As with all things, marketing evolves each year. New technologies, trends, products, and mindsets change the way that businesses connect with customers. And this year is no different for B2C marketing trends.
In 2017, we expect to see new planning and concepts that will help businesses build stronger, longer, and deeper relationships with customers both new and old.
Here are a few ways, we think it will happen.
1. Better Analytics and Data to Measure Your Content Marketing Results
“Content marketing” has been a buzzword in marketing trends for the past few years, and that won’t change. But what will change is the way we talk about content marketing.
The strategy of using content to attract attention and collect leads will be a major marketing tactic. But this year, marketers will get more strategic about how they use content in their marketing efforts. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, less than half of marketers using content marketing feel they have clarity on content marketing success. Getting a “better understanding of what content is effective and what isn’t” is a top priority of 58% of respondents.
This year, marketers aren’t going to create content just for the sake of content. They are going to create content with planned goals, measurable results and metrics, and documented KPIs so they can better analyze what is working and what is not.
More Marketing Campaigns Will Get Automated
As marketers get better at creating goal-oriented content, they will also improve the way that they deliver that content.
Client retention management systems (CRMs), like Marketo and Infusionsoft, that create multiple, complex automated marketing series will grow in popularity. More and more businesses will use preplanned, automated campaigns that trigger content delivery and outreach based on user actions. This is already popular among larger corporations, but 2017 will find more small businesses jumping on the trend.
Mobile Content Will Move to Center Stage
As marketers evolve the way they measure and send content, they will also evolve the how they create it.
While many marketers are still creating content for desktops first and mobile second, that will change this year. Mobile will become the leading driving force of campaigns. More mobile-only content will be created for custom apps and small screen visibility, and it will become integrated with customer touch points both online and off.
Location-Based Marketing Will Push It’s Way Forward
As marketers look toward mobile, they will also begin to utilize more of the device’s ability to target users based on their location. More businesses will start to use push notifications to contact customers that are near their store.
Sending coupons and specials deals to customers who are within a certain mile radius of a store’s physical location will help brick-and-mortar businesses use digital to connect in real life.
Wearable Technology Will Change Things
Mobile content moves with the audience, but not as much as wearable technology. “Smart” devices, like the Apple Watch which was released this year, will bring new marketing possibilities driven by the combination of digital and in-person connection.
The CCS Insight’s Wearables Forecast, Worldwide, 2015-2019 predicts that over 245 million wearable tech devices will ship between 2015-2019. Expect marketers to try and capitalize on this new physical yet digital connection to their customers.
iBeacons Will Build Digital Connections in Stores
As digital moves farther away from desktops and closer to a customer’s real life, there will be changes in stores too. More businesses will use begin to use iBeacon technology to direct and measure a customer’s in-store experience.
An iBeacon is Apple’s technology “which allows Mobile Apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world and react accordingly.” With the use of iBeacons, mobiles devices can trigger messages to users and businesses owners based on what is happening around them.
Target is already testing beacons to collect data from shoppers and to send coupons and deals to customers in their stores. If they are successful, more brick-and-mortar business will follow suit in 2017.
Things Will Get Personal
Creating and sending content based on an individual’s personal preferences, demographics, and location will also evolve and expand in 2017. Many of the other trends in this list prove that.
Automated marketing will display content based on a user’s action. Location-based and wearable technology will deliver content based on a user’s physical surroundings. And iBeacons will collect and send information based on user’s unique experience and needs.
With so much content and demand for attention in the world, marketers will learn how to cut through the noise by delivering more personalized, relevant content to their audiences.
In-Store Digital Content Will Increase
In 2017, expect to see more brick-and-mortar B2C businesses capitalize on the benefits of sharing compelling and useful content in their stores. Through the use of digital signage, businesses will make their in-store experience more interesting, useful, and personalized.
More stores and shops will use interactive and digital screens to deliver personalized content based on user’s actions, provide assistance, share product demos, explain services, and more.
More Customers Will Get Rewarded for Their Loyalty
Some of the trends above require information about the customer to be effective -- such as needing an email address or access to an individual’s mobile device, app, or wearable technology.
To collect this information and get this permission, more companies will set up strong loyalty rewards programs to give customers an incentive to share these details.
Expect to see programs that work with wearable and mobile devices and reward users for visiting their store, spending a longer amounts of time in stores, and interacting with in-store elements. Also, plan to see more rewards that gamify and reward customers for taking actions like writing reviews, sharing content, and referring friends.
Which B2C trends do you think you can use to improve and increase your business this year? Will you upgrade your digital presence? Focus on improving the in-store experience? Or both?
Is Your Business On Top of These Emerging Trends?
If improving the way customers feel and act in your store is on your list of goals for 2017, we can help. Right now, Spectrio is offering a free, no-obligation consultation perfect for anyone who wants to bring more digital media marketing into their store but doesn’t know where to start.