Trend Monitor 2017
One thing is for sure: The wheel will not be reinvented this year either. However, the wheels – which are the online topics in our case – will continue to be developed. And in fact they will partially be doing so at breakneck speed, as fast as wheels can actually turn.
The comparison between online developments and wheels quite accurately captures the hype for new trends. Many topics are not new, they reappear or are still present. But they tend to develop more and more rapidly. On the one hand this development brings us the progress we’ve been hoping for and, on the other hand, we struggle to keep up and to make decisions. When doing this it is important to remember that we don’t have to follow every single trend. But it is good to know which topics are relevant, so that we can prepare ourselves if necessary.
In order not to make your head swim with the flood of forward-looking contents and to allow you to stay on top of things, we’ve gone ahead and summarized the market trends for 2017.
It’s all about people – Hyper Personalization
The focus on the individual remains a huge and overriding topic in the entire online sector. As a result the salutations in e-mail marketing are also focused on the individual recipient. E-mail marketers meanwhile have the tools and, as a rule, the data as well to address people individually. Make use of this starting position to address your (potential) customers – as people – on a genuinely personal basis. Personalization 4.0!
Automatically individual – Programmatic E-mail Marketing
Automatic and individual don’t go together? And how! Because only those who automate processes are able to address customers personally. Machine processing helps you to find out relevant information and to personalize e-mails accordingly.
Analyze and optimize
Get ready for more analysis and evaluation in 2017. Because only through continuous monitoring and optimizations can e-mail campaigns be sustainably improved. This is why new systems for measuring and analyzing e-mail campaigns are becoming an integral part of the successful work of e-mail marketers.
Be mobile – Moving from “free-to-choose” to “absolutely essential“
What was initially a “nice-to-have”, has now turned into an obligatory element. Campaigns and landing pages that are not optimized for mobile devices now have little or no chance of conversion in 2017.
E-mail marketing is still the one of the most effective channels for addressing customers. However, it is only effective when combined with all the other communication channels. Provide your e-mail dialogues with a prominent as well as integrated position in your marketing mix, so that you can serve the right target group at exactly the right time.
Big data – even for tiny e-mails
Especially e-mail marketing is able to benefit from big data and a central system in which all the information is collected. Based on these collected details, you can determine exactly at which point of the customer journey your client is currently located and are able to send him the right message at the pivotal moment.
Something is happening – Multimedia Mail
This “trend” too is not really new. Graphics, interactive elements and videos are, however, morphing from a nice addition into an inherent component in 2017 which e-mail marketer should include in their content strategy.
No risk, no fun!
Stand out from your competitors and try things out. Feel free to experiment, test various approaches and even dare to do something unconventional for a change.
Outlook onto Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality has already been and is therefore a trend which is once again on the rise. This time the big players of augmented reality seem to be better prepared. This is the reason why e-mail marketers should keep an eye on this development so that they can reach and convincingly address these customers at the right time too.
Here and now – Real Time Customization
As we already mentioned, individual people and their needs in the online world are our main focus. With this in mind Real Time Customization will be a hot topic in 2017.
Appropriate content at the right time – Content Marketing
Companies that indirectly encourage their customers via informative content to conclude purchases will have the best sales opportunities. In this category dovetailing of SEO and content marketing play a big role.
Social sells – Social Commerce
Social media has been a trend for years already. It is a prime example of how fast these categories are, in actual fact, able to develop. Because even though “sales” were literally frowned on here just very recently, this option is now experiencing a downright boom, not least due to influencer marketing.
Communication 4.0? – Messenger and Chatbots
In our private lives these new channels for interaction have long since gained in importance. In 2017, a lot will happen here regarding customer communication.
Fast, faster, fastest – delivery
All companies that deliver are most definitely keeping an eye on their delivery options in 2017. A great deal will happen here this year because customers expect increasingly more short-term deliveries.
Fast verbal orders – new request channels
An extremely exciting development will be that of voice recognition such as Amazon Echo und Co. This means that most providers could miss requests because they have already been answered before customers search the Internet.
Content was already a hot topic in 2016. This year the winners are those that professionally dovetail their content marketing with search engine optimization. The focus is still placed on the quality and uniqueness of the contents. Those who would like to stand out from amongst all the available information in future, have to provide the correct answer to an unknown question. This inevitably leads to more content versatility.
Individual experiences – User Experience
Even in SEO the individual and his or her user experience come first: the more satisfied search engine users are the more positive the long-term effects will be on ranking as a whole. Even if optimization of the users‘ experience, due to their individual interpretations, will not be easy, each user should have the opportunity to experience a good start.
A view beyond the “Google horizon” is essential
To optimize for Google alone will not suffice in 2017. There are other search functions on the Internet which a search engine optimizer should be familiar with. For instance, marketplaces such as Amazon and YouTube as well as social networks such as Facebook, where content seeks to be organically found.
Self-learning is “in”
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) and self-learning computers (machine learning), such as Google’s Rankbrain are becoming increasingly more important for search engine optimization.
Mobile is kicking off with SEO too
It is still worthwhile to focus on sites that are optimized for mobile devices. According to Google, “mobile” will soon be receiving its own search index. Furthermore, Google is setting its sights on the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) open standard. This allows you to create sites which can be loaded onto mobile devices almost instantly.
Your wish is my command – Voice Search
Smart Home, Mediacenter or search engines – we converse with devices. This trend is, slowly but surely, replacing typing. Adapt your content in 2017 to suit this trend without ruining the work you’ve invested up to now.
Consolidation in sight
Social Media is and will remain strong. Social networks will also be used a great deal more in 2017 but there will be fewer new players. WhatsApp and Instagram belong to Facebook, Microsoft has just bought LinkedIn and Google is also keen to get in on the act. That means not much space for new giants.
As already mentioned above, marketers should also perceive social networks as search engines and align their systems and their content accordingly.
Shift to Paid Media
The organic range of posts is being increasingly curtailed since social media is clearly developing into paid media.
In the midst instead of just going along
Immersive Content is one of the new buzzwords. This term describes contents which provide a feeling of experiencing something hands-on instead of merely consuming it, such as Facebook’s 360 degree videos. This is however only the beginning. In 2017 a long conjured up trend will finally begin to be available to the masses. The options of virtual reality (VR) are enormous.
This trend has already been touched on in the above descriptions. The potential for social commerce via buy buttons and co. is huge. This goes for companies too: be where your customers are and find appropriate ways of reeling them in.
Live is live…
…and will dominate events in 2017. Meanwhile video is also capturing smartphones – as a consumer good as well as something you can create on your own – and is reaching the next evolutionary step with live videos.
Realtime information – Chatbots
Due to artificial intelligence chatbots have become hugely successful. These short message helpers meanwhile provide information about stock availability or opening times, take orders or solve problems. The real benefit for companies is automated communication saves everybody time.
Earn money where your customers are – chat monetarization
Large numbers of people use social media privately as platforms for chatting. This is precisely where companies want to get in the mix and selectively sell their products. Facebook is working feverishly on the monetarization of Messengers and WhatsApp could soon follow. It is time to use this option and to develop a good strategy for a sensitive approach.