Another year in the books, and man, did it fly by. We experienced changes in media platforms, more content than we could ever imagine, we saw video take over the world, mobile take over desktop, and a strong shift toward measurement. The marketing landscape changes fast, and it’s our job to stay on top of it. So, what’s in store for the new year? Here are some marketing predictions for 2017 from our account execs, media strategists, inbound marketers, art directors and more.

    1. Togetherness (sort of)
      Experiences, products and services that provide respites of brief, commitment-free communion with others will continue to proliferate, prosper and fuel each other. Social media platforms, coffee houses, Air BnB, Uber, so many more.
      (Jim Pontarelli, Brand Planning, RDW President) 

    2. Greater use of Big Data and Predictive Analytics to Shape Marketing Campaigns
      Big data and analytics has been around for a while. But as our ability to collect all types of data across platforms increases, we will start to see this data used more often to drive our marketing campaigns. Predictive analytics will also help us to understand where/when/how our marketing campaigns will be successful.
      (Marian Visona, Marketing Analytics Strategist)

    3. Tacking Back to Qualitative
      We now have access to massive amounts of raw data, and slicing and dicing it can spotlight trends and patterns. But interpreting the data to drive marketing decisions requires deeper contextual understanding so meaningful insights can be drawn. The continued importance of qualitative, ethnographically inspired research to help make sense of it all. With audience segmentation, journey mapping, and contextual personalization at the heart of the Inbound movement, a strong understanding of the target audience has never been more critical.
      (Chris DiSano, Senior Account Executive)  

    4. Native Advertising
      Why is native advertising so important? Five years ago, it is estimated that businesses were spending 80% on content creation and 20% on content promotion. Content is king, right? But to be successful and truly break through in a cluttered marketplace, we believe this ratio needs to nearly reverse, with successful marketers creating differentiated content and putting some significant advertising and promotion muscle behind it.
      (Phil Loscoe, RDW SVP, Partner)

    5. Real-time Social Media Creative
      As the demand for real-time social media engagement increases, so does the demand for content that suits it. My marketing prediction for 2017? Limited are the days of long, carefully thought out, creative development for your social channels. This year will catapult the era of live content creation and raw experiences with brands online.
      (Sarah Johnson, Director of Digital Marketing Services)  

    6. Freshness FTW
      It was recently announced that the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year is “greenery”. With that, I think we can expect for old design trends to be renewed, with fresh perspective and new beginnings.
      (Rachel Johnson, Art Director)  

    7. Websites Will Put in More Work
      Traditional, static websites will become active engagement engines built to guide users through the marketing funnel. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) will lead the change with more companies using their websites to invite leads to download content, share blog posts and request consultations.
      (Marisa Meyers, Digital Marketing Strategist)  

    8. More (and More) Video Content
      Yes, content is still king, but the kind of content that rules the web is changing. Social content, reviews, blogs, papers, and eBooks are all still incredibly powerful tools for digital marketers, but video will be increasingly be seen as the most powerful medium for compelling and resonant brand storytelling. And video as we know it will increasingly expand into virtual and augmented reality. Brands that fail to incorporate visuals and videos will be left at the station by competitors who understand and commit to video storytelling.
      (Phil Loscoe, RDW SVP, Partner)

    9. Digital will Top TV Ad Spend
      While TV has always been the leader in ad spending for decades, digital spending, meaning ads on mobile, search, social, digital radio, and digital video, is projected to surpass TV as the number one medium in 2017. eMarketer projects the 2017 TV spend at $74.2 billion, and the digital spend at $75.4 billion.
      (Marla Pinto-Cooperrider, Media Director, Partner)

    10. All-Inclusive Social Platforms
      2016 was certainly not a year without innovation, much of which came with added features to our beloved social networks. As the features pile on, your favorite social networks are now beginning to look more and more like each other. From Instagram’s ‘snapchat-killer’ stories, to Facebook’s increased meaning of the @username; many networks are gunning to offer it all. This is a trend that can be fully expected to continue as the quest for users continues into 2017. When planning your digital marketing strategy, be sure to not be totally blinded by the shiny new toys. Continue to evaluate where your target audience lives and focus your efforts appropriately. Remember, you don’t need to be everywhere, particularly as this trend continues!
      Ryan McAssey, Social Media Strategist)

There you have it. Our marketing predictions for 2017. So reallocate your budgets, brush up your website, and get your Facebook Live skills up to par. Marketing came a long way in 2016 and we’re looking forward to even more exciting changes over the next several months. 

Have marketing predictions of your own? Share them in the comments.