It’s predicted that digital advertising budgets will overtake dollars spent on TV for the first time during 2017. It’s shaping up to be a pivotal year for digital marketing and a digital strategy is fast becoming every marketers top priority.
According to WGSN (World's Global Style Network) trend forecasting service, here’s a quick look at some key trends that digital marketers are turning to in this increasingly complex environment:
2016 we saw the signs of the importance of artificial intelligence. In 2017 we’ll see demonstrations of its use. Investments in AI this year are expected to triple, as marketing teams realise AI technology can drive faster business decisions. Here are some examples of AI being implemented:
Chatbots: poised to become common practice this year, Chatbots will be pivotal brand touchpoints assisting in automating one-to-one communication on social media platforms. Chatbot provider WizeLine https://www.wizeline.com/ claims a 5x increase in online customer engagement.
Driving creativity: brands will creatively infuse AI elements in campaigns. Chevrolet's 'Positivity Pump' trailed in Calgary Alberta late last year is inspiration on how to integrate AI into creative assets.
Customer insights: Forrester identifies 2017 as the start of the "True Insights Revolution". This will be the year when businesses gain direct access to powerful customer insight via new cognitive interfaces and other AI-related tech.
Ephemeral (Short-lived) Marketing
Based on the known human social anxiety FOMO (fear of missing out) marketers are taking steps to capitalize on this phenomenon. Harkening back to the “Limited time only!” messages used for years, social media campaigns use an expiration date that encourage (timely) audience participation. Here are 2 channels of ephemeral marketing that are primed for growth:
Snapchat: should see growth this year, as they explore the possibility of an IPO that could be one of the largest ever. It’s very nature makes it a key channel for launching ephemeral brand campaigns.
Instagram Live: fashion designer Tim Coppens is used the 24-hour tool to showcase his fashion line during Pitti Uomo this January. Expect to see more of this in 2017 as Instagram is predicted to surpass Twitter in popularity.
To AR or to VR?
2016 was the year of an immersive technologies arms race, particularly for augmented and virtual reality. While VR seemed to be leading the pack with the potential for mass consumer adoption, the introduction and viral nature of Pokémon Go enabled AR to emerge as the stronger, and more accessible, tech trend.
While VR grew to become hyper-commercialised, with many companies introducing affordable headsets in 2016, its restrictive nature makes its appeal to businesses and consumers problematic.
According to Horizon Media, just 25% of consumers are willing to spend more than $250 on VR devices and consumer awareness of VR is only estimated at 33%.
Most VR experiences take place in the gaming industry and headsets are only made for one person, which makes the current experience a solo one. This poses a problem, as consumers not only want to share experiences with their social community but also IRL.
Widespread adoption is more likely in AR due to its all-inclusive nature. Unlike VR, it's easy for audiences to have a digital experience in the physical world with their friends without any restrictive gear.
Expect to see an increase in AR out-of-home activations, AR packaging (fuelled by apps like Blippar) and more gamified tools (see the new Lumus prototype launched at CES.)