10 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

As we approach the new year, we asked influencers from the Havas network to place their bets on what will have the biggest impact on marketing in 2017. These are the 10 trends to watch.


In 2017, mass personalization is what will matter most to marketers. In a world of media essentially controlled and scheduled by consumers, brands must build relationships by treating every consumer as the individual that they are and recognizing that the key to building that relationship is helping enhance their world in some way—whether they are in the market to purchase something or just enjoying the pursuit of their own passions. Brands in 2017 need to get invited into people’s lives, and treating each interaction as a relationship building opportunity is the only way to get that invitation..



For the first time, the tools we use to process and analyze data are catching up to the tools we use to produce it. Some call it artificial intelligence. Others call it cognitive computing. Whatever the name, the potential to quickly and purposefully analyze the world’s information and put it to use is available to us now. This capability holds profound implications for nearly every company in every industry. But for those of us in the marketing profession, it brings us ever closer to reaching a long-sought-after goal: markets of one. In our lifetimes, we could be seeing the disintegration of mass markets, the death of one-size-fits-all, and a redefining of economies of scale. In fact: it is actually already happening. Armed with a growing library of digital information and the tools to analyze it through machine learning and AI, marketers can now tailor customer relationships to the individual. It’s the end of mass marketing and the start of the market of one.   

Read more from Jason on cognitive intelligence here.
james_trend_nophoto_newAs human centered design becomes more widespread in brand innovation, the insights behind culture are more important than ever. Truly understanding a consumer’s cultural drivers, unique language, passions, motivations, and even influencers will play an integral role in creating an authentic connection and developing new products and services. And for some organizations, the human resources talent war is won by simply dialing into specific opportunities for recruitment within cultural segments. This unique skill set is harnessed by spending time both online and offline to find unique opportunities in niche markets. The riches are in the niches.chris_trend_nophoto_newFurther political shocks will come in 2017, leading to continuing economic unpredictability and fragility. That said, we shouldn’t assume the unchecked march of the populists; we may even see the pendulum swing back as the voice of the Open unifies to push back against the Closed. The battle, however, will be ugly and protracted. In our industry, creativity will still rule, but its manifestations will continue to rapidly diversify. Clients will seek consolidation and simplification of their agency relationships in response to an increasingly complicated media landscape. marain_trend_nophoto_new

The people who most affect and influence an outcome may well be the ones who are off digital’s radar—or most reluctant to share their true thoughts with the opinion-makers and surveys that inspire suspicion and frustration. From the UK to the US, France, and beyond, people who are looking to market their ideas or products are realizing that remote sensing doesn’t cut it. When real insights are needed, there’s no substitute for close personal contact with ordinary people in ordinary places. Expect a lot of new interest in developing deep market intelligence for business and politics—and a premium placed on organizations that balance global networks and local insight.

Read more predictions from Havas PR here. christophe_trend_nophoto_new

Let’s be clear: With worldwide revenue at around $700M in 2016 (0.7% of the video game industry), eSports is not “the big thing.” But if you look at the trends (40% annual growth), you might consider it as the “growing thing that should be big soon.” With a growing fan base of 150M, eSports is set to explode globally in 2017, thanks to structured competitions, new professional teams, and TV broadcasting. A good bet for investors and sponsors.

Read more predictions for the future of sports and entertainment here.jeff_trend_nophoto_newWith the evolution of seamless payments, the retail experience will fundamentally change. We will no longer pull out our wallets or even tap our phones. Instead, the environment we’re in, the product/service we’re purchasing, and our credit card information will be automatically known, essentially allowing for self-checkout without any of the hassle. As Amazon recently showed us, this reality isn’t too far off. One day soon, all in-store shopping will be as easy placing an item in an RFID-enabled bag and walking out of the store without a single swipe. marco_trend_nophoto_new

What do the retail, fast food, and financial sectors all have in common? Key players are now using bots to provide an intelligent, personalized conversational service. It’s CRM transformed. The bot industry is still burgeoning, but it’s on its way to fulfilling its potential to provide human-like automated consultants. Thanks to ever-improving AI, exponential progress means marketers should expect chatbots to improve significantly and to emerge in new situations in which users can benefit from direct brand interaction. Bots have already proven their utility: Slack users can order food from Taco Bell with a simple sentence, while young AXA clients can use Facebook Messenger to order their Switch insurance certificate or follow up on outstanding issues. If 2016 was the year bots broke, 2017 will be the year they will be refined. Successful brands will design chatbots that are both differentiated and personalized, always keeping in mind that a bot’s appearance and performance will affect consumers’ perception of the brand.

Read more predictions from Mobext here. john_trend_nophoto_newAsia Pacific has jumped straight to web 2.0, allowing users to miss the gradual progression of ad supported platforms and forcing publishers to create content solely for mobile and help monetize through e-commerce. In fact, the Chinese version of Pinterest, Mogujie, had to move straight into e-commerce to survive, as “promoted pins” were not generating enough revenue. We’ve also seen a rise in B2C and C2C commerce on Instagram, Facebook, and Line, with Line Groceries recently launching with more than 29 million users in Thailand. The shift from “like” to “buy” is being made easier by a large number of mergers and acquisitions. Facebook has been trialing Qwik in South East Asia, while the Lazada and Lamido marketplaces have merged, allowing the giant online retailer to tap into a larger market. The future marriage between platform and social commerce will see a rise in access that consumers are more than willing to accept. As with everything in Asia today, move quickly or risk being disconnected. elliot_trend_nophoto_newA renewed focus on experiences will get brands “invited in” in 2017. They’ll be invited into feeds, screens, and homes—all enabled by a ubiquitous, increasingly environmental internet that is owned and operated by people. Seventy percent of CMOs say that building valuable experiences will be their top focus, according to IBM’s CMO study. Further, 70 percent also say that their top focus will be driving those experiences across platforms, partnerships, and devices. Everything, even the most mundane and tactical marketing tactics (think banners), must be turned into a value experience, or else brands will get booted out. This requires an incredible amount of coordination across data, distribution, and content capabilities to pull off.  If we do it right, our brands will have an open invitation into people’s lives next year.