Predictions & Forecasts
Hello and Happy 2017,
As all of us are fully ensconced in making 2017 a strong growth year for our
respective companies, a summary of various predictions and forecasts may be a
useful resource. So with that in mind, the following Trend Report is a one stop
overview. It is intended to be a quick read. Links are provided for those of you
who want to deep dive categories.
Here’s to a robust year of business.
Freelance MarCom Consultant
312.560.2878 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Chicago | Toronto
Table of Contents
Economy page 4
Marketing Trends Forbes 5
Trend Hunter 11
embedded VR, condensed broadcast 15
Health Care 16
All information gained through public access
Economists See 2017 GDP Growth of + 2.1%
The U.S. economic outlook is healthy according to experts. That's because
the GDP growth rate will be between the 2 percent to 3 percent ideal range.
• U.S. GDP growth will rise to 2.1 percent in 2017. That's better than the 1.9
percent estimated for 2016 and the same as 2015's growth rate of 2.1 percent.
• The unemployment rate will drop to 4.5 percent in 2017 and 2018. That's
better than the 4.7 percent rate in 2016, and the Fed's 6.7 percent target. Most job
growth is in low-paying retail and food service industries.
• Inﬂation will be 1.9 percent in 2017 and 2.0 percent in 2018. Both are higher than
1.5 percent rate in 2016, and the 0.7 percent inﬂation experienced in 2015.
• U.S. manufacturing is forecast to increase faster than the general economy.
Production will grow 3 percent in 2017, and 2.8 percent in 2018. Growth will slow to
2.6 percent in 2019 and 2 percent in 2020.
• The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts crude oil prices will
average $50/barrel for the ﬁrst six months of 2017.
• FOMC ﬁrst raised the Fed funds rate to 0.5 percent in December 2015 and It
expects the rate to rise to 1.5 percent in 2017, 2 percent in 2018 and 3 percent
Canada - Highlights
• Canada’s economic growth is forecast to accelerate to 1.9 per cent in 2017.
• Improved export activity and increased government spending will partly offset
slowing consumer spending and declining residential construction.
• Business investment outside the oil and gas sector is showing some signs of
• With economic growth remaining modest in Canada, the Bank of Canada is
expected to hold off on any interest rate hikes until 2018, even then the rate of
increase will be modest. As Canadian and U.S. interest rates widen, the Canadian
dollar will lose ground against the U.S. in 2017, expected to average US $0.745.
1. Interactive Content
There’s content you can read, and then there’s content you can interact with. The
second variety tends to be more popular. For example, BuzzFeed’s “Which City Should
You Live In?” quiz has been one of their home-run pieces. Think of ways to get readers
to actively participate instead of passively consume. Interactive content can include
assessments (such as the classic Cosmo Quiz setup), polls, surveys, infographics,
brackets and contests.
2. Inﬂuencer Marketing
What’s more effective than an ad in selling your product? A lovable social media
personality speaking highly about your product to his or her fans and followers.
Inﬂuencer marketing is on the rise, because people tend to trust recommendations from
people they see as thought leaders. The right inﬂuencers establish credibility through
each social media post or advertisement. When they work with brands, it’s because
they genuinely believe in them, and that trust is passed on to consumers.
3. Mobile Video
Have you looked at your Facebook feed recently? Chances are that 95% of it is video.
And here’s a fun stat: mobile video views grew six times faster than desktop views in
2015. In fact, in Q4 of 2015, mobile video views exceeded desktop views for the ﬁrst
time ever. We now live in an age of mobile video, and it’s time we embraced it.
Although we’re still working out the kinks of this technology, it’s clear that livestreaming
will continue to push the boundaries. A big step in this direction was Instagram’s
integration of a livestream option into its Stories feature. We’re going to see a lot more
live broadcasts in 2017.
5. Virtual and augmented reality
One of 2016’s biggest highlights was watching a screen-afﬂicted population carry their
mobile devices out into the world to catch, yes, Pokemon. The biggest takeaway from
this phenomenon was augmented reality’s ability to drive real business results. This has
become a seriously viable option for marketers looking to bring the online into the real
6. Short-lived content
What gives Snapchat its appeal? The fact that the content disappears. Snapchat’s
rampant rise in popularity did a lot more for the world of social media than just give
users another platform to choose from. It showed the value of disappearing or short-
lived content. This is a key attraction for Generation Z, the cohort famous for having an
eight-second attention span, and is why you should be integrating short-lived content
into your content strategy.
7. Mobile First Strategy
The future is mobile. Internet trafﬁc is now coming more from mobile devices than
desktops. If you’re not catering your content, ads and online experience to a mobile
user, then you are missing a massive opportunity. And remember: It’s not just about
“optimizing” for mobile; it’s also about making sure that piece of content gets integrated
with a user’s lifestyle on the go.
Personalization means segmenting your content to reach different types of audience
members based on their preferences, habits, etc. The most common form of this
strategy is through lists, where certain content gets sent to certain types of users based
on which lists they’ve opted into. In a world of too much content and not enough time,
personalization is a huge win for brands looking to earn the attention of their
9. Native Advertising
Viewers, followers and consumers are getting wise to the tricks of advertisers, and it’s
becoming harder and harder to maintain their attention and earn their trust. Native
advertising means integrating your advertising efforts into content that already provides
value to readers and viewers. For this reason, it tends to be more effective. Look for
ways to weave your products and offerings into a larger narrative, instead of just
blasting people with ads.
10. Purpose Driven Marketing
One of the most effective ways to extend your story is to give it a feel-good element.
Brands that partner with nonproﬁts or charities, or set up internal programs that “give
back” in some way (TOMS shoes comes to mind) have a much stronger presence
because their story resonates with the hearts of consumers.
Landor Trend Watch: In Sum
2017 will be all about balance—between recreation and responsibility, health and
hedonism, web and wilderness. Expect just one constant: Agile brands—those
with ﬂexibility and strength—will be best prepared to keep their footing as the
Let’s talk digital
With all the new technology being developed and implemented every day, how can you
decide what your company needs to stay relevant? Here are the digital trends we
expect will have the biggest impact on brands in 2017.
1. VR, meet B2B
Virtual reality (VR) may still be in its nascence, but it’s getting better, cheaper, and more
accessible all the time. Look for VR and augmented reality (AR) to expand beyond
immersive headsets and direct-to-consumer games in 2017
2. Say “hey” to chatbots
You’re well acquainted with Siri, the Apple chatbot, and you may have met IBM’s
Watson and Amazon’s Alexa. But did you know that Sephora, MasterCard, and Taco
Bell are using chatbots, too? In 2017, almost every industry will begin streamlining man-
machine communications via chatbots. And not just with customers, but internally with
employees. Companies will use chatbots to offer information on everything from health
beneﬁts and retirement planning to job training and travel.
Successful brands will design chatbots that are both differentiated and humanized.
Elements like a bot’s name, gender, appearance, and voice all inﬂuence consumers’
perceptions of a brand, so managers will need to consider which qualities to project.
And because the bot represents the brand, consistency is imperative.
3. Let’s get phygital, phygital
We’re ofﬁcially experiencing a Matrix moment: The physical and digital worlds are
colliding. Consider the wildﬁre phenomenon Pokémon Go, which reportedly earned $1.6
million per day in the United States at its zenith. While participants are playing a virtual
game on their phones, they’re also interacting with the real world and other gamers in
With the boundaries between our physical and digital lives blurring, businesses have
unprecedented opportunities to create brand experiences that work online, ofﬂine, and
somewhere in between.
Lowe’s is crossing that line with a new app that allows shoppers to virtually mock up
furnishings, ﬁxtures, and even ﬂooring customized for their homes. The freedom to
experiment digitally allows consumers to make more informed decisions, while also
relationship with the
4. Nature is nurture
s h a r i n g , t e x t i n g .
Sometimes it feels like
our whole lives are under a digital microscope.Where can people turn for space,
silence, and simplicity? Increasingly, to the great outdoors. Apps like AllTrails,
MapMyRun, GoSkyWatch Planetarium, and My Altitude are making hidden corners of
the world more accessible. Not only do they tap into a spirit of adventure, they also help
people ﬁnd the balance and stillness they yearn for. Look for other brands to bring the
outdoor experience into the city by hosting urban events at parks, lakes, or open
In 2017, more companies will tie their strategic initiatives to beneﬁting the environment.
Not just outdoorsy brands like REI and Patagonia, but smaller players such as Tentree
or Tinlid Hat Company, which plant trees for every product sold.
5. Getting customers in the mood
The digital revolution has enabled us to customize everything from the interface we
shop on to the products we buy and even the ads we see. But when it comes to
physical stores, this level of personalization has yet to materialize.
With 85–95 percent of consumer decisions occurring on a subconscious level, retailers
know the importance of setting the right tone for shoppers. Abercrombie & Fitch recently
overhauled its entire retail experience—lowering music and raising lighting while
decreasing scent—just to keep customers lingering in its stores.
Brick-and-mortar retailers have a massive opportunity to follow the lead of their online
counterparts in customizing experiences. Heat sensors, motion detectors, and facial
readers can monitor walking speed, body temperature, expressions, and time spent at
given displays. With this wealth of information, retailers can modify playlists, change
digital signage, or rotate displays in response to shoppers’ moods. This creates a major
competitive advantage, making shoppers feel more comfortable—and more inclined to
6. Let them eat cake!
After decades of swinging from indulgence to austerity, the food pendulum is coming to
rest at center. The new focus in 2017: nutritious eating that also allows for treats and
splurges. Food brands across the board are already offering smaller sizes, from Coca-
Cola’s 7.5-ounce mini cans to McDonald’s Mac Jr. Mars Food now labels some of its
pasta sauces and rich foods as appropriate for “occasional” consumption.
7. Minimal to the max
Simpliﬁed packaging is on the rise for 2017. Following years of neon colors, bling-y
a c c e n t s , m e t a l l i c f o i l s , a n d
multicolored prints, subtlety will be the
new standard of excellence. Labels
will also carry less information to ease
product recognition and aid purchase
decisions.This trend is already
beginning to emerge. Renowned
Spanish winemaker Ramon Bilbao
launched his new rosé, LaLomba, with
elegant labeling and sophisticated
Kashi followed suit with a streamlined
cereal package in just three colors—
green, brown, and white.
Expect this minimalist approach to
inﬂuence other areas of design:
simpliﬁed logos, concise user
interfaces, select color palettes.
Consumers stand to beneﬁt when their shopping experience is clean, calm, and
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