Marketers make their predictions for 2017

Marketers and industry experts share their predictions for what is going to be big in 2017.

crystal ball

Microsoft’s Paul Davies on the re-emergence of the art of marketing

If 2016 has been about marketing science and the proliferation of multiple emerging digital tactics and platforms, I think 2017 will see the much-needed return of the big advertising ideas and the re-emergence of the art of the marketing discipline.

We will see the pursuit of bold, ambitious unifying concepts under which all campaign tactics sit together, with bright ideas back at the heart of the marketing engine.

READ MORE: Trends for 2017: Zero-based budgeting & influencers 2.0

Nina Bibby, CMO at O2, on moving away from a one size fits all approach

In 2016 we’ve seen the urge to stereotype sweep across our media and political landscapes, building a barrier to understanding the individuals that make up the crowd. But, if we’ve learnt anything from the surprises of this year, it’s that where politicians seem keen to group people together, it is vital businesses treat customers as individuals. Traditional marketing stereotypes are no longer relevant; the make-up of societal roles has changed and customers want to feel as though a company or brand truly understands them. A one size fits all approach is null and void.

READ MORE: The dangers of images that reinforce stereotypes

For customers to truly feel valued and that their needs are understood, brands need to go above and beyond, and personally reward them for their loyalty. As I reflect on what we are doing differently as a result, it is about continuing the investment and focus we have had in personalising our communications and propositions.

For example, by making our O2 Priority offers more personalised, we can be more relevant for our customers, recognising and rewarding their individual wants and needs. Our ability to connect with customers in a real, authentic and consistent manner lies at the heart of building strong and enduring relationships with them and in turn driving sustainable commercial returns.

Times Newspapers’ Chris Duncan talks digital measurement

I see an increasing move towards custom-built agency solutions that combine creative, media and strategy in one client solution, many of which will be co-located on client sites. Marketers will want to be faster and more joined up than ever and no longer want the distraction of competing agency interests.

I expect a stern examination of digital measurement this year, particularly of black box platforms, which mark their own homework.

Chris Duncan, Times Newspapers

I also expect a stern examination of digital measurement this year, particularly of black box platforms, which mark their own homework. The tide will turn among CFOs who embraced new and varied digital metrics only to find the impact on business metrics may have been over promised – the overall media mix will be rebalanced this year I think to consider brand and consideration along with conversion measures.

READ MORE: Advertisers must become ‘militant’ over digital metrics

Oystercatchers CEO Suki Thompson predicts clients will bring teams in house

In 2017 we’ll see more clients bringing more teams in house – maybe not permanently but building dream teams for specific tasks.’s Alessandra Di Lorenzo on going back to basics

There’s a lot of talk around new technology and as much as I love learning more about it, these technologies are not quite there in terms of scale. We are barely cracking mobile as an industry.

2017 needs to be the year of going back to basics. That is [also] true from the data side, going from big data to small data and then to information, using that data to inform real insights and going back to basics, so don’t talk about fancy behavioural targeting if you can’t get age and gender right.

Don’t talk about fancy behavioural targeting if you can’t get age and gender right.

Alessandra Di Lorenzo, ‎ Group

From a marketing perspective there is the element of measurement, we need to get better at the definition of attribution, for example, last click versus actual acquisition – there’s a lot of work that needs to go into that part of the ecosystem in order to make our digital campaigns fully effective.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson – Facebook’s erroneous video metrics show no one has a clue about digital

Barnaby Dawe, global CMO at Just Eat, on the importance of brand

The rise of populism may continue as ‘the elite’ flounder in their ability to react. Content generation and optimisation will be an integral part of the marketing mix, not a sideshow. The importance of brand will increase as channel fragmentation becomes ever more complex. And virtual reality will progress and be used in both marketing and technology solutions.

Nectar’s James Moir on starting with the customer

The opportunities that social and digital channels present show no sign of slowing down. Instagram recently added ecommerce services to its offering, for example, and brands are now running their own apps and even developing their own interactive games for customers.

With so many options now available to brands, marketing resources can become stretched trying to cover all bases and many will be taking stock and making sure all their efforts are being focused in the right areas.

READ MORE: Trends for 2017: Gig economy, price hikes & measurement

It needs to start with the customer. It’s all too easy to lose sight of this so heading into 2017 marketers should be going back to basics, asking the fundamental questions, gathering information and using these insights to build customer-centric strategies from the ground up.

Understanding who a customer is, how they live and how they want to be contacted will allow marketers to devise strategies that resonate. By their very nature, they’ll be multichannel, but the channels used may well prove to be more selective rather than all encompassing.

Pinterest’s Adele Cooper on the growth of the visual world

Thanks to technology, we’re living in a tremendously visual world that influences our perceptions and emotions based on what we see on TV, the internet or social media. There’s an increasing tension between who we are on the inside and who we feel pressure to compare ourselves to on the outside. Based on what we’re seeing at Pinterest, I think there is going to be a shift in 2017 to turning inwards and discovering what is meaningful and inspirational to our true selves.


READ MORE: Trends for 2017: Augmented reality, agency relationships & diversity

Claire’s Hind Palmer on brands taking more reponsibility

Brands and social media platforms have to take more responsibility for what’s being posted and how people react to it, which is something we’ll see more of in 2017. Instagram has set up a new function where you can now remove negative messages if they are damaging to a brand or a specific person.

I feel there should also be greater regulation for people using images and videos where people film various events, putting them on social media platforms for the world to see. This can invade general privacy laws and it’s something that needs to be worked on.

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  • Matt Sanders 30 Dec 2016 at 12:35 pm

    The real question is when Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is going to come in to solve the problem of automation that is silently culling jobs. I have seen since 2009 the jobs market change, the middle ground job market is vanishing. Something must be done, the DWP is an out of date dinosaur ambling towards irrelevance. We must have BIG soon otherwise there won’t be a consumer market with money to spare. Lobby for this now!

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