Did I hear you wanted another 2017 predictions list? I read it somewhere on the Internet… so clearly it has to be true.
This year’s 2017 Predictions for Digital Marketing came to me quite clearly as there are several key trends taking place that are much less about specific digital things– like VR or Internet of Things– and more macro in nature. These are trends that will affect every marketer alike, whether you choose to act or not.
So, please, let’s not waste any more time. You’ve waited this long.
1. Data Consolidation
For Internet generations– you know, like the past five years– every marketing leader has had to deal with the oft-used conundrum of “too much data and not enough insights.” But that hasn’t really been the problem. The problem is that data is all over the place. Finding it, using it, and consolidating it has really been the problem. When you finally commit yourself to consolidating data into a place where it becomes useful, you all of a sudden want more data.
In 2017, we will see a giant move toward marketers consolidating their data through third-party Data Management Platforms (DMPs) or through artificial intelligence solutions like Lucy. We became a partner with Lucy in 2016 because “she” eats massive amounts of both structured (Salesforce feeds, email databases, etc.) and unstructured (third-party research like Gartner, Kantar, and all those shiny PowerPoints, etc.) data, giving us humans greater efficiencies and time to deliver actual business insights and much better media plans.
2. Move from Impressions to Audiences
Impressions (or clicks or hits or whatever non-sense metrics) became the de facto measurement of media along this wonderful digital journey– and what a bunk measurement it’s been. Can’t stand impressions. Impressions are used to give marketers a false sense of security or success. Impressions can be gamed BIG LEAGUE. And they have been gamed by unscrupulous ad tech vendors and the like for ages.
Thankfully, because impressions are becoming increasingly meaningless, the market is moving to measuring audiences – actual clusters of people who are desirable, who take action, who deliver real value. Of course, the real sophisticates out there market one-to-one (and it is truly the better way) but working towards audiences of people is a helluva lot better than the mindless impression. Which brings me to…
3. Increase in Advertising Prices for Quality People
The market for impressions created a giant sucking sound of devaluation for publishers. The Real-Time Bidding (RTB) marketplace that emerged out of the recession was great for the ad tech industry but sucked unimaginably for quality publishers who saw the value of their– remember?– impressions deflate. It was a race to the bottom. The result was a devaluation of real people– once again, audiences. It was nice for advertisers who paid nearly nothing for good people. That’s over, and it should be. The ad tech space is maturing and, as quality publishers move more of their advertising inventory to private marketplaces within programmatic buying and selling environments, prices will rise. This is good for advertisers too. You will be able to target your spend towards quality people who actually care about you and take the actions you like. Everyone gets to be smarter, and we consumers may begin to see a decrease in the ad glut that torments us now.
4. Creative as the Human Experience
Creative work in the digital world is about to undergo a Renaissance as digital designers use and push the boundaries of what bandwidth and devices allow them. The creative world is becoming increasingly three-dimensional and emotional as creatives and developers unite to bring more humanity into their work. From integrating real human interaction into their design to bringing the real world into their creative expressions through live video feeds, we may move increasingly away from graphic design to reality design. It’s terribly exciting… and good for our human existence. Empathy is at a frightening deficit in American culture right now, and it’s always been the artists and the creatives who save us.
I am so fired up for 2017, in spite of all the political rancor. I believe in us as Americans, and I even believe that we marketers have a critical role to play in elevating real human existence and using the tools we have to unite us. Call me a romantic. And that I am.
We would love to help you capture all that’s possible in 2017. Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers to you for a wonderful year!