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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Dec 6, 2016 10 min read

An Early Holiday Gift Filled With 2017 Inbound Marketing Predictions

Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Accelerate The Pace Of Change Next Year

Inbound Marketing PredictionsWhile I’m not going to tell you I know exactly what’s going to happen next year, I do have enough experience to give you some insight into the trends and challenges we’ve seen this year that are setting up to have major impacts on what might transpire in 2017.

They key for you is to be aware of what’s going on, understand the speed at which the transitions and evolutions are progressing, and then make decisions based on these changes. I’m a big believer in having a plan A, plan B and, in some cases, a plan C.

If for some reason cold-calling became hyper effective (don’t worry), at least we would be prepared to start moving some effort into this suddenly highly effective tactic. But if I have no idea it's coming, I would be ill-equipped to make that move. Consider the next 12 predictions as a “heads up” as to what might be coming in the foreseeable future. Enjoy!

For each of the predictions below, I’ll be writing a more comprehensive article over the next couple of weeks leading up to the holiday break. Today is just a little peek into what I’ll be talking about.

1) Video Content Will Become More Prominent In Content Marketing And Inbound Marketing

No earth-shattering revelations here. Video is already insanely popular as a content type, but going forward short, homemade snippets for use on social, web, mobile and email are going to be much more popular as vehicles to carry your story and engage your prospects.

2) Marketing Strategy Will Remain A Missing Element From Inbound Marketing Programs

I write about this every year hoping it will change, but it never does. Companies don’t value marketing strategy, don’t want to pay for it, don’t want to work on it and don’t even want to talk about it. Yet its quality and presence within an inbound engagement are a direct predictor of inbound lead generation success.

3) Shortcuts In The Creation Of Inbound Marketing Tactics Will Impact Performance

I get it; people are always looking for shortcuts, but I’ve seen a major influx of new services, software and apps that appear to be cutting too many corners. No, I don’t want an e-book created simply by giving you my website. That’s not going to produce leads. It’s only going to give me a crappy e-book to give to prospects that will likely disappoint them and not get them to feel safe and hire me. Resist the urge to cut corners next year.

4) Social Media Marketing Is Going To Need A Major Upgrade To Remain Viable

As I wrote about a few days ago, I think social media marketing is going to need a major upgrade, and by that I mean blow it up and start again. Everybody and their brother is using social media to get the message out and it has become a mess. If it can’t be fixed and retooled, my expectation is that this channel is going to be less and less effective in 2017.

5) Novice Inbound Marketing Vs. Expert Inbound Marketing  The Results Prove A Point

As inbound marketing gains speed, more and more people are trying to do it. That means more and more novices are attempting to get results from inbound. The challenge there is as they fail, will inbound take the brunt or will people recognize they need actual inbound experts to get results? We’ll consider this and reveal the trends.

inbound marketing predictions6) Integration Of Mobile Marketing Tactics For Inbound Marketing Go Mainstream

Everyone is on their devices and marketers have taken notice, but what does this mean? Yes, websites and emails should look great on devices, but what other opportunities does the flight to mobile present for inbound marketing?

7) Sales Enablement Programs Like Inbound Sales And Account-Based Marketing Still Struggle

A lot has been written this year about the alignment between sales and marketing. But what are the challenges that face making this a reality? Sales teams have historically been much less likely to change, much less accepting of new processes and present much bigger risks for organizations when it comes to introducing new methodologies.

8) The Science Of Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Breaks Through

I’m most excited about this. After all, I’m an inbound scientist. I believe with all my brain power that there is now a way to mathematically predict marketing results based on the program features in your own inbound marketing. Once this is published, you’ll know exactly what to do, when to do it and what results to expect. It’s a game-changer.

9) Customer Advocacy Is In Its Early Days As A Tactic In Inbound Marketing

It makes sense. If your customers are talking about you then you’ll get more leads, so we’re all-in on customer advocacy marketing, but as with all new tactics it comes with some change management. The question for 2017 is how quickly will companies adopt this, get it rolled out and then see the impact?

10) Influencer Marketing Pushes Content Marketing And Inbound Marketing To Be Targeted

We’ve been doing influencer marketing for years now and it’s great when it works. However, it still takes a lot of energy to get it to work right and it doesn’t always produce results. In 2017, influencer marketing should take the next step and become a more predictable, scalable tactic in the inbound marketing playbook.

11) Website Optimization Sees Advances When Paired With Inbound Marketing

The big website project is becoming less and less popular. Ongoing, regular website optimization is a mandatory part of any progressive inbound marketing effort today. This is a trend that you need to be looking for in your inbound program or ensuring is included in any agency program. If you’re not optimizing your website every single month, you’ll be disappointed in your lead generation results.

12) The Tech Stack Will Be More Prominent Within Inbound Marketing

I know most people find the investment in marketing automation to be enough, but the reality is it’s probably not enough. Going into 2017, you should be budgeting and planning to invest in marketing and sales technologies. The better your tech stack, the better your results. Start thinking about investing $2,000 to $4,000 a month for technology if you’re looking for 20% growth in revenue.

Stay tuned over the next 12 days as we dig deep into each of these predictions. We’ll show you what to look for buried within each of these trends, so that as 2016 closes out and 2017 rolls in, you and your company will be uniquely positioned to understand the trends and, more importantly, to take advantage of the trends.

Square 2 Marketing – Inbound Results Start With ME!


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.