Demand for Performance to grow as technological innovations and marketing strategy advances in 2017.

2016 was a big year for marketers around the globe, filled with major shifts across the digital media landscape. AR quickly entered the mainstream with the swift rise (and fall) of Pokémon Go, perhaps one of last year’s biggest pop-culture phenomenons. Everything online was about or delivered in the form of video, and changes in direct-on-social-selling has altered the buyer journey.

With all the changes that occurred, what can we expect as we move swiftly into the new year?

Here are our team’s predictions on the biggest marketing trends of 2017.

1. Influencer Marketing budgets will double

Influencer marketing, continues to be an effective way for advertisers to reach niche audiences.

In 2017, investments by brands into influencer marketing may grow by 48%. As a strong strategy to get in front of audiences through trusted recommendations while simultaneously getting around the problem ad blocking, influencer kills two bird with one stone. You can bet that this is one channel that won’t be slowing down any time soon.

2. More emphasis on Interactive Content Marketing


Move over read-only content, interactive content is about to shake things up.

Marketers know all too well that attention spans are getting shorter, and interactive content may be the answer to cut through the noise to get audiences to engage with branded content at a deeper level.

From quizzes, polls, surveys, and contests to infographics and before-and-after reveals, interactive content seems to be growing in popularity. Many content experts believe it may in fact be a better way to educate readers while simultaneously allowing marketers to collect data.

3. Demand for Performance will Grow alongside demand for brand safety

performance conceptual meter

More brands, agencies, and advertisers will shift their budgets towards Performance in 2017 to better align budgets with ROI.

Companies will look to work more closely with performance partners that have the technology and experience needed to better manage, track and optimize their campaigns rather than trying to build a performance unit in-house which requires a steep learning and development curve for immediate success. Vendors who can guarantee performance, scale, and brand safety will also grow in demand.

4. Social Media continues to be a strong channel for brands, content and SEO strategy

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

Facebook isn’t going away. Influencer marketing will be heavy on Instagram. And with over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day, every marketer’s Snapchat game better get on point.

But there will be shifts. Capturing moments and experiences will be a valuable and trendy tactic for brands to reach social media savvy audiences. It’s no longer enough to post about what it was like to be at an event, wear a new shirt, or taste a new recipe – now marketers need to show audiences what it feels like. Real-time posting will be ever more in demand to make experiences immersive and genuine.

5. Virtual/Augmented Reality will further be explored

Virtual and augmented reality is here! Snapchat and Pokémon Go have done wonders to expand the horizon for augmented reality. The question for brands now is how to best utilize the technology.

While some businesses may still be on the fence about AR, e-commerce retailers without brick and mortar stores may find the technology advantageous. As the technology and its accessibility continues to advance, we can be sure to find more marketers jumping onto the AR/VR bandwagon.

6. Video + Live Streaming

Video will continue to dominate in 2017 and we will see the use of live streaming grow.

It’s important to note, however, that video will be driven by mobile which means marketers will need to maintain a mobile first strategy. With over 90% of Facebook feeds filled with video, and mobile video stats ballooning since 2015, we can expect the shift towards video to continue.

Though it’s a time consuming medium, the demand for video among audiences is only growing and marketers need to embrace the change.

7. Native Advertising will grow but face scrutiny


It’s been a somewhat problematic year for native advertising given the discussions around the problem of ‘fake news’ online. We know that native advertising is designed to promote branded content in an organic, uninterrupted way, but 2016 brought to popular attention the need for marketers to run creative native content responsibly.

Disclosure – that is, clear identification of paid native ads around editorial content – will remain the biggest concern for native advertisers this year. The IAB predicts that in-feed native will continue to make up the bulk of native ad revenue, and brands will continue to shift their ad dollars towards native.

8. Mobile First – Always


In the past several years, it has been drilled into our heads that marketers need to be on mobile because that’s where consumers are.

We’ve all wisely shifted to mobile. Indeed, according to, approximately 59.5% of Google’s net global ad revenue will come from mobile ads this year (up from 45.8% in 2015).

While the shift to mobile has resulted in the growing monetization of apps, as well as increased demand for video, the problem remains: bots follow the money trail. predicts that ad fraud bots will behave even more like humans in 2017, making it ever more difficult to detect.

Advertisers will need to be vigilant and persistently press vendors for transparency on how their budgets are being spent, which is why many Canadian advertisers are beginning to shift their attention to private marketplaces.

9. Everything will be personalized


To reach the right audience at the right time, we as marketers need to send the right message and that requires personalization.

In 2017, personalization will continue to be top-of-mind as audiences become more acutely aware and critical of what and how marketers communicate with them. Marketers will need to keep audience lists healthy and well segmented according to behaviour, preferences, habits, geo-location and more to continue winning positive audience attention and engagement.

10. Customer Experience will come first


Understanding the importance of the customer experience is at the core of any strong marketing strategy. Businesses that embrace a customer-centric approach will find more success in the year ahead.

But how do you make the shift? Consider the following:

  • Turn customer service into an essential business mantra, across departments
  • Listen to your customer’s feedback and make changes that answer their needs
  • Re-imagine social media as an extension of customer support

Now you know the biggest marketing trends to watch out for in 2017. So get out there, and start making awesome happen all year long.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at