More lookalike marketing, SnapChat and video ads, and online retailers offering private-label goods are all likely to grow in 2017.
2016 appears to have been another banner year for online marketing as the world is approaching a collective record
$15 billion dollars of
digital ad spend.
Our thanks to Internet Retailer for much of the content of this article.
Trend 1: Individual Consumer Marketing
One of the fundamental advantages that brick-and-mortar retail holds is the ability to sell to the consumer on a personal level.
It's difficult to replicate the efficacy of walking into a store and having a salesperson cater to an individual's specific wants and needs.
However, speaking to customers on a 1:1 basis will be easier than ever in 2017.
Marketing channels such as Facebook and Google AdWords are now allowing e-commerce marketers to upload lists of customers to their respective
channels (via the Custom Audiences and Customer Match tools) so marketers can speak specifically to a group of customers with more granularity than
ever before. For example, if data shows that customers tend to buy blue scarves after they purchase black boots, companies can now craft ad
creative that speak to this specific merchandising experience. The ability to systematically show messaging that resonates with a specific
group of consumers will cause response rates to skyrocket and acquisition/retention costs to drop.
Cohort-specific targeting tools will continue to spread in 2017. Should marketers require more reach, prospecting technologies built
around finding similar cohorts based on seed lists already exist and continue to show encouraging promise.
Trend 2: Mobile Media Consumption
Mobile data costs are in a freefall as 2017 approaches. When one factors in cheap data costs with rapid mobile speed increases,
one can see a profound shift in mobile device behaviors. Data-heavy behavior such as consuming live video streams and participating in
immersive apps are now commonplace.
2017 will see an explosion of video-based ad types, as this is the logical next step for increasing mobile engagement in a noisy
digital world. Fewer customers will respond to static or animated image-based ads and will gravitate instead to video ads that can show
multiple angles of a product within a few seconds. Ad technologies that allow marketers to launch, test and produce video ads quickly will explode.
Lastly, consumer satisfaction with their shopping experience will increase as it’ll be easier than ever before to fully understand a product
before buying it.
Trend 3: Cross-Channel Marketing
Savvy marketers spent 2016 working on sophisticated multichannel attribution models that assign varying levels of credit to multitouch
conversion funnels. The best ones are tying in customer lifetime values to individual marketing campaigns through back-end business intelligence
and are adjusting levers to acquire and retain the most valuable customers.
In 2017, the tools, personnel and technology needed to accomplish this will have a much lower cost of entry. Free tools such as Google Analytics
now contain data and analytics about how various channels interact with each other and how this eventually ties to revenue. Its User-ID
functionality will even allow marketers to do some rudimentary cohort analysis based on date and source of acquisition. Marketing channels
will continue to bake in this type of transparency into their baseline reporting metrics on a post-click and post-impression basis. Affordable
paid tools such as KissMetrics will continue to proliferate and give marketers deeper insights into how they can sharpen their marketing budgets.
There are more ways than ever to identify customers across a variety of offline and online data sources and marry disparate data points together.
With the amount of data available, marketers can now plan and launch sophisticated cross-channel campaigns that take into consideration
forecasted revenue and lifetime value, number of touchpoints needed to convert and eventual effects to the campaign’s bottom line
contribution margin. This allows marketers to pull back on marketing spend on marketing touches that are ultimately ineffective while
increasing budget to campaigns that eventually net out to a larger than expected gain.
Trend 4: Snapchat Marketing
Facebook advertising continues to be the breadwinner in the paid social space, but 2016 saw the nascent rise of the Snapchat influencer
community as well as highly publicized (and expensive) Snapchat advertising campaigns. Even though direct response
marketing via Snapchat continues to be a work in progress, the first set of pioneering branding campaigns on Snapchat are showing promising
recall and engagement metrics.
Look for 2017 to exhibit signs of a maturing influencer marketing within Snapchat—there are already droves of Snapchat influencers
with captive audiences that are looking for novel ways to monetize, and agencies and software as a service that will help expedite this growth.
For example, Snapchat analytics platforms will allow companies to manage their brand analytics, analyze competitors and automate the publishing
A gold rush period will ensue while Snapchat continues to experiment with the development of its advertising platform. One can only assume
the Snapchat advertising API will continue to grow at an exponential rate as core tools such as A/B testing, email list matching and lookalike
modeling are already in place.