11 digital marketing trends for 2017

May 24 2017
Executive Education INCAE

Cognitive computing, big data and machine learning technologies, among others, along with influencers, are changing digital marketing and generate at least 11 trends that are expected to deepen in 2017.

1. Cognitive computing deepens the relationship with customers.

This technology will allow greater access to customer information already available in companies, often isolated and without sharing. Cognitive computing makes it easy to use that data for analysis, including videos, voice recordings, and images. Also, based on available historical information, you can get recommendations on what might happen and make adjustments.

2. From presence to generating interest in mobiles.

Companies must have a mobile strategy because customers are constantly using their devices, apart from the fact that the user begins to search for their purchases from their smartphone. Even search engines penalize firms that do not have a presence on mobile phones. The strategy here is to generate customer interest in the company's products and services.

3. Influencer marketing, key for brands.

Customers don't believe in brands as much and they turn more to influencers, opinion leaders whose comments are important to the people who follow them. Today the strategy is oriented to the positioning of the brand or branding, this is what the influencer can and should talk about: it transmits the values, attributes and benefits of the brand, not those of the product. Your message cannot and should not be "stiff", where companies control the message; he must be the one who defines the way of communicating, thus obtaining more credibility.

4. Marketing and digital advertising turn to improve the customer experience.

Automatic advertising technology allows the development of campaigns and their integration with the aim of integrating information and customer experience. This integration is aimed at avoiding the fatigue of consumers, of customers, which occurs when messages are duplicated. It seems irrelevant to them that the ads appear when they have already bought the products.

5. Customer success is key to your retention strategy.

There is always talk of the higher cost of attracting a customer versus retaining current buyers. Most customers who leave may be because they don't know how to use and get more out of the product they bought. To retain them, you have to know the customer, why they arrived, why they bought and you can continue to "feed" them with information about the products and services purchased, how they can get more out of it.

6. Machine learning will focus on creativity.

The message must be attractive and generate customer interest. This requires using the data to discover patterns and produce effective product promotion actions. The work of establishing these patterns and finding trends can be done by machines, relying on cognitive computing. Creativity, to appeal to the emotions of customers, combines information on patterns and trends in customer behavior with the strategic decision of what to do.

7. Interactive mail creates new sales opportunities.

Email was destined for extinction, due to the rise of social media. But they tend to alter algorithms to force companies to spend more on advertising, while avoiding ad saturation. That is why it revives e-mail, at a much lower cost and with greater effectiveness. Interactive emails are also growing. For example, that from there you can go to the website to make the purchase or activate the purchase of the product or service from the same email.

8. Big data will evolve into dynamic data.

Big data is more dynamic today, where you can see how to get value out of it. This can be obtained with cognitive computing, which allows obtaining information to automate operations and valuable conclusions in the definition and implementation of sales strategies and actions. The data must be valuable, true, valuable, fast and voluminous, they must bring benefits to the business and the way they do it is to define where they want to go and how (have a strategy).

9. Apps change mobile interactions.

Applications abound and the usage trend is declining. What is happening is an increase in zombie apps, which are applications available in stores that no one downloads or uses anymore and that their own creators have stopped updating. Apps no longer want to present themselves as an icon, due to abundance and less use. Now we move to an economy of API (Application Program Interface), so that the apps and different systems communicate, so that the client, by using the most popular apps, can find the business and make the purchase or order, without need to exit the app.

10. Have a vision of how the customer interacts with the brand.

It is about having a holistic vision of the customer's journey, which implies knowing how the customer approaches the company, how many actions they take to buy and how to make that journey shorter and more effective. With this you can discover the shortcomings and potholes in the customer's path to purchase. If these problems are solved, you can have a higher rate of customer retention, interactions and sales.

11. Virtual assistants increase your presence.

Voice or virtual assistants are being used more. Some companies are taking advantage of it to disseminate information and promotions of products and services. However, users - who have learned to use the wizards for various tasks - have reacted heterogeneously and some have even rejected these attempts at commercialization. To avoid a negative reaction, companies must identify what customers want to do through virtual assistants: tailored advertisements, when the customer has more attitude to accept them, that they do not see it as an advertisement, etc.


Excerpt from the article published by the Costa Rican weekly The financial

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