Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

Marketing is an ever-changing industry. As trends and technologies change, we must adapt with it. With 2017 upon us, now is the perfect time to look ahead at the trends digital marketers can expect next year.

This was one of the main focuses of the Campaigns and Marketing Summit held at the National Press Club on December 1. Knucklepuck’s Director of SEO Allie Brown was one of 46 speakers and panelists to address digital marketing advancements in 2016 and what marketers can expect in 2017.

From Knucklepuck’s perspective, three main trends emerged: happiness marketing, merged reality and, ol’ faithful, search engine optimization.

Happiness Marketing

Let’s face it — 2016 wasn’t the greatest year for many of us. Between a chaotic presidential election, Olympic-size scandals and too many celebrity deaths to count, we’re ready for 2017 to bring the happy.

Will Smith dancing on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Here’s hoping 2017 will bring us this much happiness.

Happiness marketing taps into our deepest desires — this strategy guarantees your product or service will make customers happier. Marketing powerhouses like Disney and Coca-Cola have been championing the strategy for years with campaigns like “The Happiest Place on Earth” and “Open Happiness.”

The challenge with happiness marketing is meshing it with your brand or service — “Happy Meal” works great for McDonald’s, but “Happy Taxes” for an accounting firm? Not so much.

D.C.-based floral delivery startup UrbanStems has wisely chosen to play into the happiness marketing trend, using campaigns like #sendhappiness, “Happiness, delivered on demand” and “You can’t buy happiness, but you can send flowers.” While the UrbanStems brand is already a perfect fit for happiness marketing, Head of Marketing Lauren Bates also grounds the strategy in data to ensure its success.

There’s scientific proof that money doesn’t buy happiness. Studies show happiness levels do increase as salaries rise, but after $75,000, happiness mostly stays the same. Instead, research suggests there are five elements that make a person happy. Bates said UrbanStems uses all five points to shape the company’s service and marketing strategies:

  • Giving To Others
  • Making Decisions
  • Being In Control
  • Expressing Gratitude
  • Feeling Connected

While not every business may want to leverage happiness marketing, Bates said any company can take a page from the happiness marketing playbook by regularly asking, “How can I make my clients happier?”

Merged Reality

With the recent launch of more affordable virtual reality mediums like PlayStation VR and VR cell phone goggles, it’s clear virtual reality technologies will be making their way into American households in 2017. Merged reality, however, is one step beyond virtual reality, bridging the gap between people and the real and digital worlds.

iStrategyLabs is one local company trailblazing the merged reality marketing strategy, using its hardware shop to build physical elements corresponding to digital marketing and branding. DJ Saul, Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director of ISL, used his presentation time to shed light on other brands leading this 2017 digital marketing trend. The Budweiser Red Light, Netflix Switch, Amazon Dash button and IFTTT are just a few examples.

While virtual reality is impressive, merged reality will prove immersive. It will go beyond connecting a user to software and instead, connect a user with hardware that is connected to software. The result is merged reality — press a button and Amazon will deliver much-needed paper towels to your doorstep in two days, or enable a recipe on IFTTT and Mr. Coffee will get brewin’ 10 minutes before your alarm rings.

Each of these companies invested in not just a new technology, but a new marketing tool that better connects its customers with a product or service they love. The end result? Customers buying and investors investing.

One step beyond VR and MR, Saul said, is shared merged reality. As the technologies of Minority Report and other futuristic movies come closer, Saul predicts companies like Magic Leap will lead the way in 2017.

Search Engine Optimization

As long as users turn to Google to find businesses and brands, search engine optimization will continue to be at the forefront of all digital marketing trends. Knucklepuck’s Director of SEO Allie Brown joined Brian Patterson of Go Fish Digital and Steve Wanczyk of RepEquity on a panel to discuss upcoming SEO trends in 2017.

Knucklepuck live-tweeted the panel. Hot topics of the discussion included mobile, social media and SEO tools.



SEO Tools

Mastering Marketing in 2017

Ready to market in 2017? Good, we hope so. But if this new information has left you feeling more “spirit=crushed” than “mind=blown,” perhaps we should talk. Our expert team of digital marketers live for the latest trends and thrive on using the latest technology. We know what it takes to make your brand reach customers, and we know how to get you there.

If you’d like to get some of our insight on a full digital marketing campaign, or you’d just like to speak with Allie Brown about more of her predictions for SEO in 2017, get in touch with us.

Taylor Griffith's normal bitmoji

Taylor Griffith

Taylor joined Knucklepuck in February 2016, bringing years of writing experience and a tenacious creativity. Like other great journalists, Taylor doesn’t stop exploring until she finds what she needs. In fact, she earned a first place prize for Enterprise Reporting from the South Carolina Press Association.

Learn More