Where Are We Now: Taking Stock of 5 Trends of 2017
With any good omni-channel marketing campaign there is the planning stage, execution stage, and evaluation stage. As we near the end of the year, executing on our plan for 2017, it is interesting to begin to evaluate how well we responded to key trends for 2017. From last year’s Forbes article on 2017 Trends, I have pulled out the topics most relevant for associations and wrote in questions to ask and reflect on as an organization. Starting well before winter should help to gain insight for planning and preparing for new trends to account for in 2018.
1) Brands will be tightly influential on new products
Here we are finding that with feedback through social media, consumers were tightly involved with brands and influencing new products. As an association this meant being more attuned to the needs and priorities of members and potential members. It meant shaping education, webinars, and event offerings around the latest lifestyle trends. Did you respond to real time feedback from members and potential members with more live webinars or on-demand educational experiences? Did you update your website to be more user friendly, clear, concise, and call-to-action driven?
2) Artificial Intelligence playing a role in our marketing
If Google Analytics was phase two in business sophistication and predicting, (phase one being blast email with no data insight), then the next phase is predictive analytics through A.I. This means having enough data for over a year to predict behavior of members and potential members, knowing how much to spend on digital advertising, and what effort to put where to pull in more leads. What sort of algorithms were playing in your favor of spreading ad campaigns, predicting behavior, and estimating ROI in 2017?
3) Consumers (Generation Z Especially) Wanting Access in an Instant
With instant feedback and entertainment, the next generation was predicted to be closer to expectation of answers in an instant. Did this mean responding with live chat boxes with a representative of your association from your website homepage? Or, did your association venture onto Snapchat finally to promote before and during events?
4) Social Influencers
As social media becomes ubiquitous, consumers are immersing themselves in increasingly deeper influential peer reviews and broader circles of opinion. How did your organization identify local and national relevant influencers on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to promote events and membership benefits? Have you identified brand advocates in your industry?
5) Information Overload leads to Niche Curation
If ever there was a specific trend for 2017 that directly related to associations specifically--this was it. When consumers are inundated with more and more information and stimulation, the result is they’ve come to expect curated information. As an association and the niche specialist of your specific mission or industry, how have you better served members through carefully curated content? Or, how have you attracted new members by capitalizing on this 2017 trend? Beyond email automation, is personalized experiences with marketing automation, and one step farther is personalized email communication based on a user’s profile with Intellectual Contextual Email (ICE). What combination of the three were you using?
If you didn’t have answers to many of these questions about curated content, or influential marketing, or data analytics and artificial intelligence; that’s okay. Many of these trends will carry over for another year and there is still time respond and adapt. Partnering with HighRoad Solution as your agency can help you get there.
About Emily Nash
With a unique background in start-ups-to-studios, and consulting-to-corporate settings, Emily specializes in solving for unknowns, pioneering new services, and collaborating with marketers and strategists. In her community, she served on the board of American Institute for Graphic Arts as their Communications Director to help promote networking and mentorship opportunities for area designers and creatives. She’s also a co-producer for Rethink Association, a podcast for associations.