Looking Ahead: We Predict 11 Digital Marketing Trends for 2017 Marketing

By Kit Smith on December 20th 2016

Crystal balls. Tarot cards. Extra Sensory Perception. Looking at tea leaves. Using your sixth sense. Fortune cookies. Reading Nostradamus. Precognitive dreaming. Palmistry. There are many ways it is said you can tell the future, and precisely none of them were used to research this list of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017.

Instead, I have taken a year’s worth of reading about marketing every day, looked at the developments that seem to be gaining traction, and extrapolated some predictions for 2017.

Sorry if that’s not scientific enough for you. I actually Googled ‘methods for predicting the future’ in preparation for this article (see, I do proper research too) and one of the methods listed was ‘time travel’ so if it helps, imagine me in a Delorean going at 88mph.

You might like

Infographic: 12 Digital Game Changers for 2017

Read the Article

Immersive marketing

The success of content marketing has been a mixed bag. It has given consumers entertaining, informative content. It has also seen a lot of rushed content published in the race to expand content volumes.

This increased competition has seen market leaders and innovators look for new ways to engage their audience, and developments in various technologies are helping to drive this phenomenon.

Both Facebook and YouTube have introduced 360-degree video, and some brands have already begun experimenting with the format for an interesting and innovative experience. Take a look at this 360-degree promo for Star Wars: Rogue One, or this effort from GoPro.

immersive marketing will be a big digital marketing trend in 2017

Following on from the success of Pokemon Go, Pepsi developed an augmented reality ad.

The Art Institute of Chicago and Airbnb released a uniquely immersive experience to promote a Van Gogh exhibition. They created a room that copied one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings and listed the room on Airbnb.

There have been some innovative, interactive campaigns on Snapchat this year, with sponsored filters being an obvious route.

Marketing campaigns that push the boundaries like this cannot be universal, but it will be interesting to see how marketers continue to experiment in 2017. Live video can play a part in creating an immersive video too…

More live video

Live video has suddenly become the internet’s favorite shiny new toy. When Meerkat entered the market it was an entertaining novelty. Now, Twitter (via Periscope), Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have all released live video offerings as well.

Many of these networks are promoting their live video quite heavily, and it’s something that will stand out in the saturated world of content, so I can see plenty of reasons why brands would want to get involved.

An early example was BuzzFeed’s live stream of two employees trying to explode a watermelon using rubber bands. The video has had a total of 11 million views.

I also expect the two worlds of live video and influencers to collide in 2017, with product placement and sponsorships becoming a regular feature of influencer videos. Finally, The Truman Show comes to life.

Using all the big data

Big data has been around for a few years now, but getting the most out of all this data is still a challenge to many.

Market research firm Ovum estimates the big data market will increase from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.4 billion by 2020. As businesses mature and put new structures and roles in place, big data will begin to become increasingly useful and utilized.

Big data is becoming increasingly widely used. It is said to have played a large part in the outcome of the US election. Cambridge Analytica harnessed big data for a variety of uses. Their analysis helped the Trump team know where to focus fundraising efforts, target ‘persuadables’, and increase spend.

The data was even used to deliver 4,000 individual digital ads. This messaging was continually tested and refined using polling and the firm’s data.

Campaign measurement made easy

Measuring the ROI of your campaigns doesn’t need to be a headache.

Get the guide

Increased personalization

Big data can have a variety of uses, one of them being personalized customer experience and marketing. The personalization of Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify show how data can be used to improve the customer experience. This level of one-to-one marketing will slowly become more prevalent as brands weigh opportunity and cost and find ways of introducing it into their messaging.

In marketing, data has been used for the lighthearted but enjoyable campaigns such as Spotify’s “Thanks 2016, It’s been weird”, to Chelsea football club’s search for a new sponsor, which was a highly personalized campaign (see video below).

Native advertising

While native advertising may be an old method, market forces should increase its prominence in 2017. The diminishing penetration of many ads – through ad blockers, reduced social media organic reach, and the decline of banner ads – will see an increase of native advertising.

The Guardian newspaper has recently updated its native advertising platform to help brands find a home for their content. As Adam Foley, commercial strategy director, says “we have answered a genuine industry problem faced by advertisers and agencies who create their own branded content and struggle with a suitable home.”

Digital marketing trends that are on the list every year but still deserve to be there:

Mobile first

Probably on every digital marketing trends list since cell phones first had internet capabilities, the relentless increase of users accessing the web through mobile means its importance continues.

In fact, this year there were two important markers for mobile: Google announcing a mobile-first web index, and the fact that mobile traffic has overtaken desktop for internet usage.



The progress is probably slower than people would like, as this is another trend that’s been on many a list. I’ve even talked about it in this post, and I do believe its use will increase, but it is unlikely to develop beyond a niche market in 2017.

More video

It feels like my entire Facebook feed is already taken up by video, but I’m sure there is room for more. Facebook has driven profits by embracing video, and is likely to continue. Twitter are banking on broadcasting NFL games to boost their revenue. It seems we can’t get enough of video, so expect the powers that be to serve up even more.

Things that everyone will predict to trend but probably won’t quite move as fast as they are expecting:

The Internet of Things

There are billions of connected devices, from thermostats to smart cars. And yet, the biggest Internet of Things news this year was the massive DDoS attack in October caused by weaponizing low-security connected devices.

The Internet of Things has some exciting early uses. There are industries that are seeing a lot of value from IoT, but for most people it’s a slow crawl. Developments will continue to creep into our lives, but it feels like people are expecting too much too soon.


The tech will improve, the prices will go down, and more people will embrace wearables. I just can’t see it becoming a mainstream concern by the time the year is out. Having said that, usage will slowly continue to rise.

smartwatches will not be a digital marketing trend for 2017


Chatbots will be a trend in 2017, but don’t expect to be talking to Scarlett Johansson in Her anytime soon.

And one that I hope will happen:

After Google announced that popups will soon be penalized in search, I’m hoping they go one better and stop autoplay videos with audio. Autoplay videos are intrusive, annoying things that make me want to instantly close the browser, shut my laptop, throw it in an open, active volcano, and never return to the internet again.

Those are our predictions for the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017. If none of them come to fruition I’ll break out the Tarot cards next year.

Brandwatch Analytics

Use social insights to deliver meaningful and impactful marketing.

Find out more

Kit Smith


Kit is a writer and marketing expert. When he's not researching ways to make you better at said marketing, he's often lost in foreign countries, or making pottery (or both).

  • It will be a really interesting year ahead. There are going to be so many things to look forward to. I think the trends that will begin this year will set the tone for years to come.

  • Thanks for sharing such a nice Info Keep Posting.really nice.

  • Webphantoms

    Thanks For Sharing … Very Useful Tips/Trends.
    Here, Few More Digital Marketing Trends…
    To make things simpler for you, I have considered and arranged a rundown of probably the most dependable computerized advertising patterns for the year 2017 that ought to be your concentration with a specific end goal to plan compelling advanced promoting procedures and online crusades.
    1. The expanding predominance of video advertisements.
    In spite of the fact that video notices are surely just the same old thing new for web-based social networking monsters like YouTube and Facebook, the news of Google entering the shred with in-SERP video promoting will change the entire range of online ad.
    2. Portable will totally command Mobile.
    2016 was a major year for portable.
    We have perceived how Google practically eliminated all sites not upgraded for portable. The universal nearness of hand-held gadgets and blurring endlessly of desktop movement unmistakably shows that the keen cash lays on portable centered web showcasing.
    Portable pursuit and versatile advancement ought to, subsequently, be a top need for computerized
    3. Social change is coming.
    Enough has been said in regards to the force of online networking. In the year 2017, the online groups won’t be bound to just organization buyer discussion or drawing in new prospects; rather, they will give chances to enhance transformation rates.

    Webphantoms is a Group of Digital Marketing Experts. Our aim is to provide Digital Marketing Services to our clients with the CRO(Conversion Rate Optimization) service.

  • Dr Fazal Mahmood | Dr Fazal Ma
  • Annu webphantoms

    Great Tips ! thanks for sharing the Tips and trends .
    “https://www.sanchay Tech.com”>Digital Marketing Service rovider

  • Nice Blog!
    Big Data going to play major role in digital marketing in 2017 & 2018. CRO is also play important role in this field. Optimizing your website and product marketing on the basis of Big Data..


  • Creative Click

    The finest Digital Marketing trends i have read in recent days. And no doubt they do work when implemented correctly.

  • Erika Parker

    Kit, your sense of humor is cool ;) I was nodding and smiling at the moment “Autoplay videos are intrusive, annoying things that make me want to instantly close the browser, shut my laptop, throw it in an open, active volcano, and never return to the internet again.” So true!

    I want to add some info about IoT. According to “IDC`s 2016 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey”, 31.4% of organizations surveyed have launched IoT solutions, with an additional 43% looking to deploy in the next 12 month. Furthermore, 55% of respondents see IoT as important to their business competitiveness. Rolls-Royce asserts that due to IoT technology, they can now focus on working on end solutions and delivering read value to customers, rather than on managing infrastructure.

    It doesn’t contradict your point of view but expands it. I think we can`t underestimate this trend. But I agree with you, that sometimes we want too much too soon.
    I want to pay your attention to the article written by Hassan Bawab. He is the CEO of Magic Logix, a transformative marketing agency specializing in customized web development solutions and digital strategies. Mr. Bawab is also a consultant for Top 1000 Fortune companies.
    His article differs from yours, but it also contains some new trends and unexpected statistics. Here`s the link https://www.magiclogix.com/magic-theory/digital-marketing-transformation-trends-every-cmo-should-be-ready-2017

  • Yey8

    Your blog is very useful and provides tremendous facts. Keep up the good work. Yey8

  • bright jai

    your blog is pretty good and keep posting the new trends digital marketing

  • Shahrukh Ghanchi

    There is another similar blog which I came through very interesting and useful regarding Digital Marketing Latest Trends – Need to recommend here.

  • Madhu Sudhan

    very good blog keep posting

  • useful regarding Digital Marketing IT is Usefull massinfoline.com

  • Amara Heslin

    Informative indeed! I have read other blogs about digital marketing trends this 2017 and native advertising and using videos were the two that were always there. Augmented reality is one of those as well that were frequently mentioned. — Site Above Solutions

  • Jhelum Sen

    Some of the predictions for 2017 done by you at the end of 2016 have come true and are really contributing to the growth of the businesses who have adopted them. Some of them are big data usage, live video, content marketing, etc. But there are some trends that are still evolving and are going to continue in 2018, are content marketing, native advertising, video marketing. Here are some of the latest trends of digital marketing that is true for 2017-2018, micro-moments, in-store marketing, app store optimization, etc. In total there are 12 trends that I have learned from Techmagnate blog post. Here is the link: http://www.techmagnate.com/blog/digital-marketing-trends-statistics-leverage-2017/ for your reference.

  • H.A. Consultancies
  • H.A. Consultancies

    Very intersting article
    i also have found this article on how can your point of sale POS system help your digital marketing

  • Scott Carruthers

    Thanks for sharing this, ive started trying more live video and it has helped massivley already. thank you again


  • Hello

    I think it’s mostly on the design side that we found more remark this year, not to mention the videos of course!
    By the way, here’s a good agency that might interest you: http://digital-supplyer.com

    See you soon!