3 Directions Digital Marketing Will Head in 2017

Digital Marketing

Only 16 of the Fortune 500 companies listed in the 1900’s exist today. Lack of innovation and foresight have been attributed to the most common factors for the downfall of the majority. Here are three digital marketing developments that could shape and impact how marketers engage audiences in a digital-first world.


Given that mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat are universal with not just expanded functionality, such as links to social media (Facebook’s 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp), they will soon become a battleground for digital marketing to mine and engage on. The user base of the top five chat apps outnumbers the combined userbase of the top five social networks, so the interest to fixate on them is understandable. Though it is worth messaging, that it would serve marketers well to focus on depth rather than width, raising goal conversion rates for being contextual in their messaging. Chat apps like WeChat benefit from an intricate ecosystem with a multipurpose value for use.

As far as operating systems are concerned, mobile messaging will take the lead as the destination marketers will enjoy creating personalized branded content with tools like C2.


In 2016 we saw every major social platform adopt live video-streaming capabilities. We also saw live video-streaming platforms such as Twitch gain enormous popularity, and new products like Snapchat Spectacles pop up to further enable the technology.

In 2016, Amazon, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Musical.ly launched live video streaming, accessing audiences in real time and granting digital marketing consultants the power of being able to capture a moment in time with audiences in an authentic voice.

Marketers eager to participate in and make waves with real-time streaming and campaigns will need to embrace creativity while incorporating PESTLE (political, economical, social, technological, legal and ecological) factors into the strategy such as Standard Chartered’s feed on #DubaiMarathon this month.


Facebook’s sudden algorithm changes in 2012 resulted in a massive loss of traffic and reach for advertisers and agencies. Last year, algorithm changes to Instagram also led brands to take a hit, regardless of their content or following (this was also caused by the logo change, an icon on mobile that users appeared to have trouble finding). These changes raise questions as to how valuable social is in its oft-touted role in brand awareness sides of the funnel. The prolific rise of ad blockers further diminishes the perceived value of social ads, with agencies turning to native advertising. Brand-side marketers may come to expect conversion options along with interest based ads. How Facebook and others counter ad fatigue and loss of trust remains to be seen.

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Usman Khalid

About the Author Usman Khalid

Usman Khalid is the founder & CEO of Centric DXB. He excels in taking the point of view of both our clients and our internal teams - expressing those perspectives, concerns and requirements to the other side. Aspiring clients & partners can reach him on [email protected]