2016 has been a year of shifts in social media, technology and digital marketing. Influencer marketing went mainstream, the internet became all about video and every digital marketer is looking for a way to connect business outcomes to their social media efforts.
So what’s in store for 2017? We queried a panel of digital marketing and technology experts about their predictions for the future of influencer marketing, digital customer service and more. Here’s what they had to say.
According to Five9 chief marketing officer Kevin Gavin, video customer service will go mainstream:
As the modern customer increasingly feels empowered to communicate with brands via various channels like phone calls, texts, social media and more, the rise in video communication will become more mainstream. Just as social media brought on a new way to communicate with consumers, video will be a powerful tool to ease pain points in an easy and efficient manner. In 2017, more businesses will move to adopt video as the new normal in customer service or risk getting left behind.
Advances in marketing tech that have made tools cheaper, more effective and more accurate give small and midsized marketers access to sophisticated, powerful technology without requiring the budget of their Fortune 500 counterparts. This will be especially true for video advertising: Many marketers who never would have previously considered TV advertising can now easily integrate an online video strategy as offerings become better and more ubiquitous.
Marketers are signing up for outcomes, not inputs, inside of their own organizations, and they are increasingly asking the question of who watches the watchers, who grades the homework of a dynamic and diverse supply chain? Programmatic done right is attributed based on impact on true business goals, and it lets marketers see through channels and partners to the consumer behind all of those screens.
Berke also believes attribution will be super-important in 2017:
When marketers see increased spend that doesn’t correlate to faster growth rates, they want to know why. This is because a lot of clicks are from people who would’ve converted anyway. For the next 50 percent of offline ad spend to move to digital, marketers need to be able to measure efficacy beyond last-click measurement. Major players like Google and Facebook need to demonstrate how non-direct-response formats like video drive business results, and that inherently means better attribution.
Gavin believes analytics will help bring about predictive customer service:
With the rise of analytics, businesses will reap the benefits of things like seeing a customer’s history immediately when they contact customer service and providing personalized experiences for consumers based on likes and preferences. This technology will also predict what consumers need based on patterns in their customer journey, allowing for agents to proactively reach out to consumers before the problem is even realized.
Smart applications will proactively anticipate user desires to satisfy the moment. Predictive analytics won’t just be an add-on for brands; it will become a must-have to understand and retain users.
According to Xomad CEO Rob Perry, 2017 will bring about a re-evaluation of traditional qualitative metrics and analytics:
Cost-per-engagement models instead of potential impressions will provide more accurate pricing and greater return on investment for influencer strategies. New standards will allow reach and engagement to be meaningfully compared across Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
Perry says live and real-world initiatives will combat the lack of authenticity, and brands will turn to micro-influencers to build authenticity.
Brands will rely on real-world influencer events and activations to build more organic, nonscripted content with higher engagement, while agencies gravitate toward livestreaming and real-time social media platforms. At the same time, brands will become increasingly dependent on micro-influencers with high engagement in niche verticals, which will be utilized in mass quantities (thousands per campaign) to generate more organic and engaging content.
Kyurkchiev believes mobile teams need more intelligent marketing automation:
Mobile teams will invest heavily in automation campaigns that contain personalized parameters to move users toward conversions, save acquisition costs and drive more ROI on every new user. For example, travel experiences will draw from travel history, price trends, seasonality and more, with smarter travel apps tailoring each and every piece of your trip.
And Perry says marketing tech will combine influencer authenticity with target precision:
With improvements in influencer marketing tech, agencies will be able to hit precise target demographics, verticals, locations, etc. Smaller agencies will need to adopt the use of marketing tech platforms in order to compete, especially as the industry looks toward using mass numbers of micro-influencers.
Readers: What do you think 2017 has in store for digital marketers?
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