digital_marketing_trends_2017_imageIt’s the start of a new year and while there are prediction lists everywhere, here at PadillaCRT, one of our favorites (and we think most accurate) is the eMarketer list. Not only do they make their calls for 2017, they hold themselves accountable for 2016 as well. We’ve polled some of our own marketers to weigh in on these predictions and to give a sense of what 2017 might bring. Take a look and please leave a comment below with your own thoughts and ideas.

  • Artificial intelligence won’t put marketers out of work—yet
    AI has always been the stuff of sci-fi novels, and it’s funny because people still mostly think of AI as human-like robots, when in all honesty, we’ve been interacting with AI forever. Heck, ATM machines are AI and we still have bank tellers. As digital triggers for ads become smarter, it’s not so much “putting us out of work,” as taking human guesswork out of something that can be statistically scientific. So no. AI will not be putting us out of work, just letting us focus on more of the fun, creative stuff. (Anastasia Lopez)
  • Internet users still won’t change their behaviors despite hacking scares
    It was a big year for hacking. In politics, it was open season from the DNC to Colin Powell and John Podesta. Yahoo announced a data theft of one billion accounts just two weeks ago. But wait, since it actually happened in August 2013, the hackers probably have whatever they needed at this point. So, what do we do? It’s pretty simple, actually. Different passwords for different sites – basic common sense. But, nobody does it.We’re a culture of convenience, and we’ve become accustomed to instant gratification. Have a question? Ask Google. Want to log into a site? Type in the password you’ve been using since 9th grade. So, until fingerprint and retina sign-on becomes the norm, looks like data breaches will be the norm, too. (Rosalie Morton)live
  • Sometime in 2017, a live digital video stream will achieve a prime time TV-size audience
    From Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter Live and good ol’ Periscope and Snapchat, there are so many options when it comes to live video streaming. And it’s reaching people where they’re already looking. Next time you sit down to watch TV with someone, watch as they pick up their phones and open up social media. The TV becomes background noise while people catch up on their social media feeds. With social media users on these apps reaching in the billions, it’s the obvious next phase in news consumption. Facebook Live users even get “preferential” treatment on news feeds, notifying friends that they’re going Live and keeping it at the top of the feed. With over 20% of Facebook users already utilizing the platform, we’ll certainly see audiences grow throughout 2017 as more users understand the platform and benefits of live streaming. (Melissa Mowery)
  • Chatbots—lots of talk, not so much action
    Out with the apps, in with the…chatbots? Since the launch of smart home devices, such as Echo and Home, consumers are eager to reduce screen interaction or impersonal customer service and turn to faceless machines. Instead of waiting on hold for 20 minutes – only to be transferred to another representative – chatbots offer a real-time, personalized experience for consumers engaging with businesses. In fact, Facebook has heightened this trend with its rollout of third-party chatbots being integrated into its Messenger service.So, with all the hype around these bots, what’s the final verdict for 2017? While chatbots are predicted to explode this coming year, some companies are still hesitant to invest millions into this newer technology. There are still many imperfections with chatbots, and if executed incorrectly, it could pose major risk. But, you know what they say – no risk, no reward. (Alyssa Samson)
  • 2017 will be the year of ‘authentically mobile experiences’
    In October 2016, mobile and tablet internet usage surpassed desktop computers for the first time ever, worldwide. More people than ever before are navigating on multiple screens. This holiday season, mobile devices accounted for 31% of online retail sales – topping $24 billion. And as Google switches to a mobile-first index, it will be in every business’s best interest to prioritize their mobile experience, lest they fall to later pages of Google search results. Thus, companies wanting to stay top-of-mind with consumers in 2017 – millennials in particular – will need to prioritize their mobile experience in order to remain relevant in an increasingly mobile world. (Catie Frech)

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  • Online grocery shopping will jump in 2017 with brick-and-mortar stores playing a starring role
    It seems one can order anything online these days—from airport shuttles to mail order brides, just click and the order is on the way. One online shopping trend expected to see growth in 2017 is the expansion of brick-and-mortar grocery stores providing online purchasing. You may know apps Instacart and DoorDash, but what about staple retailers like Walmart and Target providing online point-of-sale and in-store pickups? Larger stores are taking note of the smaller start-ups’ success and are beginning to offer convenient “shop ahead” platforms that allow consumers to click and submit an order for pickup at a later time. Does this mean drive through Walmarts are 2018’s next big trend? (Kristina Todini)
  • Marketers will make the move to more complex forms of attribution modeling in 2017
    This has been coming for a while. I feel like you could have said the same thing for the last two years. So yes, agreed. (Anastasia Lopez)
  • 2017 will be the tipping point for mobile messaging, as more than half of mobile users will use such apps 
    Why? Because mobile messaging isn’t just about keeping in touch with your pals anymore, it’s become a hub for all things digital. There are currently more than 2.5 billion people registered to at least one messaging app, and that number is projected to increase to 3.6 billion people by 2018; that’s 90% of the world’s internet-enabled population. Users have the ability to send money, purchase clothes or even order an Uber through their mobile messaging apps. Chances are that’s where your audience is, and that’s where you should be, too. (Shalee Hanson)

Photo Credit: AdWeek

  • Influencers will take a significant chunk of the ad market in 2017
    Social media influencers: We can’t live without them. Brands rely heavily on influencers to promote products or services and that trend will continue into the new year. But what is it about influencers that makes them resonate so well with consumers? They’re relatable. Consumers look to social influencers for advice, trends, style, healthy living tips and much more, which creates an opportunity for brands to leverage. A recent SocialTimes article identified what we can expect for influencer marketing in 2017. A few trends include:

    • Influencers could save Twitter with curated news feeds like Twitter Moments
    • Influencers may determine the fate of Snapchat and Instagram and which platform will be the most powerful for social media users
    • B2B brands will start to leverage more influencers to engage with consumers
    • Influencers will make livestream the mainstream by creating more videos with platforms like Facebook Live.
      (Alyse Brunella)
  • Virtual reality won’t be a significant marketing channel until hardware becomes more widespread
    I know what you’re thinking: “But Pokémon Go completely changed the game this year! Surely this will be an interesting new chapter in consumer engagement in 2017.” Well, THAT is augmented reality. Virtual reality is a different story. While VR is opening the door to unimaginable possibilities in the world of healthcare, there’s far too much involved at this point for both the end consumer and the marketer for it to take off too quickly. We won’t see VR reach its full potential until hardware becomes more widespread. Only then will marketers invest enough to create entire virtual environments and the narratives needed to support them. (Nikki Parrotte)