2017 Is the Year of Consumers: Meaningful Engagement Means a Strong ROI
February 7, 2017
By Kerry McCabe
The marketing industry is an interesting one. As tools and technology become more evolved, we're finding ways to connect with consumers in more meaningful and effective ways.
Over the past year, the advertising industry has changed. As consumers take control of what they want from marketers, we're finding more — and better — methods to engage them in ways that result in long-term relationships.
We expect the marketing landscape will change from what it's been in the past. What will 2017 see in successful marketing to consumers?
- Marketers Will Better Understand (and Leverage) Consumer Behavior in Apps
This year, marketers will have greater insight into in-app consumer behavior. Not only will deep linking provide better conversion within apps, but we'll see more insights and analytics available to marketers.
Marketers can then leverage this knowledge to target consumers in apps at the right time in their consumer journey — to increase conversions, sales and overall business outcomes.
- Forget Measuring Clicks. Marketers Will Demand Real Business Outcomes
For years, we've danced around campaign metrics, like clicks, likes and engagement. But these intangible measurements are useless to marketers.
2017 will be the year more brands switch campaign metrics to better understand how their efforts are driving sales and impacting their business. Analytics will be the key driver to this. Every engagement point will be tied directly to a dollar amount.
- Marketers Will Better Understand All Consumer Signals
Up until now, marketers have been blind to various signals that help understand where a consumer is on their purchasing journey. Without this critical data, it is challenging to know what customers are of the highest value. And when and where to target them — the moment they are most likely to convert.
Consumers are constantly moving back and forth between the active evaluation and initial consideration stages before making a decision. Marketers are unknowingly optimizing toward misleading metrics that are not always aligned with company KPIs. The result is high wastage: targeting consumers either uninterested or existing customers who are unprofitable.
In 2017, marketers will focus on understanding the entire consumer journey across all channels.
- Publishers Will Get Tough on Ad Blockers
In 2016, we saw the advertising industry continually challenged by ad blockers, leading to discussions and debates around how best to evolve advertising practices to fight them.
In 2017, publishers will be less focused on making their ad experiences better for consumers, and instead begin to adopt emerging technology for preventing ad blockers, forcing consumers to remove their ad blockers in order to see content.
Some publishers already start to implement technologies to combat ad blockers, and next year, we expect to see even better solutions, resulting in a decrease in consumers activating ad blockers in the first place.
- Cross-Device Marketing is the New Norm
Mobile is no longer a nice-to-have strategy. It's everything.
No longer does marketing to consumers happen just when they sit down at their desktops. Over the past months, we've seen an evolution in how and when marketers reach out to customers. Now, we're connecting to them 24/7 through their most trusted tool: the smartphone.
In 2017, marketers will need to develop cross-device marketing solutions if they hope to keep up. Brands will invest significantly more in campaigns that reach consumers on the go on different devices. They will see better business outcomes from their investments as a result.
Marketers that ignore reality — time spent on mobile devices has doubled, as well as the implications of that fact on marketing, will lag behind in connecting to the tech-savvy consumer.
Whatever happens in 2017 for the marketing world, one thing is apparent: Consumer-powered marketing will be at the center of everything. Grasp this, then go forth into the world with your own marketing strategy and succeed at engaging consumers in a meaningful way.
"2017 Is the Year of Consumers: Meaningful Engagement Means a Strong ROI." MediaPost, 2/7/17.
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