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If you have big goals to grow your marketing mix, you’ll need to think about how you are going to market the brand you take care of in an ever-changing digital environment.

Staying ahead of the competition can give you a very helpful edge against other businesses in your industry who might still be using marketing strategies that are so 2016. This is especially important as a marketing manager when innovation and the ability to evolve can be some of the only things that set you apart from the bigger organisations.

To help you stay on the cutting edge, here are the seven digital marketing trends you need to be all over!

1. Apps

Apps are growing steadily and have been increasing in popularity, however 2017 looks like being the year they really take off. This is made more likely by Google’s recent implementation of apps in their search engine rankings. It looks like apps will start to replace mobile optimised sites in the future. If you’ve been dragging your feet on the idea of getting an app created for your business, 2017 might be the year to think seriously about it.

2. Video advertising

Video advertising has gradually been increasing over the last few years and with Google’s recent acquisition of YouTube it’s likely this will continue with video ads starting to appear in searches along with more traditional text based advertising. The good news is that video ads are relatively cost effective to produce and can get great results. So don’t be camera shy!

3. Non-mobile responsive sites to be phased out from Google.

As a savvy marketing manager, no doubt you got a mobile responsive sometimes in 2017. If for any reason you haven’t, now is definitely the time as Google starts to phase non-mobile responsive sites out of their search results. Not having a mobile responsive site could have a serious effect on your online visibility (well now!)

4. Marketing automation

Automation tools are becoming even more sophisticated than ever before and combining them with data can give your marketing a serious boost. You can now market on a large scale by making use of automation tools.

Some ways you can do this include email automation with sequences that are set to run without any intervention when they are triggered by specific actions on the part of your audience. Social media is another area that you can automate effectively up to a point along with paid digital advertising. It’s getting to the point where businesses that aren’t using data and automation for marketing are going to be at a serious disadvantage.

5. Relationship marketing

Traditional marketing attitudes of making a sale at all costs are being replaced by a more long-term philosophy embodied by relationship marketing. By exchanging high pressure sales tactics for a focus on building ongoing relationships with your audience you can increase their loyalty and not only encourage them to become repeat customers, but to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.

 

With so many businesses starting to recognise the value of this style of marketing, and customers expectations changing, it’s a good idea for your business to follow suit if you don’t want to be left behind.

6. Internet of Things

Wearable tech hasn’t entirely caught on yet but the predictions are that it will start to gain momentum next year. As a marketer this means that you will have a number of different ways to reach your audience and thinking outside the box will start to become even more important for everyone.

7. Virtual Reality

While it may sound a bit science fiction, predictions are that 2017 will be the year that VR becomes mainstream. While it’s hard to see how solo businesses are likely to be affected by VR at this stage, it’s likely to massively increase engagement by the businesses that do adopt it. VR will take marketing to the next level by immersing audiences in to the marketer’s world and message.

Digital marketing isn’t going anywhere but it is definitely evolving at an eye-watering pace. As a marketing manager, it is your job to keep up with the changes so you can stay ahead of your competition and ensure that 2017 is your best and most profitable year yet!