5 Business Trends to Look Out For in 2017

business trends 2016

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

1. Native Advertising Will Become More Popular

The popularity of ad-blockers is steadily increasing. The end result is hard to predict. Powerful companies like Facebook and Google drive major revenues from their advertising platforms and will not want to let go easily. But with the recent announcement of Apple, things are beginning to change.

Writing on the impact of ad-blockers on Facebook, Biz Carson of the Business Insider writes:

The threat to its mobile advertising market comes directly from a September Apple software update that introduced ad-blocking apps to iOS 9. Ad blockers became some of the top-selling downloads in the app store, although some have since been removed over privacy concerns.

iOS will also automatically be including an ad-blocker with Safari on their mobile devices—a shrewd move against some of their biggest competition in the tech space like Google. 

The increase of ad-blockers will most likely force companies to look for alternative methods to get their brand's voice heard. Native advertising is a likely candidate to fill the gap. This will allow products to appear in casual settings where they don’t appear as outward advertisement—for example, a picture of Kylie Jenner drinking Coca-Cola. When it comes to native advertisements, ad-blockers will not be able to properly distinguish between an honest photo and a sponsorship.

2. Subscription Based Services Will Increase in Number

Netflix, Hulu, Audible—millennials have spoken. Consumers don’t like hourly fees, and subscription services are an effective way to do away with them. In fact, it’s one of the reasons Bookly has adopted such a model—we don’t want our customers to feel as if they should be afraid to ask their accountant questions. A monthly subscription model gives our clients unlimited access to a CPA without having to worry about each passing minute costing them money. 

Equally important with subscription based services, is the removal of friction at the point of purchase. When a client can make automated recurring payments—there is little pain associated with the purchase or hassle of paying each time. Harvard Scientists have studied this phenomenon with brain scans and have discovered that humans experience physiological pain at the point of purchase, but that this pain can be mitigated through various marketing techniques. (Read our article about neuromarketing for further reference.)

Michal Lev-Ram of Fortune writes: 

Subscriptions should certainly be an option for consumers, regardless of the product type. Consumer behavior, especially among younger people, is changing, and the need to own and house goods—from music to cars to physical documents—is waning. While Wall Street grapples with how to evaluate some of the subscription-only companies (à la Box), it has clearly worked up an appetite for a recurring revenue model that gives companies all sorts of new ways to engage with old and new customers. But transitioning isn’t easy, and each company needs to evaluate the needs of its customer base—and how subscriptions could potentially open the door to new users.

3. Content Marketing Will Become Essential

Another result of ad-blockers will be the increased importance of content marketing. As services move to block traditional advertising, value-based content will become more and more relevant. Articles, photos, and videos that can organically drive traffic will become essential components of running a proper ad campaign. 

John Miller of B2C writes: 

While many of the skills of content marketing and traditional digital marketing overlap, the intent is very different. While digital advertising can clearly play a role in marketing the content, the key is to start with awesome, audience-focused content rather than traditional in-your-face promotional copy. Your audience – almost regardless of who they are – wants content that helps them do their job better or live their life more enjoyably; telling them how fabulous your products or services are doesn’t accomplish that.

4. Increased Focus on Workplace Culture

More and more businesses are ditching suits and ties for t-shirts and ping pong tables. Simple gestures such as these are effective ways to boost morale and generate good will amongst employees. Upgrades such as these are often inexpensive and go a long way to ensure a happy workforce. With articles all over the internet touting the fun vibe found in startup hubs like San Fransisco and Austin, look for this trend to continue in 2016 as companies attempt to attract top talent. 

5. The Rise of the Solopreneur

With an increase in tools available (many of them free and inexpensive), look out for the rise of the solopreneur. iPhones are able to produce great photos, instructional YouTube videos and articles are widely available , and services like Canva put the power of graphic design into the novice’s hands. With services like these, technology is creating a generation of Renaissance men and women. 

Not only are companies giving the power to the consumer, they’re also allowing them to outsource their business needs at prices that sometimes make it more convenient than hiring in-house employees. Bookly for example offers accounting services that most often outpace more traditional methods in terms of cost and efficiency. This gives the consumer the ability to spend more time doing the parts of business they enjoy, and get quicker updates on their financials without ever having to leave their office.