Dave Chaffey | Smart Insights | Fri, 23 Dec 2016 15:00:11 +0000

What are the most important marketing investment priorities for Smart Insights members for the year ahead?

Each year, we ask Smart Insights members for their predictions of THE most important high-level digital marketing technique for their business or their clients. This has been really interesting to take the pulse of opinion on marketing trends across the main digital marketing techniques. Thanks if you shared your opinion, we had 2,352 responses from marketers around the world! Here are the results for 2017:

How the top trends were selected

From September to mid-December 2016 we asked readers of our post on Digital Marketing Trends for 2017 to select just one marketing tactic which would give them the biggest uplift in the year ahead. While this doesn’t have a controlled sample of our free research reports like Managing Digital Marketing, it does canvas opinion widely.This isn’t necessarily the most important channel by volume of leads or sales, rather it is the tactic which will give the biggest increase.

Note that the technique shown in the chart isn’t necessarily the most important channel by volume of leads or sales, rather it is the tactic which will give the biggest increase in the year ahead. By asking for just one tactic, this helps shows the the top 3, 5 or 10 top-level trends.

We asked our members this question:

Select one marketing activity that you think will give your business the biggest incremental uplift in leads and sales in 2017 (or your clients if you work for an agency or as a consultant)“.

To help the decision on which to choose we expanded upon the short labels you see in the graph to help scope the example. For example, ‘Big Data’ is a nebulous term, but when we expanded it to include insight and

  • Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics)
  • Content marketing Communities (Branded niche or vertical communities)
  • Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) / improving website experiences
  • Display (Banners on publishers, ad networks social media including retargeting and programmatic)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) marketing applications
  • Marketing Automation (incl CRM, behavioural Email marketing and web personalisation)
  • Mobile marketing (Mobile advertising, site development and apps)
  • Paid search marketing, e.g. Google AdWords Pay Per Click
  • Online PR (including influencer outreach)
  • Partnerships including affiliate and co-marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO or organic search)
  • Social media marketing including Social CRM and Social Customer Care
  • Wearables (e.g. Apple Watch, activity trackers, augmented reality)

You can read more analysis and details under each of these headings in my full article on Digital Marketing Trends for 2017.