Digital Marketing Predictions for 2017
As we start to wonder where 2016 has gone (along with last year’s predictions on ‘Big Data’, native advertising and programmatic marketing), it’s time for a run-through of what to prepare your business for in 2017 – from must-haves to activities that will put you one step ahead of the competition. Check out our infographic of marketing predictions, and see below for some more in-depth explanations.
Get ready for Chatbots
Especially with the rise of voice search and home assistant technology, automated chatbots will become a familiar sight on websites. Using scripts and artificial intelligence, chatbots interact with website visitors as if they are talking on live chat with a customer service or sales rep.
They’ll be a boost to your customer service and sales activity, will aid customer experience and help reduce the human resources required in support centres.
Voice Search is here
Search engines and mobile device manufacturers are gearing towards voice search in a big way, again with home assistant technology in mind. An impact you should already be considering is how your website SEO reflects likely voice searches. People search very differently when speaking compared to typing, for example asking more questions.
Now and in 2017, it will be increasingly important to be aware of voice search activity and to optimise your website and content accordingly.
CRO becomes a staple
As online advertising continues to become more competitive and requires more resources and investment, CRO is becoming an absolute must for businesses. Every ambitious business wants to get higher returns from their marketing and their websites, and to deliver a better experience for their customers and prospects. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) achieves this using mouse tracking, website heat maps, behaviour analysis and split testing to gain continual improvements.
Just a 0.1% improvement in your website conversion rate could make a huge difference to your business. The most proactive, forward-thinking businesses will use this to get better and better, creating a clear distinction from laggard competitors.
Marketing Automation and CRM become accessible to all
Another practice that will become a must-have is the use of Marketing Automation and Customer Relations Management systems. Already commonplace in large companies (particularly retail), the systems allow you to understand and target your audience in more depth, and to tailor communications to their specific behaviours and preferences. For example, nurture cold leads through to being qualified warm leads with personalised messaging, and drive repeat business through customised offers and promotions.
These platforms, such as SharpSpring, are making this level of email marketing and customer retention activity much more accessible. For fast-movers, it will see the end of blanket emails to poorly defined database segments!
The Rise of Web Personalisation
Websites are already incorporating personalised elements into their user experience, such as providing personalised recommendations and remembering your details and preferences. 2017 will start to see this go to a new level, for example with news and informational websites showing you different content depending on what you previously read, and ecommerce shops showing you products that match the sizes and styles you’ve bought before.
The Death of Non-Responsive Sites (Finally!)
Few businesses still have websites that aren’t fully responsive and mobile-friendly. Those who do are not only giving their customers an unsatisfactory experience, but they also face the wrath of Google. Google have been increasingly factoring in website user experience and mobile performance into the search engine rankings and they are going to be taking this up a notch. With more Google search on mobile devices than desktop devices, it will be your website’s performance on mobile that Google focuses on.
Businesses with poor mobile performance are expected to fall in Google rankings and face am organic traffic drop in 2017. Make sure your website has brilliant usability on mobile devices in the new year. Please do note that we warned you 🙂
We’re ready and looking forward to 2017 and all the exciting advances it brings with it. Make sure you’re keeping up to date and not seeing your competitors storm off into the distance. Get in touch to talk more about your business and marketing in 2017.