RAVE TOP 10 TRENDS FOR 2017 - We are Rave


2nd February 2017


T1. Digital Chat-back

2017 will be the year when digital will start ‘chatting back’. It will be when marketing gets so personal that it seems to know what we’re thinking. From chatbots to virtual assistants, conversations with robots will increasingly become a part of our everyday interactions with brands.

The best will have brand personality designed into them, but as machine learning progresses, robots will become increasingly fluent at speaking ‘human’. If you’ve ever taken a Facebook personality survey, don’t be surprised if you’re soon served up digital advertising that seems to read your mind with uncanny psychological accuracy.

Data services business Cambridge Analytica helped the Trump campaign target individuals with adverts designed to match not just their political views, but their personality type. For example, if you’re a gun-owning nostalgic type, you would have been served an ad showing a father & son hunting.

If this approach helped Trump win the White House, expect a lot more brands to start taking a more personal approach to communications.

T2. Live streaming

Two things have always been true of digital. First, the internet is a tool for talking about what’s happening in the world right now. Second, the interest in what’s happening has generally reduced as people are given more ways to talk about it.

Big and small players can now easily get involved in web TV. Recent product innovations from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and so on have focused on reducing that gap to as close to zero as possible, such as Periscope and Facebook Live.

Broadcasters have known this for a while, but in a world in which we’re all drowning in content, being ‘live’ has a lot of currency. When a viewer has a million options around what to watch, knowing that the moment will be gone if you don’t watch something immediately helps to make the decision for you.

With the exception of Red Bull, no brands have fully capitalised on this yet. But the infrastructure is now fully in place to give them reach and engagement. With users becoming more used to the concept, it makes the opportunity worth a brand’s while.

In 2017, someone will create something big, unmissable, and real-time. The rest will follow.

T3. Web TV

Many people now have the ability to put video from the web on to the biggest screen in the home, thanks to devices such as Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.

Big and small players can now easily get involved. Gaming company Toca Boca became a global kids’ TV channel overnight when it introduced video to its app. Twitter and Facebook have both made apps that allow users to put videos from their feeds on to the TV, including Twitter’s live NFL games.

This new technology also brings a return path; Mr Porter has shoppable videos on Apple TV, and Facebook is experimenting in the US with putting ads, using its own targeting, on platforms such as Roku. It seems likely that 2017 will see this arrive in the UK.

T4. Recognise the power of promotions

Many brand managers are turning to promotional marketing to help drive aggressive power-plays in their sector, bringing new customers on board quickly & driving loyalty within existing customer groups.

Going forward, every pound of marketing spend is likely to come under even more scrutiny than ever before. Therefore, delivering a sales spike will not only become paramount for the business, but crucial to defending your marketing budgets. Longer term brand building may move to the back burner in favour of more aggressive, competitive strategies that leverage sales promotion mechanics & messages.

Driving trial, retention, loyalty and providing an additional reason to purchase without eroding brand value through price discounting can be done using a number of promotional strategies.

Here are our 3 rules to pack your promotion with punch:

  1. Get the promotion mechanic right, or else
  2. Get the reward right, or don’t bother
  3. Make it SHOUT, not sing

Read more about choosing the right promotion mechanic for your campaign here.

T5. Content that’s even more personal & relevant

One of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017 will be the rise in brands trying to create content that connects with audiences in more personal, relevant ways.

It’s essential that marketers think about mobile first and foremost, including the consumer mindset. This won’t come from a new piece of technology, but through brands and marketers simply using data better. Spotify’s recent campaign used its own data and combined it with user listening habits and real world events to create adverts featuring hyper-localised facts specific to different countries and cities. For example, a UK poster read: “Dear 3,749 people who streamed It’s The End Of The World As We Know It the day of the Brexit Vote, Hang in there.”

The brand showed the true power that comes from blending data and culturally-relevant content to showcase products in a meaningful way. There’s potential for other brands to follow suit. From retailers to more traditional brands, take the data that you collect from your customers, and use it in your campaigns to create more personal, meaningful connections with them.

T6. Mobile-first

Video on mobile is one of the biggest trends we’ve seen this year, & we expect it to grow in 2017. It’s essential that marketers think about mobile first and foremost – including the consumer mindset, how the format works & what the messaging should be.

Being on mobile means that brands can be targeted in their approach. It used to be the case that you had to run brand awareness & direct response ads on different channels. Now, in the digital era, it’s possible to run brand & performance campaigns on the same channels & measure impact.

Regardless of evolving digital technology, how brands engage with audiences comes down to the same core marketing principles: define your objectives, be consistent & relevant in your messaging, & measure impact against your business goals.”

T7. Next generation

2017 is the year when marketers might need to start shifting their focus from the millennial demographic to Generation Z. Describing people born between 1997 and 2011, it’s a global constituency estimated to count 2 billion members. These are the consumers who know nothing of the pre-digital, pre-multichannel world. The customer journeys they navigate are non-linear & truly always-on. They are also characterised as having a self-starting attitude to their own lives & by being wary of the promises made by brands. Their challenge to marketers will be to prove an organisation’s authenticity and to offer a seamless brand experience.

T8. AMPlification

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project was launched in 2016 and is predicted to influence marketers’ content strategies even further this year. The project allows publishers to build pages that load quickly on mobile and figure highly in search results. It’s a further demand from the search giant for brands to offer responsive design for mobile, and those that can commit will reap the rewards of increased visibility. For everyone else there is likely to be a second-wave scramble to play catch-up. Whatever your budget, the battle for search is now firmly being waged on mobile. If your organisation only has an online marketing strategy rather than a mobile one, it might be time for a rethink.

T9. Influencer marketing

For a few years now, marketers have sought to extend reach and engagement through courting online influencers who can act as brand ambassadors. The strategies for so-called influencer marketing have often been rudimentary, however, & in the coming year they’re set to become more nuanced. Celebrities, vloggers and the like have been shown to offer an initial spike of engagement – given the right product to shout about – but some recent campaigns seem to suggest that it’s the ‘second-tier’ influencers that deliver medium- and longer-term impact. L’Oreal has recently tiered its influencer strategy – it has gold, silver and bronze categories that reflect the size and reach of their influencers. It’s an approach that marketers building social media campaigns might follow.


This isn’t the time for a ‘slow build’, ‘staged launch’ or ‘long term brand campaign’ – this is the time to let your consumers know you’re there and reinforce your offering. Get in their face and make sure your brand goes in the shopping basket.

Marketing with a harder edge that drives behaviour will win.

Had a read. Had a think. Then get in touch today.

At RAVE, we can take you through an analysis and planning process to help you identify what areas of your marketing strategy need some support this year. We also know a thing or two about promotions and digital.

Call John on 01675 467 462/ 07748 114444 or email jwilford@rave-communications.com

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