7 Trends in Marketing and Branding for 2017

  • Feb 22, 2017

Austin, Texas: As the year winds down, I have noticed several trends that have been developing that I’d like to  note. Here are seven trends in marketing that are here to stay for next year and beyond:


    1. Social Media is Still a Strong Method of Marketing: Some of the go-to apps might have changed and the demise of Vine was a bit surprising, but as people continue to use their smartphones for more and more tasks, as well as for entertainment, it is imperative to keep testing, and trying to master, a handful of apps–both the “popular” ones as well as new ones.  You just don’t know which ones are going to stick, so if you want to be considered a thought leader or market leader, it pays to be active on at least 3-4 types of social media apps and double down on them for success.
    2. Trade Shows are Still a Very Cost-Effective Way to Reach Clients and Prospects: Each year there is talk that marketers are going to stop exhibiting at and attending trade shows– but that is just not the case. Most of our clients are still exhibiting at their tried and true conventions and trade shows–and many are even doing more than ever.  Although I was not able to get 2016 trade show statistics, the industry publication Trade Show Executive states that in 2015,  the retention rate of exhibitors from year to year at 76% while the retention rate of exhibit space sold was an impressive 78%. In addition, 44% of first-time exhibitors were satisfied enough to sign on for the next edition of their respective events.
    3. Influencer Marketing is Strong: People trust thought leaders, celebrities, actors, models, rappers, athletes and others that they follow on social media.  If they promote your brand, in a blog, tweet or by being photographed using it– instant credibility can be won.  But remember, this is a two-edged sword and the public is fickle. However, influencer marketing can get you immediate followers and sales if done correctly–or, sometimes, if you are just lucky.
    4. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Will be Huge..Soon.  I’ve written a few articles on the topic of virtual reality and we have sold tens of thousands of virtual reality headsets with branded logos–but I still think VR is a few years ahead of its hype. These two trends will change how we view media, how we experience our media, etc.  I think it is just around the corner…and the pioneering companies will be at VR 2.0 before most of us have even gotten into VR 1.0–giving them a huge advantage.
    5. People Still Love Swag and its ROI is Second to None. Well, actually, according to ASI’s 2016 Impressions Study, the cost per impression of a promotional product is .007 cents – or 7/10 of a penny–making it tied with spot radio ads and internet advertising as the lowest cost way to reach your target audience. And, unlike the other forms of advertising, promotional products are not interruption marketing–meaning they do not come in between your favorite songs or sports broadcast to interrupt you with its message–making it seen in a more positive light.
    6. Too Many People are Looking for Shortcuts to Success: It is a shame that a commitment to success takes a lot of time and effort – but the rewards for long-term gains are well worth it.  I think there are too many gurus out there preaching 4-hour work weeks and the outsourcing of everything. All sound nice in theory–but it is the doing of things others would rather not do and persistence and consistency in your marketing and branding that will give you the greatest chance of success.
    7. Everyone Has a Voice and an Opinion: As the 2016 Presidential election forecasts have revealed, nobody has a crystal ball. People like to listen to pundits and experts to tell them what to do, how to act, where to spend their media budget, what investments to make, etc. — but they are just delegating to someone who is as clueless as the next person. It is time to quit passing the buck and start making and owning decisions based on your own instincts, education, knowledge and intuition.


I hope you have found this list interesting and a starting point for a successful 2017.


2016 has been another fun, exciting and prosperous year for our company– and we are very grateful to have such a long list of happy and satisfied clients that have been with us for this amazing ride as we just celebrated our 6oth anniversary in business.

Here’s to a successful new year!

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