Nowadays running out of battery in our smartphones is a bigger crisis than running out of fuel in our cars. Most of us probably can’t imagine life in the analogue era where we didn’t spend every waking moment connected in one way or another.

Imagine trying out a new, trendy restaurant and not being able to check in or show off your food on Facebook and Instagram. Imagine buying a product without checking for reviews first. Or trying to find your way to a new destination without Waze. Or even looking for a certain piece of information without Google. It all sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it?

And as we march into the future, we’ll only become more reliant on digital services and technology. Driverless cars are already being tested. Smart buildings are something that may be available soon. Even robots as personal helpers may be a mainstream reality soon.

So to stay relevant and useful to their consumers, brands must be agile enough to adapt their strategies to what’s new. To help you out, here are some digital trends forecast for 2017.

Influencer Marketing

Peer reviews have power.  Word of mouth has more power than ever before because there are simply too many products and too much information out there to sift through alone. So don’t ignore Youtubers, Snapchatters, Instagrammers and bloggers when formulating your digital campaigns.

Starting a Conversation

While we’re a visual-driven culture that loves photos and videos, we also love to chat. Thus the advent of the chatbot, which can help brands offer streamlined, individualized services through chat. It is gratifying for a consumer to engage instantly with a brand and many online stores already offer this service. Facebook has rolled out bots to its messaging platform, allowing anyone to build their own chatbots.

Mobile first

In 2017 over 17.8 million Malaysians will own a smartphone. One device that replaces alarm clocks, cameras, plays music and video, provides access to social media channels and directions, it has become an indispensable 24/7 companion. What brands need to know is that mobile phones are also valuable shopping companions- with shoppers looking up information and reviews on social media while also using apps and online coupons.

Do Data

Collect as much information as intelligently as possible about your users’ behaviors so that you don’t waste time and resources on what’s not working. A tool like Conversion Rate Optimization on your website helps identify elements that produce the highest number of conversions.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things is not just a catchy buzzword but a tech trend that promises to bring the connectivity of the Internet into every aspect of our lives. It’s about creating products that can “talk” to each other, making our lives simpler in the meantime.

Right now a usable example is the Fitbit, which is a wearable device that shares your exercise milestones to social media,  showing off your achievements while effectively advertising itself and turning a user into a brand ambassador. Soon we may have washing machines that know when you need more soap, and lightbulbs that tell their manufacturers that they are broken so you’ll get a coupon for a new bulb. Literally endless possibilities.

Immersive content

Ever heard of Pokemon Go? The immense popularity of the virtual reality game that brought traffic and even lives to a standstill is a herald for things to come. People love unique experiences and the immersive experience offered by virtual and augmented reality is the natural successor to video – from passive watching to active interaction.

Say No to Intrusive Marketing

Pop ups, banner ads, unskippable ads, any kind of advertising that aggressively pushes in on a users social media or surfing experience are a no-no with pretty much everyone. People like to learn about things in their own time, so it’s worth employing subtle approaches or even offering paid versions of a service that are ad-free.

Exciting times ahead- how is your brand using digital to its advantage?
Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.