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Marketing Trends Shaping the Year to Come

After years of increasing automation, marketers will return to what people have responded to all along: other people PHOTO: Shane Albuquerque

Ask any of your friends, “are you sick of marketing email?” and you’ll be sure to hear the same thing: marketing emails flood their inboxes.

You probably agree. Personally, I spend 10-20 minutes a day grooming through my emails and unsubscribing from marketing emails. It gets to the point where I’m not even reading emails, I’m deleting them before I read past the first three words in the subject line. 

This, among other trends, is changing the narrative for digital marketing. Marketers who want to keep up in 2017 should be aware of the following trends.

Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

Ad Blocking Software Changes Digital Advertising Spend

Ad blocking software is so common that it has created major obstacles for marketers trying to reach consumers. It has forced brands to abandon traditional digital marketing tactics and brainstorm new ideas — but a lot of the new ideas are actually right in front of their noses. 

The advent of the digital age distracted us from who really helps sell products, and that is people. 

Ninety-two percent of people make purchases based on peer recommendations, and that means people are influencing each other’s buying behaviors. Marketing teams need to start turning their focus from traditional digital advertising campaigns to customer and influencer marketing content.

Chief Marketing Technologists will Help Make Marketing Technology Decisions

As the marketing landscape continues to embrace advanced technology, CMOs need to successfully partner with IT in order to meet marketing objectives. Simultaneously, IT must evolve in order to effectively collaborate with technically-oriented marketing teams. 

The role of chief marketing technologist (CMT) will serve as the connecting officer between marketing and IT. The CMT will be responsible for managing MarTech budgets, relationships with vendors and relationships with agency partners.

Companies will Drop Gimmicky Marketing Tools

There is a lot of spend happening for niche marketing tools that range from $50 to $500 per month, the majority of which rarely get touched. 

In 2017, marketers will eliminate these gimmicky tools that make data muddy and instead move their focus to real content about real customers that supports the peer-to-peer influence trend.

Google’s Index Split Pushes for Improved Mobile User Experiences

Google announced an index split between mobile and desktop content. That means there will be different search engine results on different size devices, with the mobile results given primacy.

This will push more focused designs and give users a better experience across the board. This also means marketers will need to invest more into better responsive design, examine their mobile SEO and reexamine their mobile strategy if they want to compete in both indexes.

Email Marketing will Become Less Effective

Do you read your spam? It arrives in the form of newsletters, automated sales email and general queries. If you are good at sniffing it out and marking mail as spam, then a lot of emails wind up in spam. 

What this means for marketers is that their emails are being heavily ignored. Email marketing is still effective but not nearly as effective as it used to be. So marketers will need to look to other forms of digital marketing to reach their consumers.

As People Get Weary of Sales Automation, Direct Sales Contacts Prevail

The email automation era is becoming very easy to spot, and it’s happening everywhere. Multiple emails like this land in our inboxes on a daily basis. This robotic tactic may even begin to harm a brand’s reputation. 

Sales people will go back to being people and will personalize an email or pick up the damn phone. The excitement of automation in the digital era will also make people realize that they like to talk to people. 

A Return to the Human Touch

After a massive digital wave changed the way the human population communicates and consumes information, I truly believe we’re seeing a return of people being people again. Expect more humanizing of brands and more content around storytelling rather than cramming features into robotic emails campaigns.

Randy Apuzzo is founder and CEO of Zesty.io, a web content management company. Childhood hacker turned entrepreneur by age 15, Randy has more than a dozen ventures under his belt, and today serves as a digital strategist applying both computer science and brand marketing expertise.


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