The year 2017 will be an exciting year for marketers, particularly in terms of enhanced digital skills. As new trends, technology and customer behaviors emerge, the key to success will be in continually learning and staying up-to-date.
Marketers need to experiment with new tools, tactics and marketing campaign ideas and continue to monitor each project so they can discover where their greatest return on investment can be made. These are some of the key marketing trends in 2017.
Diversifying the Marketing Mix
2017 will be a year of blended media. This is where the old adage – different strokes for different folks – really holds true. Different people respond differently to different marketing channels. Even though we are all focused on digital, it’s important to realize that over 22% of computer users now use ad blockers. That means that marketers need to rethink their ad spend on non-digital forms of advertising, like direct mail, if they really want to get a bang for their buck.
We are seeing a tremendous effect of Rapid Retail and the “want it now” mentality. As ecommerce companies, including Amazon, start delivering at ever-faster rates (Amazon Prime Now service providing city dwellers with what they want within the hour, seven days a week), this will only increase expectations from consumers. Anyone with an ecommerce site needs to be prepared.
We are seeing a resurgence of print options for direct mail. Marketers can stand out from the crowd with unique shapes, sizes and virtual QR codes that take readers to a new reality. Millennials continue to be a surprise strong mail market segment with seniors relying heavily on the channel for information and offers. For pre-need offers, high caliber printing on quality paper stock is a must. Bottom line with print – if it’s great, people will read it and save it.
According to 2017 Media Usage Survey results – Direct mail is not only holding steady, but it’s growing. Nearly one-third (31%) of marketers responding to the survey are increasing their use of direct mail this year, and 33% are keeping it the same. Only 9% are decreasing their use of direct mail. Marketers definitely need to keep direct mail on their horizon and commit to doing it right.
In the world of social media, some humans matter more than others –we call them influencers. When it comes to social media, marketers are increasingly accepting the new world where they have to “pay to play” and find recognizable talent to appear in their newsfeeds, blog posts and ads (Sure, I’d like Brad Pitt to appear in my posts too) but because this is becoming a high cost, marketers are looking for new solutions. Experiment with a company spokesperson, anime or animal who can become your influencer.
This is way different than social media. This is about paying for ads and sponsored posts that show up directly on people’s newsfeeds. Since 2017 is all about blended media, the key here is to match direct mail to Facebook ads with customized match programs that let marketers target their key audiences. The more times a consumer sees an ad and the more channels they see it through, the better the branding and the higher the response.
While we all want to showcase our companies across every marketing channel, from a cost perspective, it’s not just feasible. Bottom line, marketers need to test their message in the different marketing channels to find the special formula that’s right for them.