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The one question clients keep asking is what will be different in the area of Marketing for 2017.

We all know that the world moves on and that the technological changes are, if anything, gathering pace as we head towards an era of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and who knows what else.

An analysis of a recent study by Marketo suggests the following key developments are worth being aware of from a Marketing perspective as we head further into 2017.

They suggest a strong shift towards Customer Centric Marketing. Putting the customer at the front and center of everything we do can not be a bad things, and this will allow us to build and develop businesses that truly put the customer first. To this end, a strong focus will be made on Relationship Building and subsequent engagement. Technology today – particularly in the Social Media space facilitates the development of this relationship model like never before.

Successful businesses and brands will rely on Customer Advocacy to drive their business forward, and we all know that the best form of referral for a businesses is to have a happy customer tell their tale.

Recent years has seen the grown of specialisation in the Marketing sphere – SEO experts; Content Creators etc. However, industry leaders are now suggesting that the successful marketing operations will work better, and more efficiently from a customers stand point if they work towards developing more multi-talented generalists who are efficient and effective in the creative; brand design and production management areas – all of which will be to the ultimate benefit of clients.

There has been a tendancy for functions, including Marketing, to work in isolation within organisation, and the perceived wisdom now is that businesses would be more successful if such groups were integrated more with a view to producing cross department teams who are solely focused on the business aims and customer satisfaction model of the business.

Social Media Content has become hugely important for businesses, particularly those in the Business to Consumer (B2C) space. However, the era of organic growth is now at an end and so businesses will need to focus on content channels that add value to the customer – and be prepared to spend money online to promote this content.

It is suggested that the User Experience will become an increasingly important factor in deciding the success or otherwise, of brand in the online space. Algorithms on the likes of Google, Facebook, etc. are continuously being re-written to the point where user behaviour and expectations now form part of the criteria that decides who will succeed or fail in the online space.

Chronological Timelines are soon to become a thing of the past, and brands showing up in feeds organically will soon no longer be possible. This, of course, means that brand will have to spend money to get traction on the Social Media space.

We all know that video has become an essential part of the Social Media offering from businesses – an from a ranking perspective the use of video is a key decider when it comes to positioning. With this in mind, it is good to know that Contextual Video Ads and Video Content are set to increase – perhaps exponentially, and to be truly successful with your video do make sure that the content is digestible (that’s a fancy word for short) and optimised for mobile – which has now become the driving force of online engagement.

It might seem like there’s a lot to digest here, but do remember that the whole digital experience continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and unless you make an effort to keep up, your business will be left behind.