Trends come and go; however, very often some trends tend to be more durable than others and become the norm. The brands that ultimately succeed are those that are able to spot new trends and adapt to them before other brands catch on.  Identifying the synergy between the brand and the trend is where the real challenge lies. It is therefore important to make an in-depth analysis of the trend before adopting the  it.  In this post, Pat On Brands will take you through some of the biggest marketing and branding trends for 2017.

 Content Marketing

As the adage goes, “content is king”. This saying is still relevant in 2017. In order for the content to have an impact, it needs to be in context. In case you are wondering what content marketing is? The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience. Content marketing speaks to the phenomenon where, instead of brands informing customers how great their products are, they educate consumers. The ultimate goal is to have more loyal and informed customers that are profitable.  Brands can also use traditional (TV, Radio and print) and new age media (social media, blogs, podcasts) for content marketing. An example of content marketing done right would be a bank teaching consumers about financial literacy, instead of telling consumers how fantastic their 32 days savings account is.

Big Data

At the peak of the information age is big data. Still without a universally adopted definition, big data can be broadly described based on the 3Vs; Volume, Velocity and Variety. There are large amounts of data that are generated on various digital platforms at a very rapid rate of different forms (structured, semi-structured and unstructured).  IBM (2016) estimates that 40 zettabytes (equivalent to 43 trillion gigabytes) of data will be generated by the year 2020 globally.  Big data marketing applications include market and customer insight and predictive analytics. Using big data, companies can better understand the consumer and tailor-make their marketing messages and increase sales.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows. The purpose of marketing automation is to increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. It helps marketers to streamline their lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, and marketing Return On Investment (ROI) measurement.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile penetration is on the rise in South Africa and mobile phones remain the primary device for many South Africans to connect to the internet. In actual fact, there are more mobile subscriptions in South Africa than its entire population. Marketers cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities that mobile presents. Brands need to have sites that are mobile friendly to take advantage of the benefits that mobile is offering.

Social Media and Influencer Marketing

If there is one marketing trend that has stood the test of time it has to social media marketing. The growth in mobile penetration increases usage of social media. Social media marketing trends are often controlled by the efforts of the social networks to monetise their platforms. In order for brands to be able to get the most out of social media brands  now need to ‘pay to play’. . . Aligned with social media marketing is influencer marketing, through which companies use influencers to drive their marketing messages. Influencers are people who usually have a large number of followers on various social media platforms.

With the above mentioned marketing and branding trends, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for marketers. Of course not all marketers are familiar with all the trends; however, there is an opportunity to learn. As stated in the introduction, the brands that jump on the wave of trends the soonest will enjoy the long-term rewards. Please share your views on the trends by leaving a comment below. Again, if you like this post, SHARE IT.

Also do remember to get in touch with @PatOnBrands on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat.

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Thokozani Patrick Mahlangu

Thokozani Mahlangu is an internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg. He is the Chief Brand Creator of Pat onBrands and Pat onFitness- a fitness movement through which organizes weekly runs under the banner #RunWithPat.

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