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In an uncertain 2017, create a LINK with your customer

We’ll remember 2016 as a tumultuous year filled with uncertainty and upheaval at home and abroad.

For brands looking for success in 2017, we believe the big communications trends revolve around better connecting with customers and cutting through the noise.

‘Locally’ targeted message
As uncertainty increases on the global stage, brands will be better served directing their messages towards the ‘local’. By targeting communities and working to bring people together, businesses will be able to provide familiarity in unfamiliar times. Communicators should think not just geographically ‘local’ but, in the world of ubiquitous social media, digitally ‘local’. Online communities provide people with the same sense of unity and commonality that used to be associated solely with things like the local sports team, the Parents & Friends Committee, and the pub.

Influencers Please
Traditional media continued to face stiff competition for viewers and readers in 2016 that is likely to continue in the year ahead. Businesses should try to find trusted influencers to deliver the brand to their customers. By relying on these ‘third party’ entities, brands can generate credibility and create a trust relationship between consumers and themselves.

No more boring content
Consumers are demanding more and more from the content they access, as video, gaming and other interactive content fills their news feeds, inboxes and devices. Video, particularly live video, provides brands with an opportunity to access their customers in an exciting way, and even go viral. 2017 will see more interactive content being generated, making it essential that businesses develop a point of difference to make their video, game or campaign rise above the pack.

Know your data
A lot has been said about the rise of data in measuring and improving communications outcomes. However, as in many other industries, communications professionals may be struggling to separate the signal from the noise. It is important that communicators don’t get lost in this avalanche of data and start misinterpreting trends or misdiagnosing problems. 2017 will see professionals honing their interpretive skills, provided they bring experience and instinct to the data analysis.