2016 was a big year for many things but most of all, everything tech. From masses of digital content creation to drones delivering pizza, companies allocated large budgets for growing their digital presence and reaching audiences in a more ‘tech savvy’ way.
So what does this year have in store for us? Here’s a look at some of the biggest predictions for 2017 from business experts…
- Augmented Reality Will Take Off
Augmented reality and virtual reality are set to make a big impact in 2017. Whilst VR (virtual reality) is currently a hot tech product, mainly for gaming, 2017 is set to see a lot more AR (augmented reality) products created for general consumers.
2016’s hit game, Pokémon Go, saw augmented reality introduced to a broad worldwide audience, giving an insight into how AR can superimpose text and images onto different forms of imagery and settings to provide content and video to the real world.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that AR is much more “interesting” to his company than VR – sparking rumours that the next iPhone will include AR technology.
- Drones Will Deliver Food
In 2016, we saw drones successfully deliver food take-aways to customers and an amazon drone even delivered the first online order to a UK resident. Although there’s been a lot of speculation about drones replacing delivery drivers, new FAA rules have luckily saved their jobs. We will however be seeing plenty of drones delivering food to customers locally.
- Crowdfunding Will Validate New Products
Crowdfunding used to be the destination of choice for cool, artistic and techy start-ups. But now, many start-ups from all different sectors are opting to use crowdfunding platforms to validate their products over approaching venture capital firms. And it’s not just start-ups using crowdfunding, established big brands are also using this method to gage interest in their products.
Clay Hebert, marketing and crowdfunding expert says:
“Smart companies are using crowdfunding to not only raise capital, but to validate products before making substantial investments in product development.”
- Video Will Be Essential For Business
Whilst video was a big hit in 2016, 2017 see’s the trend become even more essential to businesses in their marketing strategy.
According to Hubspot’s Consumer Behaviour Survey*, over half (55%) of users say they consume an entire video, compared to just 29% for blogs and 33% for interactive articles. If you want your audience to consume your message in its entirety, video is the best medium.
Live video will continue to grow bringing a level of authenticity to brands. Three of the most recognisable Social Network sites, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, now all include live streaming features.
- The Beauty Industry Will Go Organic
2016 was a big year for vegans and ‘go-green-ers’ and this is predicted to continue in 2017 within the beauty industry. With celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow advocating natural, organic beauty products, new organic brands are likely to be created. Even established brands are said to be changing their formulas to comply with organic regulations.
Founder of Organic Beauty Company Juice Beauty, Karen Behnke suggests,
“My prediction and hope for the beauty industry in 2017 is an increase in consumer awareness and demand for organic products. This has already started to come true as consumers are asking questions and recognizing that you don’t have to compromise your health to achieve skin care efficacy or makeup vibrancy.”
- Automation Will Get Better
In 2016, businesses began utilising the benefits of chatbots for their customer engagement and big companies like Microsoft and Bank of America consider chatbots an important part of their customer service strategy.
According to LiveWorld chairman and CEO Peter Friedman,
“In 2017, brands will strategically and seamlessly integrate humans into chatbot interactions to scale and advance the effectiveness of their chatbot programs.”
- Brands Will Be Publishers
Content will continue to be king in 2017 with more and more brands allocating resources to follow a content strategy and build a publishing entity within their brand. Producing and distributing content will be an essential way for brands to attract new customers and provide answers to questions.
Forbes Contributor Billee Howard predicts,
“Brands continue to emerge as publishers, in essence, becoming purveyors of content, taking on similar roles of old school journalism in profiting by purpose.”
- Digital Assistants Will Become More Human
Apple’s Siri has been around for a few years now (2011), and over the years the digital assistants’ functionalities have increased with more humane responses to users requesting basic activities without tapping their phone screens.
In 2016, 3 other tech giants followed suit with ‘Google Now’, ‘Windows Cortana’, and ‘Amazon Echo’ – leading the way for more digital assistant innovation in 2017.
According to Tematica Research,
“With the Virtual Digital Assistants, there is a whole eco-system that can be developed that goes way beyond the day-to-day information and suddenly put Amazon and the Alexa digital assistant in the Echo device in the driver’s seat of something similar to the Google AdWords business.”
- Automobiles Get Smarter
Self-driving cars won’t be on the road for consumers until at least 2020, but the 2016 hype has got many car buyers interested in finding ways to make their current vehicles smarter. Apps like Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s Car Play have inspired other brands to create similar products to add intelligence to any car.
Time magazine’s Tim Bajarin suggests,
“In 2017 we’ll see more car owners opt to smarten up their existing vehicles using tech like this.”
Taking a look at the trends above, 2017 is set to be another big year for all things technology.
Are you considering using more technology in your business this New Year?