As the new year moves into full swing, now is the time to assess your 2017 marketing plan. Staying knowledgeable about marketing trends and forecasts can make your transition into the new year a smooth one.

We sat down with Quattro’s own Vice President of Strategy, Julie Herbster, to pick her brain on some new trends in marketing come 2017. From rich content to voice search, and changes in media spend to millennials (minus the buzzword effect), these are her top predictions for what will be new in marketing in 2017, and how you can prep your marketing plan in advance.

1. Content will be about quality over quantity.

Content marketing has seen a serious spike in the last few years, but not all content pieces are created equal. 2017 will likely see a move away from the quick production of content, as this tends to facilitate the same message being repeated in similar ways. Companies who produce content in a unique way, with a focus on quality over quantity, will stand out.

What you can do: Deliver content that’s both unique and useful to your audience. Just because others are sharing similar information, doesn’t mean it needs to be said or shared the same way. Address the questions that aren’t being answered, and do it in a way that’s engaging to your audience (Hint: Not everything is best suited for a blog post).

2. Voice will change search.

Siri, Alexa, and Cortana started a revolution. You can use your voice to check a flight, call hands-free from the car, control your home’s heater, and even type a sentence for your marketing blog (so meta, right?).

As voice technology becomes mainstream in 2017, search engines will need to change the way they organize and return information to users. The way we ask a question via voice command is typically more detailed than how we phrase a typed search (“What’s the weather like in Philly right now?” vs. “Philadelphia weather”). Search engines will need to adapt to this more detailed and holistic approach. 

What you can do: Make sure you understand why your audience might be using voice technology (this Global WebIndex report on voice search is a good starting point), and consider how your potential customers might phrase their searches, since this will impact your content.

3. Paid media is going to feel the squeeze.

Expect a shift in overall marketing budgets, in particular around paid media. As marketers begin to move their focus toward SEO and rich content (see prediction #1), the budgets for paid media may start shrinking.

To sustain revenue, media companies will need to build a larger stable of clients (rather than relying on a few big fish), and agencies will need to keep their margin and mark-up fees competitive. In the end, the ability to do this, while maintaining the same high level of service, will be key.

What you can do: Make sure your marketing strategy strikes the right balance of paid and earned media. Keep communication open between your team and other groups to do this successfully.

4. “Millennial-marketing” will need to evolve.           

You’ve probably heard the word “millennial” a hundred times at least a couple of times in the last year. Many want to reach this demographic, so they’ve latched onto studies, listicles, and reports that tell us what millennials want, what they don’t want, and how they shop.

In 2017, smart marketers will take a new approach to millennials. Instead of using the same reports and data to mold messaging and media choices, they’ll use that info to guide internal research. This will allow brands to go from marketing to a generation to addressing the needs of the future in a unique and targeted way.

What you can do: Consider millennial data if that’s the audience you’re trying to reach, but make sure your marketing uses the information in a way that’s meaningful to your brand and your customer’s unique journey. For example, a certain social media platform may be popular with the millennial age group, but it might not make sense for the brand you’re building.

What are some of the new marketing trends you’re expecting to see in 2017? Let us know @QuattroPhilly – we’d love to hear from you!