Jan. 16, 2017, Washington, DC – AAF DC launches its 2017 AM ADBUZZ series next week with four leading, local agency savants all expounding on the trends they see shaping the DC ad market this year. We thought we’d get the conversation started with “5 Q’s,” asking three of the four what they think is coming and who they think stands to profit. (Our fourth AM Buzz speaker, Joe Gizzi, Lead Strategist for Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, MXM, offers his own 10 Top Trends separately.)
Q1: What is the biggest trend you expect to see in 2017?
Brown: From a social perspective, live video will continue to be a major trend in 2017. Beyond social, more and more marketers will embrace all things AI, from predictive targeting to chat bots to voice recognition.
Nguyen: Interactive storytelling — whether through social media or more traditional channels, organizations will bring a more personal voice and immersive experience to their content strategy.
Sanchez: 11 years after it’s launch, Twitter is about to have a great year.
Q2: How will that trend impact DC communicators?
Brown: All of these tools and trends focus on delivering more relevant, more timely and more helpful content to audiences. Regardless of the means of communication, DC communicators will need to shift from more general brand messages to more tailored brand engagements.
Nguyen (From more interactive storytelling): More conservative organizations will have to find new ways of communicating in order to stay relevant. That may not be Snapchat or VR, but we’ve reached a tipping point.
Sanchez: Twitter just helped Trump win his election. And for Anthony Wiener, Twitter took him down. As many elected officials have already learned,Twitter can be a powerful force — for good and bad. More policy makers, thought leaders, and business people will be rushing to Twitter to take advantage of the power of earned media. We’re going to see a huge surge for CEOs and Executive Directors that bypass their agencies and comms teams to share their thoughts directly with the public and influencers. DC communicators need to start preparing to give the password back to the boss. That means training, rules, and having a backup plan.
Q3: Who wins from that trend?
Brown: Ideally, both the brand and the consumer win. The consumer enjoys more relevant and more helpful content, while the brand enjoys more efficient marketing processes.
Nguyen: Everyone does — consumers will have a richer experience, organizations from every industry and sector will breathe new life into their mission.
Sanchez: Everyone and no one. Everyone wins when our leaders are more open and transparent. However, there is the risk the messages we see are one-sided. Also, there is a danger that the boss could make a mistake. We saw what happened to (former head of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, John) Podesta when he clicked the wrong link.
Q4: Are their additional trends DC communicators should monitor?
Brown: Augmented reality has the potential to take off. I also think we’ll see a return to more long-form text and visual content.
Nguyen: 2017 is sure to be a year of change, for obvious reasons. New technologies and new policies will provide a tremendous opportunity for transformative change. Get ready.
Sanchez: As wearables, Nest and Alexa get more popular at home, we’re going to see these devices in the DC offices and for advocacy. “Alexa, email my congressman,” might become something we hear a lot this year.
Q5: What was the biggest trend last year (2016), in your opinion?
Brown: I think 2016 was the year of VR. Moving forward, VR will be overshadowed by live video and 360 video.
Nguyen: Content curation. From crafting an intentional experience and creating episodic content to repurposing high-value pieces in an integrated strategy, content (still) curation reigned supreme.
Sanchez: Hacking was the big trend in 2016. Everyone in DC logged into Wikileaks to read our friends’ leaked emails. I overhead one DC hipster saying, ‘If you aren’t on Wikileaks, you aren’t really a DC insider.’ But as the government was shaken by the security concerns during the election and the OPM hack, industry groups continued to struggle, as we saw with retailers (Target) and technology companies(Yahoo!) continuing to be hacked. One of the strangest moments happened when the Internet went down in September because people’s home security systems were used to in a DoS attack all across the US. All this hacking meant that people struggled to trust our leaders, the media and marketing.
What’s your top trend for 2017? Feel free to post in the comment section below, and register now to join us next Tuesday.
LEGO Batman Takes Washington, DC photo by Geoff Livingston.