In 2016, we saw content marketing redefine the way brands told their stories. We saw mobile change the face of brand-consumer interaction and content consumption. 2016 saw digital and mobile as major gamechangers while 2017 will see new upholstery on old furniture as well as the emergence of some classic designs that we failed to notice before.
1. Increased investment in mobile marketing; chatbots to walk the talk
In 2017, mobile-first marketing will be the new normal. Messaging apps have taken the world by storm, and consumers show a clear preference to on-the-go conversation while searching for information. Chatbots will see an increased integration with marketing applications giving way to immersive communication. This might reduce conversation response time and in turn, improve CRM. Mobile investments will see an increased scope for owned communities on mobile with focus on geo-location based conversation capabilities. We hope that messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google Spaces will open up possibilities for brands to engage formally with their customers and create multi-community conversation possibilities.
2. Increased effort and focus on the measurement of cross-channel brand marketing
2017 will see omni-channel brand engagement being mapped to singular KPI matrices. These matrices will provide a unified view of the impact of a brand on its consumers. It also enhances the ability to optimise brand efforts on a granular level to drive incremental action through marketing efforts.
Prepare to retarget social media content towards event-captured database, IVRS towards peer-to-peer marketing activations… you get the drift!
In 2017, expect a steady progress towards real-time attribution. Investment in data management platforms (DMPs) that fuel the attribution process will increase along with a rise in programmatic buying platforms investment. Agencies should prepare resources to combine market intelligence and tools to build custom omni-channel blueprints to plan for cross-channel measurement.
3. Active content will rule the roost and become the lifeblood of digital
2017 will see an increased focus on right-time content, active content and owned platforms. Content will continue to be the king but the true focus will shift to right time active content that drives immersive experiences. Marketers will innovate with visual content. Look out for branded Instagram filters, Snapchat innovations and interactive video content!
Content platforms are businesses too, and they are bigger today than ever before. Marketers will consider investment in their own platforms with YouTube communities and other mobile communities that are based on conversation and not just engagement. It will also help hedge against the very real risk of defensive campaigns by content platforms. Remember what happened between Kelloggs and Breitbart with the #DumpKelloggs campaign?
Content marketing will focus on action and not just engagement, brands will look for content that feeds the marketing engagement funnel rather than a linear engagement model.
User generated content (UGC) will become the ultra-cool of cool kids as they put it. Suddenly, every consumer out there is a content generator. Hence, in the coming months, a lot of focus will go into creating content generators for your brand.
4. Glocalisation in cross channel efforts
Brands are global but consumers desire to keep things local. With the world increasingly becoming a single marketplace and players continuing to operate beyond geographical boundaries, Going Glocal will be top-of-mind for marketers. Content, action, interaction and language (especially in the Indian context) will lean on Glocal. Real time will shift to right time and content serving will turn à la carte from the buffet. Personalisation will create the greatest impact and marketers will lean on AI capabilities to fine tune content serving.
5. Data scientists and marketing analysts will become the vertebrae of the brand spine
Expect Chief Marketing Technologists to lead the data driven marketing initiative, placing a tag on each piece of marketing content, and every micro initiative for its effectiveness towards a common marketing goal set. Data will tell one combined story and expect content and marketing to tie back to business objectives at scale.
6. Trad-digital vs the new-digital
Digital spends will surpass television spends in 2017. With ad blocking, changing social algorithms, stricter compliances for apps, fake news killing authenticity and a spike in digital fraud, influencer marketing will play a central role. Prepare for influencer marketing to come of age and look at brands co-creating content in a planned way. Brands should prep-up to create richer original, native content partnering with YouTube stars, Instagrammers, Pinners and Tweeples to engage with audiences.
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Ambika Sharma - Chief Strategist at Pulp Strategy
Chief strategist @pulpstrategy, entrepreneur, consumer engagement designer, writer, adventure traveller, diver, HOG, SuperBiker and speed buff