US Insights

Media and digital predictions 2017

Duncan Southgate

Global brand director, Digital, Kantar Millward Brown

Brands 12.06.2016 / 08:00


Capturing the rising Generation Z consumer will require changing strategies for marketers.

Marketers will spend much of their time in 2017 getting a handle on the needs, aspirations and behaviors of the post-millennial market, or Generation Z.

This next wave of consumers, number 2 billion people globally and representing 27% of the world’s population, will demand a mobile-led content experience that will appeal to their imagination and passion for design and music. Brands will be challenged to overcome ad blocking by building better experiences and connecting to consumers’ journeys.

“Gen Z will not only change how brands communicate but also create challenges in how brands demonstrate authenticity and transparency in digital,” said, Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director, Media & Digital at Kantar Millward Brown. Gen Z have grown up in a connected world and are impatient towards disjointed online/offline models that are older than they are – and this group will not adapt.”

Kantar Millward Brown’s ninth annual digital and media predictions report identifies six key areas that will define marketers approach in 2017:

Brands will emphasize co-creation, authenticity and transparency

Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2011, are described as frugal and brand-wary, but also industrious and collaborative. They’re coming of age in a post-linear digital world, where knowledge is at their fingertips and on demand.  Brand will focus resources on digital platforms that allow consumer to co-create a shared brand experience. Brands will give target consumers a deeper look at themselves, sharing their story, purpose and details about their production processes. There will also be a shift toward “right-brained influence,” focusing on imagination though augmented and virtual reality.

Brand experience takes center stage

Nearly aa third of consumers globally report that brands don’t deliver the same level of service online as they do offline, according to the latest Connected Life study from Kantar TNS. Marketers will have to better meet expectations across a growing number of brand touchpoints. Generation Z are impatient with disjointed online/offline models and will move away from brands that don’t adapt.

Content marketing: a new wave of experimentation

Get ready for more native content, short- and long-form video, branded filters, and emoji and PR stunts. The need for immersive experiences using 360 video, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence will make the landscape ripe for new creativity. These formats are not without their challenges. Some are isolated and not easily shareable among consumers. Studies will start to show which formats consumers find annoying and intrusive, particularly on mobile.

Programmatic targeting will balance brand and behavior to identify receptive audiences

Markets will focus on finding the right balance between precision and intrusion. We’ll see a shift away from blunt-instrument targeting based on a single input. Marketers who do this successfully will amplify the power of their digital creative and influence the most appropriate and receptive audience for their brand.

Fear will spur a more aggressive response to ad blockers

Forecasts of billions in lost advertising revenue have been a wake up call for digital advertisers. Marketers will begin fighting back in 2017, which should translate into genuine improvements for consumers. Publishers will be proactive in trying to win the hearts, minds and screen space of consumers. Ad blocking is now everyone’s problem to solve. Advertisers need to create more compelling content which will be relevant in the contexts where it is placed.

Media synergies will become more important than any single channel

Advertisers will more aggressively adopt multiple media alternatives to reach and connect with their audiences. Marketers will be focused on understanding the role each media plays within a broader plan and how they rub off to produce synergistic effects. Optimising media duplication and phasing can go a long way in driving synergies but as a first step, marketers will need to ensure that every medium has a role to play within the broader media mix.

Source: Kantar Millward Brown

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