have embraced marketing attribution as a way to measure, predict and improve marketing performance. But until recently, attribution was primarily considered to be a direct response exercise. In 2016, marketers in industries like pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods started tapping attribution to measure the performance of their brand marketing efforts, and this will continue to ring true in 2017. By incorporating multiple brand engagement activities into a single KPI metric, these emerging brand attribution capabilities will provide marketers with a unified view of media’s true impact on brand engagement, and the ability to optimize their efforts at a granular level in order to drive incremental brand lift.
3. Adoption of sophisticated marketing measurement by small to mid-sized businesses
In today’s data-driven and hyper-accountable world, companies of all sizes are realizing that adopting more advanced measurement techniques has become vital to optimize spending. In 2017, expect more small to mid-sized businesses to adopt more sophisticated marketing measurement approaches to help understand the complex customer journey and determine how to best allocate budgets across channels, tactics and campaigns.
4. Steady progress toward real-time marketing attribution
The frequency at which marketers are able to produce and act on data can have a significant impact on ROI, with more frequent rebuilds of attribution models producing the most accurate performance metrics. Even though some attribution platforms can rebuild their models daily, a marketer’s ability to act on those insights in real-time is often stymied by inflexible budgets, data consolidation challenges, and partner contacts that limit budget changes across channels and campaigns. In 2017, expect steady progress towards true real-time attribution as marketers continue to invest in data management platforms (DMPs) that fuel the attribution process, as well as programmatic buying platforms that accelerate the time in which optimized media buys are put into market.
5. Growing addition of audience data as a dimension of cross-channel marketing and measurement
As consumers become more sophisticated, they expect personalized and differentiated experiences, and the more marketers can engage and understand who a consumer is, the better the chances of a conversion. It’s no surprise that not all audiences react the same way when exposed to the same ad, so it’s critical for marketers to know which strategies work best for each segment. By incorporating first and third-party audience data into the measurement mix, marketers can isolate the combination of marketing tactics that will work best for each audience. In the New Year, expect marketers to leverage audience data for a more complete look at a consumer’s interaction with a brand so they can make smarter, more informed decisions on where to invest.
6. Continued acquisitions by major marketing cloud players
Over the past few years, major technology players such as Oracle, Google, Adobe, IBM and Salesforce (among others) have made significant acquisitions to round out digital marketing and measurement capabilities. In October of this year, Salesforce spent $700 million to purchase Krux, a data management platform that will help the CRM platform infuse more data into its marketing software, while Oracle purchased Crosswire, a provider of machine-learning cross device data in May to add to its Marketing Cloud solution. In 2017, we will see more acquisitions from these types of companies as they seek to fill holes in their native capabilities and provide more robust and holistic offerings to their customers.
Bill Muller is CMO at Visual IQ. He can be reached at email@example.com.