Stay ahead of these major marketing trends to retain your edge over the competition this year
Marketing moves fast. Fads come and go, but big shifts in technology change the whole marketing landscape. The launch of the iPhone and the growth of social networks in the late 2000's massively disrupted the whole marketing landscape, just like the massive adoption of PCs did in the mid to late 90's, and TV did in the 50's and 60's.
At the moment marketers are firmly concentrated on the latest big technological fads like chatbots, virtual reality and augmented reality. It remains to be seen whether these will create real value for marketers beyond a few niche applications, or if they are just over-hyped by virtue of their novelty. However, it is possible to identify some big changes in how marketers are using existing technology, and these major shifts have serious implications for brands in the here and now. We’ve identified four mega-trends that will be extremely important in 2017, and marketers would do well to make sure they are utilizing them.
Trend 1: Social media becomes media, stops being social. Engagement no longer a coveted metric.
Since marketers awoke to the huge potential of the massive audiences’ social networks were acquiring, social media marketers have been telling us the future of marketing is all about ‘conversations’ and letting customers share their ‘brand love’ with the rest of the world. Traditional metrics were dead, and ‘engagement’ was the cool new kid on the block that everyone wanted to be friends with. Just don’t mention ROI or you might look like some fusty old stick in the mud who doesn’t get the new way of doing things.
Well the emperor’s new clothes are now looking more than a little bit see-through, and agencies and brands are starting to realize. Late last year MediaPost named BBDO as the social media agency of the year. But not for coming up with some amazingly ‘authentic’ content that could get ‘tens and tens’ of organic impressions and ‘start conversations’. Quite the opposite. It was because they realized organic reach was now so chocked off as to be almost non-existent, and instead used Facebook ‘as a media channel’. That is, they paid to advertise, didn’t use organic posts, ignored commonly used engagement metrics such as likes shares and comments and instead focused on ‘impact-led metrics’, which led to a campaign which was 75% more effective in delivering brand results.
This award is indicative of the beginnings of what will be one of the major trends in marketing this year. CMO's are starting to wake up to the pointlessness of many social metrics, and are realizing many have very little impact on ROI. This trend will gain momentum as more and more businesses switch to treating social media as they would any other advertising medium, rather than a special case.