It’s the most wonderful time of year…a chill in the air, lights on the tree, hot chocolate in my mug, white elephant gifts in my shopping cart, and lots and lots of reading about 2017 predictions. What I’ve found is that marketers seem to be more or less on the same page about the customer experience, artificial intelligence, and video taking center stage next year.
But instead of leaving it up to the masses, Invoca gathered its own crew of marketing experts to have a chat about trends we’re expecting for next year. Many thanks to our webinar guests: Dan Ripes, VP of Global Partnerships at Rise Interactive, Jason Owen, SVP and GM of Credit.com and Kyle Christensen, SVP of Marketing at Invoca.
In case you couldn’t attend, it was a dynamic conversation with a lot of fresh ideas and perspectives relevant for B2C and B2B marketers. One thing I especially liked about the discussion was that each panelist provided a “sure bet” and “long shot” prediction for 2017. I’ll recap those, but there’s a lot of additional content (like lessons learned in 2016) in the on-demand webinar recording. So, check it out!
2017 Sure Bets
Jason talked about how attribution modeling will become more of an exact science in 2017. To date, marketers have relied on fuzzy math, which makes for ROI that’s not entirely accurate. However, Jason made a good point in that as marketers continue to make things more complex (developing more sophisticated journeys, integrating more martech), attribution isn’t necessarily going to be ‘solved.’ It’s one step forward and one step back.
Dan talked about the cord cutting trend accelerating into 2017 and increased investment in mobile video. Formats like Facebook Live will continue to disrupt traditional TV, with audiences moving to the live stream format. And as we reach ‘Superbowl-levels’ of viewership on YouTube and across the web, there are going to be interesting opportunities for brands to reach viewers on these platforms.
Kyle talked about voice as the new conversion point, with calls becoming an even more critical part of the path to purchase next year. If you’re a marketer working in financial services, insurance, or healthcare, including a Voice Marketing Cloud in your marketing stack will be table stakes. As a channel, the phone will be on par with digital channels like email in terms of driving revenue for your business. As you can see in the chart above, mobile marketing spend aligns almost perfectly to the growth of calls to businesses.
2017 Long Shots
A lot of marketers have been talking about the importance of cross-device tracking, but no one has been able to do it well. Few companies, aside from Facebook and Google, have ‘logged-in’ data across all devices, making match rates low (below 50%) for those that are attempting. If a third party solution would emerge that could connect all the dots, I think marketers would rejoice. It’s a huge untapped opportunity.
Facebook had issues this year with data accuracy in their reporting, which made a lot of marketers begin to re-think processes for measuring the impact of social media campaigns. Dan pointed out the need for a less siloed approach to social — being able to apply insights from one platform to another and even having agreed upon KPIs across platforms. He also made the point that the number of tools for marketers is becoming overly abundant, while the connectivity is extremely poor. In the year ahead, hopefully, the industry will innovate and enable marketers to take a more cross-platform approach to social analytics.
I think we can all agree that Siri and Alexa are no longer for the early adopters..interacting with technology using our voice is becoming more widely accepted. Kyle challenged marketers to think about the “voice first” experience that consumers will have with your brand, and how that will impact strategy related to user experience, acquisition and brand building.
Jason actually had two bonus long shots, so I’ll end with one of his that has to do with marketing talent. I’m curious to hear what you readers think about this one. Are you hiring more people with math and science backgrounds, or do you expect to next year? Let us know in the comments.