Last Year’s Lead Generation Trend Predictions: Which Ones Came True?

What breakthrough trends are affecting the lead generation landscape so far in 2017?

Back in December 2016, we posted some predictions for the lead generation trends marketers should pay attention to in the upcoming year. Collecting annual predictions from several bloggers, experts, and influencers in the industry, we curated a short list containing the trends that we thought would be the most important for marketers to consider while developing their 2017 lead generation strategies.

Now that we’re halfway through 2017, we thought we’d take a look back and see which of these predictions came to fruition and how accurate they were. Here are our findings below:

Prediction #1: The rise of single customer profiles

In 2016, marketers started realizing the importance of giving each customer a consistent user experience, no matter what device they were engaging on. Learning how to create a single customer profile for each lead seemed inevitable.

Now in 2017, the trend has taken off with the help of cross-device targeting, which uses data to identify a customer on one device in order to serve ads to them on a different device. While cross-device is enabling marketers to build detailed single customer profiles for each lead and get a better understanding of how to generate value across their customer base, companies must continually make sure that they are appropriately disclosing to their customers what information they are tracking and how it is being used.

Prediction #2: More companies embracing programmatic software and other sophisticated ad tech

Despite the challenges that advertisers and publishers face using various ad technology to scale their campaigns, 2017 is turning out to be the year where programmatic, AI and VR experiences have finally begun to find a stronger footing.

Marketers are turning in the direction of programmatic as a measurable and accurate domain to target specific customers, cloud computing has gone mainstream for many enterprises, and there has been a rise in the number of companies experimenting with digital assistants, artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, drones, autonomous vehicles, and blockchain. The ad tech industry is constantly growing and evolving, so with that in mind, check out this great list of the latest innovations that marketers should be keeping an eye on during the second half of the year.

Prediction #3: High-value content formats becoming more common

It is now widely known that Google’s search algorithms look for high-value, share-worthy content. Because of this, several marketers began incorporating high-value content offerings (such as e-books, webinars, industry events, joint workshops, and whitepapers) into their lead generation strategy throughout 2016.

In 2017, the need for high-value content creation has become even more important. Studies show that marketers are planning to create more content during 2017 than ever before, and with more content clutter, better content is needed in order to stand out. With more and more marketers fighting for the same audience, the creation of niche content is also trending. Additionally, the channels, tactics and tools marketers used to create and distribute high-value content in 2016 seemed to revolve mostly around long-format, but in 2017 marketers are mixing it up with a combination of long and “bite-sized” content.

Prediction #4: Increased budget spending on social media

Enthusiasm for social media marketing grew in 2016, with several companies stating their intentions to invest more of their marketing budget on paid social media efforts in 2017. Recent research from Econsultancy and Gartner show that social media marketing certainly appears to be ripe for further spending, with increased budgets set by 56% of their respondents. Furthermore, along with content marketing, social media engagement was named a top digital-related priority for marketers this year.

Another prediction from last year regarding social was that search engines would start using social signals to rank websites. Although Google has reported that it is not using major social networks as a mean to rank pages, social signals will remain important as indirect ranking factors until search engines find a better way to leverage social interactions and activity.

Prediction #5: Nearly half of all small businesses adding a mobile app by the end of 2017

This was a surprising prediction, considering the fact that most small businesses have been pretty slow to adopt mobile apps over the last few years. According to a survey from Clutch, less than a quarter of small businesses had a mobile app in 2016, but 27% planned to build a mobile app in the near future.

Although data on how many of those small businesses actually built mobile apps in 2017 is not yet available, other studies have been conducted that indicate a favorable landscape. Data released from Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics shows that 90% of a consumer’s mobile time is spent in apps. This figure is a key insight that should help many small businesses move along in the decision to develop a mobile app over restricting themselves to mobile optimized sites.

 

Which lead generation predictions have you seen come true so far in 2017? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you see!

 

Posted on June 29, 2017 in Lead Generation

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About the Author

Megan is the senior blog writer at Clench Media, a lead generation specialist company that generates high quality leads across multiple verticals domestically and internationally.

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