Corporate marketing trends for 2017

If 2016 was the year Chief Marketing Officers and marketing teams got their tech stacks bedded down, 2017 is the year to get your data sorted, says Helen Ahrens, CEO of digital marketing agency, Good Things Marketing.

Companies are now awash with data. As marketers, we have access to more tools, data and analytics than ever before. Measurement of marketing strategies, goals and implementation has never been so easy, however, when it comes down to the crunch are we measuring vanity metrics rather than metrics that matter?

Another issue corporates struggled with last year is a misalignment between the metrics the C-Suite want to measure and what the marketing team deem to be better indicators of success. For example, whether its measuring return on investment and bottom line metrics compared to click-through rates, brand reach and conversion tracking with pixels tools, departments must come to an agreement on what really counts.
Ahrens knows one thing for sure, “we’re all swimming in a sea of data and unless you laser focus on one critical number to measure for each strategic marketing goal, based on business outcomes, you’ll drown!”

Good Things Marketing’s top five for 2017:
1. Vanity metrics to metrics that matter
The proliferation of data across business and marketing means that capture and analysis of complex information is now at the tip of our fingertips on cool dashboards across our devices. 2017 will be the year teams start working to ensure that data, metrics and analysis are providing real insight into a handful of metrics which will allow the C-Suite to make strategic decisions faster and better. It’s all about finding your critical number. Once you assign a critical number to a task, process or job role you’re going to be able to really hone in on that one metric and get it spot on.

2. Influencers will be more influential
The visibility and influence of bloggers and social media influencers will intensify in 2017 and continue to disrupt the media environment. The audience, reach and engagement that influencers can provide using social media platforms as their hangout of choice, means that millions of people can be reached by engaging certain influencers or groups of influencers. GTM was recently involved in an expedition to Port Lincoln for tourism marketing with 22 influencers with a combined audience 1,007,500 and reach 2 to 4 million audience. GTM has just released an analytics report on the social media influencers effectiveness, indicating that the potential return on investment for Adventure Bay Charters would be $0.002 per view and approximately $1 per lead.

3.  Digital personal branding embraced by the big four and others
The big four accounting firms are investing more time and money into getting their senior and executive employees onto digital. Gone are the days of stiff suits. Partners are being encouraged to expand their reach and engagement via LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging. Ahrens says, “those at the forefront of doing big and bold personal branding are often at the top of the ladder, are winning bigger contracts, retaining their best accounts and being recognised internally as they gain company accolades.”
Aaron LePoidevin is a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a great example of a new generation of partners in the big four heavily using social to build his own brand and, most importantly, his client portfolio in the global innovation and incentives market.

4.  CMOs and CTOs will become besties
Well maybe not quite! As the tech stack is bedded down corporates who are using different martech platforms such as Salesforce, Hubspot, Marketo and Pardot are starting to reap the benefits of implementation. CTOs will continue to need to loosen the reigns a little as marketing departments (and other teams) continue to take tech into their own hands and work collaboratively together.

5.  Keep it social
There are a number of companies that are killing social right now, however, small business and Business to Business specifically are not reaping the benefits of accessing and retaining their clients via social. Mass communication is dead, we can now be hyper-targeted and hyper-local and drill into tiny segments which was never possible before. The capabilities of emerging social platforms and others more traditional socials such as the giant Facebook will continue to keep disrupting this space as we continue to spend more of our marketing budgets with these guys.

So, bring on 2017. Marketers have it better than ever before, we just need to continue to focus, pick the right tools for the right job and remain alert.

Disrupt or be disrupted! BFM

Helen Ahrens is CEO of digital marketing agency, Good Things Marketing.

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