What 2017 Looks Like From Various Executive Perspectives

What will 2017 look like? Will Trump-style leadership set the tone for 2017? Will chatbots become the new norm in brand/consumer relationships? Are we seeing a return to simplicity in marketing? asks a new report from TheDrum/News staff, as marketers share their predictions after an eventful year.

2016 was certainly a year nobody could have predicted says a new report from the Red Drum, prepared by a staff writer. A cross-section of marketing thought leaders are quoted in reporting what they think 2017 could hold:

'A divisive year' – Leo Rayman, chief executive, Grey London

  • “… 2017 is already sending us strong signals. 2017 will be a divisive year for brands and marketers… On the one hand we’ll see some retrench, play safe unthinking. Some of these will do well, connecting with a deep nostalgia that exists in culture. On the other hand, we’ll be inspired by those prepared to stick their necks out… “

'Sitting on the fence is no longer an option' – Kathleen Saxton, founder and chief executive, The Lighthouse Company

“… Macro and micro events of 2016 will continue to reverberate in the year to come; leadership, transparency and talent will remain under the microscope… leadership styles set an interesting tone for 2017…  A chief executive sitting on the proverbial fence is no longer an option… The Lighthouse started 2016 seeing a 68% increase in leaders wanting to move client-side…”

'Media talent will be given the value it deserves' – David Indo, chief executive, ID Comms

  • “The number and value of media pitches will increase… many smart marketers and procurement teams have used 2016 to work out what they want from their media partner… we’ll see more high-profile client-side media appointments. The reality of the chief media officer will first appear at the biggest brands…. (and) slowly trickle down to smaller brands… media talent will at last be given the value it deserves.”

'The quality of ads is not matching the momentum of mobile' – Ben Williams, head of operations, AdBlock Plus

  • “… in the year ahead we.ll see the continued boom of mobile advertising… in the US at least, 72% of all digital ad spend will be on mobile, reaching an unprecedented $65.87bn by 2019… you’re going to continue seeing soaring budgets in mobile ad spend… (but) the quality of ads is not quite matching the momentum of the mobile platform as a whole…”

'Deciphering unstructured data will be a key differentiator'– Jeremy Waite, evangelist, IBM

  • “… 2017 is the year of the data… in a different context from before… in a digital age, we are walking data generators… creating quintillions of bytes of information about our daily habits, needs, and experiences… marketers are tasked with the daunting prospect of being able to understand this data…  80% of today’s consumer data is unstructured… the ability to sift through this data and develop an understanding of an individual… will be a key differentiator for marketers in 2017, and the key to this… (is) the analysis of unstructured data, image tagging, and natural language processing… “

'Crafting work for new platforms' – Ed Couchman, director of agency partnerships, Facebook

  • “…the rise of video is transforming the way people engage with content and with each other… becoming the most viewed and shared content in the news feed… we’ll see brands become more sophisticated in their use of video and grasping the importance of crafting work for the mobile feed… Facebook Live and Instagram Stories are quickly becoming some of the most popular ways for people to discover and share content… aided by new streaming technologies, better content, faster connection speeds, and bigger data plans…”

'Fewer, bigger campaigns' – Matt Edwards, chief executive, WCRS

  • “… marketing has changed more in the last five years than in the previous 50… as each new channel, trend or technology emerged it was eagerly added to the marketing arsenal… until, faced with 37 different agencies, fragmented spend and no clear, joined-up way to measure effectiveness… a tipping point has arrived for marketers… expect fewer, bigger campaigns… skepticism of any new channel or trend without proven sales effects…  more informed planning around the likely short-term and long-term campaign effects…”

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