2017: The Year of the Rooster Influencer.

As I reflect on a year that brought us Pokémon GO, the NES Classic, a World Series win for the Cubs and another year for Betty White, I can’t help but wonder what 2017 will bring. The holidays are over and a new year is upon us — and with it comes resolutions. According to a study conducted by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 41 per cent of Americans have made resolutions pertaining to everything from weight loss and life improvements to better financial decisions (the top three from the study). But what resolutions has your company made for 2017? If you are wondering which marketing trends should — and which ones should not — influence your marketing spend, here are three emerging marketing trends to keep an eye on this year.

1. Influencer Marketing

In recent posts, I discussed the power of influencers during the holidays and according to a survey conducted by Variety, 8 out of 10 teen consumers surveyed named these ‘social stars’ over celebrities as being most influential.

Chelsea Krost (@chelseakrost) is one of those influencers and is recognised as the go-to person for millennial insights. She had this to say about influencer marketing and its appeal in an interview I conducted with her in 2017:

As the world has shifted to social media, millennial consumers look to their peers or fellow influencers to inform their purchasing decisions. Younger generations today cherish user-generated content (UGC) — content created by consumers to learn more about products, experiences and brands. UGC videos on YouTube get 10x more views than content created and uploaded by the actual brand itself. I believe that social media has really become effective “digital word of mouth.” Millennials crave authentic brand messaging and believe that their peers are more likely to share an honest review of a product. Consumers today want a brand to talk with them rather than at them. They expect brands to engage and entertain them rather than sell them. This is why it is so important for a brand to tap like-minded influencers to curate UGC that speaks to the influencer’s social audience — all while amplifying the brand’s key messaging. I see influencer marketing as a win-win for both brand and consumer! (Chelsea Krost, interview by Joe Martin)

According to SocialPRChat, 74 per cent of marketers planned to use influencer marketing last year — and that will likely increase in 2017, because marketers are seeing a $6.85 ROI for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.

2. Psychographics Over Demographics

Sometimes generational targeting is most appropriate, but let’s investigate the value in psychographic targeting. I mentioned in a previous post that, according to eMarketer, only 18 per cent of Americans are without a smartphone. When you pair that with the fact that 68 per cent of Americans are on Facebook — the largest social network — one might conclude that marketing to the technology rather than the generation is more appropriate.

Marsha Collier (@marshacollier), a Forbes top-ten futurist, had this to say in a recent interview with me:

Psychographics of your customer are, specifically, their behaviours and interests. What is it that they do? What do they like? If you only market to the interests that come up on stock demographics, you won’t reach people one bit. Just because someone is 18 doesn’t mean they are tech savvy. Breaking down their behaviour, the psychographics of your customer can be much more effective than demographics. Reaching them on an interest level can broaden how and where you connect with your customer. The psychographic data now available to companies — and the ability to target ads based on attitude, need, preference and tech affinity — make it much more of an option to marketers than ever before. (Marsha Collier, interview by Joe Martin)

3. SoMoVid (Social, Mobile, Video)

All three have been exploding on their own for a while, but in the last two years, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram Video, YouTube Connect and other SoMoVid-combined mediums have led to more than 8 billion video views for Facebook video alone.

The king of social and video, Brian Fanzo (@isocialfanz), had this to say about SoMoVid:

We are living in a mobile-on-demand world today, where the mobile device has become the primary place for content consumption; but now, it’s becoming the primary place for content creation. I believe the rapid growth of SoMoVid has resulted in the elimination or shrinking of barriers between brands/businesses and their consumer communities. To truly leverage all the power of SoMoVid, you must embrace the fact that perfection is a fairytale and control an illusion, allowing the consumer community to get to know the people and vulnerabilities that make the brand great. The future of content creation empowered by technology like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is extremely exciting, but I believe every brand must first embrace SoMoVid as the mindset and experience required to be successful, as it will become the stepping stone to the creation of content in new realities. (Brian Fanzo, interview by Joe Martin)

The inclusion of VR and AR will also be something to keep an eye on with SoMoVid. As we saw with the Pokémon GO explosion last year, there is an appetite for new technology that integrates within our smartphones.

Looking Ahead

2017 will be a year full of change. In marketing, keep an eye on how the rise of influencers, psychographic targeting and SoMoVid will — and should — change your business. AND, one more final prediction: I bet it will be 10x easier to find an influencer to do a sponsored periscope piece than it will be to keep your weight-loss resolution. I, for one, am still holding out hope for both an Atari and a Golden Girls spinoff.