Marketing Trends for 2017

Here are five marketing trends to watch for in 2017 (drawn from our MARKETING INSIGHTS slide deck):

Digital Afterlife


Perhaps the biggest technological delight of 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was the digital resurrection of Moff Tarkin, the villain played by the late Peter Cushing (2013-1994). It was the clearest example yet of today’s CGI capabilities, when long-deceased humans can be brought back to life on the big screen.


We hesitate to mention the most obvious (and terrifying): that brands will be able to use famous-but-dead spokespeople to hustle on behalf of their brand. That didn’t work out so well for Fred Astaire, whose image was controversially licensed by his widow (ten years after his death) for Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner TV spots, featuring the star dancing with a cordless Broom Vac.

More usefully, however, as the technology improves and matures, there’s potential for commercial-makers and production houses to “fix” in post-production problems such as performances that were not quite right on the day.



What gives Snapchat its appeal? The fact that the content disappears. Snapchat’s rampant rise in popularity did a lot more for the world of social media than just give users another platform to choose from. It showed the value of disappearing or short-lived content. This is a key attraction for Generation Z, the cohort famous for having an eight-second attention span, and that is why you should be integrating short-lived content into your content strategy. (Forbes)


Short has never been so important.  According to Facebook, people spend an average of just 1.7 seconds with a piece of content on mobile. Every second matters.

In fact, it takes only 0.25 seconds of exposure for people to recall content they saw on their mobile feed. These initial seconds can make a profound impact.

If people watch the first three seconds of a Facebook video, 65% watch the next seven seconds, and 45% make it to the 30-second mark. It’s a rude awakening for those of us used to producing 30 second spots to get our message out.



According to DMNews, 53 percent of consumers feel that it’s important for retailers to recognize them as the same person across all channels and devices used to shop, and 78 percent are also willing to allow retailers to use information from their in-store purchases to provide a more personalized experience. (AdWeek Social Times).


Here are seven implications suggested by Mark Schaefer:

1. The best data miners win
Customers are going to leave a data trail on every level. The companies that can mine this stream will create powerful competitive advantage. That’s why, increasingly, marketing = math. Analytics is the key to the kingdom. For many retailers, data analysis may present the ONLY competitive advantage in a world of instant price comparisons and buy now buttons.

2. New resources, new skills
Not every customer will engage with you on every layer. That means your channel strategies are going to multiply, which means you need RESOURCES. Eighty percent of CMO’s say they are failing at OmniChannel marketing due to a lack of appropriate resources.

These new resources will also require a new outlook and new skills. Devin Wenig of eBay put it this way:

“Building engaging experiences across channels is incredibly important. Many retailers have spent their entire lives thinking about how to build an engaging experience in one channel, usually a store. But now, understanding how to connect with your core customers across every way they want to connect — not the way you want them to connect but the way they want to connect with you — is a different skill.”

“It requires design and product management. It requires understanding how to market in a digital world. There are still many instances that I see where it is old-school marketing. It’s still about major TV campaigns, get people into the stores. That’s still important, and that’s not going to go away.

“But understanding how to engage in a world of exploding social networks, how to use search, how to optimize, and how to engage—very different skills. I think that is going to become a core part of the playbook for retailers and merchants of all sizes around the world.”

3. Distinctive ubiquity
Standing out in an increasingly complex and cluttered world across all of these channels is not going to be easy — or cheap. If the experiences in each channel are not uniquely helpful, you risk annoying customers with repetitive ubiquity everywhere they turn.

While “multi-channel” may be losing its luster as the buzzword of choice, in fact you need to connect with consistent, but different, approaches by channel.

Your goal needs to be “Distinctive Ubiquity.”

4. Measurement wins
Like social media in general, measurement can be difficult. Ironically, the companies most likely to succeed and fund new initiatives are the ones best able to measure success. According to a recent study, 85% of CMOs are doing NO measurement of cross-channel efforts.

In this rudderless environment, how do you know how to invest in the marketing that works? Measurement can certainly be a source of competitive advantage.

5. Breaking down the silos
Retailers indicate their biggest challenge remains merging the digital and physical retail worlds into an easily understood and executed system. These consumer interactions are so complex and rapidly evolving that it is difficult to pin down a direction.

One large retailer I spoke to operates store merchandise marketing, media marketing and Internet marketing as completely different silos … and they all have different goals. This company is potentially years away from a consistent, integrated approach unless they can break down organizational silos, both internally and with their advertising partners.

6. Un-learning what we did best
I believe the single biggest hurdle to OmniChannel success wil be the cultural battle that will wage between a centuries-old mindset of “stack it high, move it fast” and exceeding quarterly numbers to re-orienting on the desire of customers to dictate the terms of a buying process based on the latest apps and social media buzz.

There are implications for the organizational structure, external partnerships, fulfillment, merchandising — almost every aspect of the process.

7. An overhaul of the fulfillment system
If retailers can break from this mindset (and I think they will), it presents a new dilemma — accurate fulfillment. Today, fulfillment is choreographed carefully between manufacturing, procurement, marketing, and distribution. Everything must work in harmony.

Planning for seasonal fashion changes or even an annual update to a furniture line can take more than a year of supply chain planning. Following the customer through an ever-changing digital buying cycle requires complex and potentially expensive new fulfillment models.



A digital twin is a virtual representation of a process, product or service. Using software on a cloud-based platform, digital twins pull together and analyze data that companies can use to monitor and head off repairs and other problems before they occur. They can look into the future, simulating scenarios to uncover new opportunities for delighting customers. The data is deep and broad, encompassing business content like the customer’s name, exact street location and service level agreements. Information is also contextual and of course, from sensors. (Gartner)


As the Harvard Business Review observed (here and here), smart, connected products raise a new set of strategic choices related to:

  • how value is created and captured
  • how the prodigious amount of new (and sensitive) data they generate is utilized and managed
  • how relationships with traditional business partners such as channels are redefined; and
  • what role companies should play as industry boundaries are expanded.

Smart, connected products are emerging across all manufacturing sectors. In heavy machinery, Schindler’s PORT Technology reduces elevator wait times by as much as 50% by predicting elevator demand patterns, calculating the fastest time to destination, and assigning the appropriate elevator to move passengers quickly. In the energy sector, ABB’s smart grid technology enables utilities to analyze huge amounts of real-time data across a wide range of generating, transforming, and distribution equipment (manufactured by ABB as well as others), such as changes in the temperature of transformers and secondary substations. This alerts utility control centers to possible overload conditions, allowing adjustments that can prevent blackouts before they occur. In consumer goods, Big Ass ceiling fans sense and engage automatically when a person enters a room, regulate speed on the basis of temperature and humidity, and recognize individual user preferences and adjust accordingly.

[Digital Twin] infrastructure enables extraordinary new product capabilities. First, products can monitor and report on their own condition and environment, helping to generate previously unavailable insights into their performance and use. Second, complex product operations can be controlled by the users, through numerous remote-access options. That gives users the unprecedented ability to customize the function, performance, and interface of products and to operate them in hazardous or hard-to-reach environments.

Third, the combination of monitoring data and remote-control capability creates new opportunities for optimization. Algorithms can substantially improve product performance, utilization, and uptime, and how products work with related products in broader systems, such as smart buildings and smart farms. Fourth, the combination of monitoring data, remote control, and optimization algorithms allows autonomy. Products can learn, adapt to the environment and to user preferences, service themselves, and operate on their own.



Convergence, threatened for years, is finally here. Television content is migrating everywhere and digital content is returning the favour, showing up on TVs (often at sizes and resolutions far greater than the content creators envisaged).


Dan Calladine, head of media futures, Carat Global (quoted by the Daily Telegraph):

“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.”

Is YOUR digital content ready for the big-screen treatment?

Launch 2017 with a comprehensive presentation to your team or your clients

The Marketing Trends above are just a few of the many we cover in our NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2017 presentation and slide deck, which is now available for you to present to your people or your customers.

Let’s have a little peek inside, at some of the marketing trends that will impact on Kiwi marketers in 2017.

Marketing Insights for 2017

The Big Picture

This first section of the presentation takes a look at what we can expect in 2017 from an economic and political perspective, post-John-Key, post-Brexit and post-Trump.

Who We Are

Then we review our demographic and behavioural profile, based on a recent consumer lifestyle study, update statistics about our ethnicity and age and take a closer look at what it means to be a Kiwi.

How We Browse

When and how we go online plays an important role in determining whether or not we are open to marketing messages. In this section we identify the best times to talk to prospects.

How We Shop

Our choice of supermarket says a lot about how often we go grocery shopping and how much we spend. We discuss Kiwi shopping behaviours and then take a closer look at foods we actively avoid eating. We also discuss the latest shopping developments, identify hot new retail arrivals and review the latest fashion colours and styles we can expect to see in store in 2017.

Marketing Trends

Next, we take a look at what’s new and different in television, including the latest statistics about where we spend our viewing time, and then take a sneak peak at some of the more notable upcoming television programs of 2017.

We then turn our attention to newspapers and take a closer look at the Fairfax/NZME merger — and in particular at the issues raised by the Commerce Commission.

The latest Out of Home developments come next, closely followed by what’s new in magazines.

Marketing Insights for 2017

Then we consider Cinema, evaluating movie attendance patterns that may change our thinking about how best to use the medium. We look at the top movies of the year and provide an extensive rundown of expected blockbusters in 2017.

Next on the list: radio and its ongoing move to Digital.

Then we turn our attention to Experiences, review their importance (especially for millennials) and run through upcoming major events for the year.

Then it’s time to turn our focus to digital.

We review some of the staggering statistics as a majority of New Zealand opts for unlimited data and consider the implications for NZ marketers now that Mobile dominates Internet usage.

We delve into the latest developments in Social Media, covering Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Google Plus.

Marketing Insights for 2017

We update the latest online video numbers and then dig deep into Messaging Apps.

A roundup of key marketing technology trends follows, including Personalisation, the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, AI, Programmatic, Virtual Reality, Drones, Context Brokering, Blockchain and Wearables.

Marketing Insights for 2017

And we close with a brief look at Future Technology trends that will impact in later years.

Purchase your copy today

As we mentioned, our 340-plus-slides MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2017 presentation is NOW AVAILABLE. It’s unbranded, for you to present as you see fit to your clients.

This presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2017, across a wide variety of industries and technologies — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2017 report & slide deck in PowerPoint format (with accompanying notes) – information that you can easily present to your team and your clients, bringing everyone up to speed on the latest New Zealand marketing insights as we accelerate towards 2017.


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PS If you prefer, we can present our MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2017 to your team or your clients for just $777+GST (plus travel expenses if you are out of Auckland). Only limited places are available, so BOOK NOW by emailing or by clicking here: