Digital Trends 2017

We like to hear what our members think about the hottest issues of the day. Navjot Singh, Content and Editorial Manager at The Knowledge Engineers by AVADO, offers his thoughts on digital trends that may revolutionize the way we live and work in 2017.

Navjot Singh, Content and Editorial Manager at The Knowledge Engineers by AVADO

This time last year, I was writing a similar piece, and thinking industry-predicted digital trends would really change the way in which we live and work. There were many discussions about mobile-, video- and voice-recognition taking place across all industries. We have seen that all three of these technologies have completely redefined how people interact with one another, as well as with brands.

There was also the popularity of important technological breakthroughs, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The former came through in the form of Pokémon Go, while the latter was seen at the Cannes 2016 Festival of Creativity and is sure to be an even hotter subject this year. Another key trend we saw was the shift of virtual assistants moving from our mobile devices into our homes.

It goes without saying that both social and mobile have had an undeniable influence on marketing, communications and agencies last year and will continue to do so in 2017. Here is a snapshot of some of the top five trends I believe every agency needs to watch out for this year:

More Mobile and Content Marketing

With mobile in the U.S. set to reach 32.9 percent of all media ad-spending in 2020, it is an important trend that I believe we are going to see more of in 2017. By combining mobile with video, agencies can change the way audiences interact with and consume video content. There is continuing evidence of how mobile is having an effect of everyday things like shopping. E-Marketer noted that the share of U.S. m-commerce sales from smartphones will grow to 65 percent—up from 58 percent in 2016. Social media platforms such as Facebook and China’s WeChat will continue to dominate the masses with new technological breakthroughs to engage with consumers. More importantly, I have noted that native content was worth 4.7 billion dollars in 2013, and in 2017 it will be worth 17.5 billion. So, this is a trend that we need to watch out for.

2017 will also be a year where agencies can really put their full focus on how to create an integrated content marketing strategy and make use of techniques such as storytelling through mobile and video—especially with short-form video. Nevertheless, the key challenge for agencies is going to be how to effectively measure content marketing and mobile ROI as the cost within content marketing increases. Agencies need to think and apply a “Mobile First” and “Mobile Only” strategy for all campaigns


Having a text- or voice-triggered chatbot, which is an application typically powered by artificial intelligence (AI) designed to simulate a conversation with another human, is something that some brands have started to utilize, and I foresee a major usage of this technology in 2017. Recently, Starbucks has started using “My Starbucks Barista” chatbots for mobile orders.

As we have seen in 2016, AR has made its presence known, and VR is a trend which quite a number of brands have embraced. VR will become tangible in 2017. While it will be a big topic, people will still need to understand the user better.

Machine Learning

In 2017, I anticipate significant improvements in immersive machine learning technology as well as software. Already at the CES 2017 we are seeing a myriad of technologies being unleashed that relate to this and brands are beginning to see the seriousness of its uses. Wynn Hotels plans to equip almost 5,000 rooms with’s Echo device, which will allow people to query Alexa for room and hotel information. Sticking with Amazon, we have seen how the ecommerce giant has recently started experimenting with Amazon Go, which uses machine learning technologies so that people won’t ever have to encounter a checkout (this was the stuff that IBM predicted in early 2000s).

Data-driven Culture

Using data to tell stories is going to be a big trend. A recent example is how U.K.’s low-cost airline, easyJet, used data insights by partnering with Havas Helia to create an amazing customer experience marketing campaign. I anticipate brands utilizing data to create personal storytelling and DOOH (Digital Out-of-Home) is also going to be a big trend in 2017. With the speed of processing improving exponentially and with our ability to harvest data being the stuff of science-fiction, it comes down to the next step, which is that we have Big Data, we have Smart Data and the next step in the evolution is Beautiful Data. This would be data that informs you, is digestible and eventually becomes actionable. This is the future of data. Data’s impact is absolutely imperative, data-driven marketing is here to stay and agencies need to embrace it.


Programmatic advertising, which is the way people buy media, is growing faster than content for audience-based advertising. Demand for programmatic and automatic marketing is on the rise. Programmatic is very appealing to marketers because it allows them to combine tech and creativity to deliver powerful results. Technology and creative is ushering a new era of digitally led advertising.

My final thought is that 2016 was the year of tech education and 2017 is going to be the year of tech application.

Don’t Miss Out!

Want to learn more about how an agency can benefit from digital? Join Nick New from AVADO on the Thursday January 12th for an exclusive webinar, as he takes you through the biggest tech disruptions of 2016 and upcoming innovations for 2017.

And, if you’re looking to gain the essential digital marketing skills that every agency professional should know, check out the Digital Acceleration Series and choose across eight or all eight brief but powerful webinars providing a comprehensive curriculum around digital. Click here to find out more.