Centerliners on 2016 Trends and 2017 Predictions
Dec 22, 2016
It’s that time of year! A time to reflect on things that happened and a time to look ahead to what will come in the future. In case you missed it, we recently shared our take on Unruly’s Top Viral Ads of 2016 and a look back at our Top 5 Projects of 2016. We’ll be sharing even more highlights from the year in the coming days so get excited and stay tuned!
For today’s post, we sat down with four Centerliners to talk what was big in 2016 and what to watch out for in 2017.
Meet the experts: Jared Brickman, Senior Digital Strategist and advanced technology aficionado; George Perry, Content Strategist and wine guy; Amy Scott, Account Manager and social butterfly; and John Lane, Chief Strategy Officer and proponent of ellipses and the em dash.
What made the biggest impact in your field of expertise in 2016?
JB: “The deluge of Augmented Reality and Machine Intelligence advancements, events like IBM’s World of Watson, and developments from Google, Apple and Amazon in their personal digital assistants made 2016 a big year for advanced technology!”
JL: “A lot of things happened in 2016 that point to big shifts in social media – the confusion and uncertainty of Twitter, the rise of Facebook Live and the ‘content accessorizing’ of Snapchat, to name a few. I think we’re only beginning to see the impacts of these changes and are likely to see even more in 2017.”
AM: “Social, social, social! 2016 was a year where social media marketing became more active than ever before. There are tons of reasons why (and how!) social media marketing was so relevant this year. One being with the platforms themselves – the addition of advanced analytics, new ways to display ads that weren’t chronological, new targeting methods and the introduction of Instagram stories. Trends in consumer behavior also played a major role in the rise of social media marketing this year. A saturated market means audiences need ultra-relevant content or they’ll move on; personalized marketing is a must. In addition, more and more consumers are depending on referrals during their path to purchase. Social media makes it easy for people to share feedback and give or solicit advice.”
What do you foresee having a big impact in 2017?
GP: “Mobile browsers will see a decline in usage. The growth of personal assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana, and new devices in the vein of Google Home and Amazon Echo, will decrease the amount of time people spend searching on their mobile devices for answers, instead allowing them to just voice a question and have it answered without searching through pages of search results. This will, in turn, put an increased importance on your site being semantically searchable and being able to answer questions that users have so that you can be viewed as a valuable resource.”
JL: “Scripted and Live video. Currently, we seem to be living in an either/or world. Organizations put out video and people respond within the social platform, typically with limited text based engagement. Live video, on the other hand, is currently being used as a siloed item, sometimes even as an afterthought. I think we’ll start to see more video-based conversation (live or “chat” ish) in the future that has a more personalized communication, face to face feel. They’ll be ‘produced’ videos that have a mix of pre-recorded and live elements that are based on more real-time data than big data.” Check out more of John’s thoughts on Live video in this LinkedIn post!
AM: “Even more social media! Analytics and targeting will only get more sophisticated, allowing marketers to reach the right person at the right time in the right place, even faster. Social tools and platforms won’t be the only ones evolving – consumers will too. Social selling as an effective tool for the B2B market will be something to watch in 2017. According to an article from Harvard Business Review, ‘three out of four B2B buyers rely on social media to engage with peers about buying decisions,’ making social media a prime platform to invest resources. Influencer marketing will also continue to be a major marketing aspect in the coming year. A 2016 study with Nielsen Catalina Solutions proved that ‘sponsored blogs and social media posts by influencers increased purchases of the advertised product and prompted a noticeable shift away from competitors’ products, even by those who had been loyal to competitors previously.’”
JB: “The continued integration of intelligent agents in marketing, operations, and customer experience will be huge in 2017.” Read more from Jared on this topic in his recap from the All Things Open Conference!
What do you think about our trends and predictions? What other types of insights and content do you want to see from us in 2017? Let us know on Twitter @centerline!
For funsies, we caught up with a few of our fortune tellers from last year’s post – Predictions for 2016 from Centerliners – to see if they think they got it right. Here is what they had to say.
“In 2015, VR/AR were still in their infancy for the mainstream consumer. With this year’s release of Google Cardboard, VR became affordable and accessible to anyone with a smartphone. My prediction of having to design outside of the screen came true for me personally when I had the opportunity to prototype a VR app that we’re working on for a client here at Centerline. I quickly realized, that unlike the web, there’s not really a great way to rapidly prototype for VR. I’m sure this will come as the industry expands and becomes even more established, bridging the gap between UI design and VR/AR will come with time. Until then, I’ll continue to applaud Snapchat for integrating AR filters or World Lenses in their app as a sneak peek to their own version of AR wearables, Spectales, that can currently only be purchased through a relocating vending machine.” – Brenna Mickey, Interactive Designer
“Last year I predicted ‘a move away from screens to communicate with users’ and although we’ve seen more adoption of haptic feedback in communication, I don’t think it was fully realized in 2016. Where it did materialize is in the major adoption of natural language voice inputs. The star of which being the Amazon Echo, but also in devices like the Staples Go Button and a multitude of phone apps including Siri and Google Now. I think in 2017 this trend will continue even more as services like IBM Watson Natural Language Classifier become more available to product/interface designers.” – John Kaplan, Creative Director
A lifelong northerner, I began my career in agency public relations in Rochester, New York, later moving to New York City, working with a variety of technology and consumer brands from Xerox and IBM to Blackberry and KAYAK. I loved the fast-paced and entrepreneurial environment and learned so much about myself, client and people management, media relations and how to properly mail merge. Now a relocated northerner and wannabe southerner, I still love the pace, people and spirit of agency life in Raleigh. As Centerline’s Communications Manager, I get to help amplify the amazing content that we produce as an agency and thought leaders through events, media placement, relationships with influencers and social media.