Intelligent personal assistants, autonomous cars, reusable rockets, a pan that teaches you how to cook. Blockbuster advances in technology are happening so fast, it’s hard to keep up. At Comrade we obsess over the changing digital landscape and which innovations and trends might help you provide more value to your customers. With that in mind, here are five marketing predictions that are both relevant and actionable for 2017.
If it seems like everyone has a smartphone these days, it’s because almost three out of four adults in the U.S. actually do. What does that mean for 2017? Mobile should be front of mind for everything you do. It may seem passé, but it’s first on our list because it’s that important. Even tasks that just a few years ago seemed shackled to your desktop computer (think: doing your taxes or running your farm) are increasingly easier to do on your phone. If you’re not fine-tuning the mobile experience for your products and services, expect that someone else is. More than anything else in 2017, focus on mobile.
Over the past few years, businesses have gotten a whole lot smarter about their customers’ journeys. Expect them not only to invest more in customer journey mapping in 2017, but to look beyond their core offerings in search of new and unexpected ways to support their customers. Take Uber, a business whose utility and success are already proven, but is still looking for ways to improve. One can only imagine (unless you’re Uber, and then you know) the number of times customers have dinged Uber drivers on their music. Uber’s solution? Put the radio dial in the hands of the customer by integrating Pandora and Spotify. Your business’s aha moments may require more digging, but they’re out there. Get started by expanding the sphere of knowledge you have about your customers. Armed with new insights, you’ll likely find new ways to add value.
Location-based services are nothing new, but 2017 should be a year in which we see innovative applications. We’re not talking Minority Report yet, but we’ll increasingly find ourselves receiving timely, relevant messages and service offers based on where we are. Expect an uptick in subtle affordances, like when Apple Maps uses your typical routine to proactively tell you the fastest way to get to your next destination. And, as businesses build out beacon and geofencing capabilities, expect tailored content to pop up on your smartphone while you’re out and about. One success story is Major League Baseball’s Ballpark app, which uses beacons to automatically check you in upon arrival at the game and serves you everything from food and merchandise coupons to video content based on your specific location in the ballpark.
Despite Pokemon Go’s precipitous drop in popularity, it’s still a success story that’s too big to ignore. Expect businesses to scramble for ways to capitalize on augmented reality (AR) in 2017, but be prepared for growing pains. At the same time, look for AR to thrive in unexpected places. Consider the ever-improving Google Translate app, which lets you point your camera at words and phrases in dozens of languages and translates them for you on the spot. It may not be quite as addictive as flicking poke balls at Pidgey and friends, but it will make that trip to Norway a lot smoother, ja?
2017 promises to reward our ever-decreasing attention spans with shorter, snackable content. And the most addictive snack will be video. Look for businesses to invest heavily in all flavors of promotional and viral videos—including 360° immersive videos that hand control of the camera over to the viewer. “Eyes on Gigi,” BMW’s video take on the age-old shell game, placed Gigi Hadid in an M2 and received more than 5 million views in two months. From the starting line the ad had all the right ingredients—fast car, supermodel, sleight of hand—but the pièce de résistance was the 360° video integration. If all this sounds too complicated or off-brand for your business, take a look at simpler applications of video content, like explainer videos or tutorials. Airbnb lets you choose from four clips to learn what’s new.
There you have it: 2017 looks to be a year in which businesses help customers get more of what they want, when and where they want it. Now, if I could just get someone to tell me dad jokes on command. Oh wait, I can.