Stepping into the New Year

Stepping Into the New Year 1

The beginning of a new year is a phenomenal time, and yet stressful period as well. For many, the New Year brings new resolutions often basked and scented with optimism.

With only one month in, a change agent boisterously sways into 2017,and today’s marketer encounters their very own set of challenges.

Today’s Truth

Yesterday’s truth didn’t include social media, but yet it has become a mystical revelation of expression and connectivity. Just considering Facebook alone, the social media giant accounts for 79% of online adults.

Mobile, in 2016, continued to tear down walls. Smartphone user adoption has shifted from urban cores and rural areas to incorporate remote and underdeveloped countries.

With smartphones lending an “always-on” connection, consumption and distribution patterns continue to evolve. Last year, the growth of live broadcast platforms triggered a fundamental change to the world of video.

Smartphones are a vital tool to empower users, who have now become publishers. Each user now crafting and framing seconds of videos is accepting an invitation to a once exclusive private world.  For the toll of admission, brands are figuring out innovative ways to obtain permission and utilize this user-generated content. For example, the NBA has found success with SnapChat by cultivating itself as a storyteller.

In 2016, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report highlighted that brands are still over-indexed in spending on traditional media. Consumers spend 25% of their time consuming media on mobile devices, but advertisers only spent roughly around 12% of their budget to target those people on those devices.

Stepping Into the New Year 2

Rise of Influencer Marketing

Who are the millennials?

The group once notoriously heralded as entitled employees that text and tweet way too much are now the gatekeepers for a modern form of digital communication.

With the growth of messenger platforms and instant broadcasts, there are many  linguistic layers that yesterday’s marketers are still peeling back.

Today, some of the leading brands are turning to freelance digital natives to help capture the essence of the “new generation.” For example, Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III generated over $5 million in income by making funny local-style ads for big and small companies.  YouTube Stars (and other social media stars) have found a certain qualitative perspective that spark familiar emotions that often resonate with millennials.

Last year, I wrote a blog post on big ideas for 2016 and posed a question wondering if the power of the “like” could increase equity within relationships. During the year, brands provided new depth into compartmentalizing this relationship. For example, Google engineered a framework to help quantitatively capture mobile search data via micro moments.

Do emotions trump logic?

Sam Cooke said it best – “change is gonna come!”

There is little doubt change will happen, but progress is optional.

As we press forward, are marketers able to transcend relationship equity into ownership?

What role will vanity metrics play in decision making? Will strategic plans be lean enough to find and explore actionable metrics? Is there a contrarian perspective or alternative fact to consider?


Rob Black, Jr. is a marketer with over 15 years experience within property management. He currently operates a creative blog site ( targeting millennials. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.


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