2017 Was the Year of Customer Engagement and Data-Driven Results


2017 marketing trends made an outstanding year for marketing, with budgets increasing by 12%. This increase provided outstanding ROI for businesses including more data-driven results and improved digital customer engagement through web content and social platforms. Marketers used hard data to prove that soft studies like customer engagement do provide a massive return on investment. Marketing teams used formulas that could convert followers and subscribers into real-life customers and provide sales teams with valuable consumer data.


Social Media Strategies of 2017


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This year, digital marketers took to social media to start a conversation with people in all parts of the sales funnel. 2017 marketing trends led to more discussion-based posts by companies as a means of understanding the consumer more deeply. These discussions led to more closed-won sales and delighted returning customers. By having these real and relevant discussions, marketers were able to make more accurate customer personas and increase their social awareness.

2017 was also the year that “Facebook reactions” played a much more important role in social media strategy. Rather than asking followers to “like” posts, Facebook reactions gave more insight into the emotional response of the consumer. This was the year that marketers asked, “How does this make you feel?” much more than in previous years. As a result, Facebook reactions sparked much more engagement on marketed posts. For example, if a marketer posted a controversial story before Facebook reactions, only the people who agree with the post would like it. Now because of Facebook reactions, consumers who disagree also participate with an angry reaction. This may not seem like a positive thing to have a bunch of angry reactions on your Facebook page. However, it is great for social engagement and awareness.


Customer Engagement Strategies of 2017


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Riddle me this. When you go to any tourist gift shop or convenience store, what is it you will always find? Personalized keychains, magnets, jewelry, and other various gift items. Why? There’s an actual science to it. According to a study done by the University of Texas, it all comes down to the desire for control and information overload. Consumers like to be in control and choose certain aspects of what they consume as it breaks down endless options to a few key favorites. All of these factors contribute to the reason why tacky personalized trinkets still exist and flourish.

Personalized items are a decent strategy for skimming the top of the consumer engagement pool. For more thoughtful, deeper insights, marketers had to get a little more creative than that. Marketers started using personalization tokens to improve the personal touch while still remaining efficient. Trends like sending relevant content only, making sure each recipient was addressed by their name and responding personally to inquiries all became part of a strong customer engagement strategy. Marketers realized that their already existing customers proved to be valuable promoters for the sales funnel and put more effort into engaging with them on a personal level.


Data-Driven Strategies of 2017


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2017 was the year that marketers focused a lot of energy towards cultivating data that would prove the benefit of marketing efforts. Last year, 63% of marketing teams anticipated this and increased data-driven marketing efforts to reflect the growing need for data. CRM software like HubSpot became wildly popular and almost doubling share worth. In January, HubSpot was worth $46.15 per stock, and now HubSpot is worth $89.00 per stock. HubSpot was in the perfect position to assist in this growing trend and the data driven results are clear.

Marketers used data to measure their goals in a quantitative way and bring these positive results to sales meetings. As an example, Nancy sent out an e-mail about personalized keychains that saw outstanding engagement. That same week, the sales team observed a substantial uptick in the amount of calls coming in to order personalized keychains. Along with this observation made by the sales team, Nancy had data to back up these claims that showed a 10% increase in opened emails, and a 20% increase in the amount of people who clicked on the hyperlink that brings them to personalized keychain inventory. Nancy has proven results from her marketing email campaign targeting people who love personalized keychains. The executive team will now allow Nancy a budget to make more emails like it. This type of planned strategy is what made many marketing teams end the year on a fantastic note.


Wrapping Up 2017 Marketing Trends


All in all, 2017 marketing trends led to a great year for digital marketing efforts. This was the year that our industry couldn’t be teased as the “arts and crafts” department because we had data to back up our claims. 2017 was the year we really got to connect to our followers and subscribers while re-connecting with our valued customers. It was the perfect balance between hard data and the soft science of engagement. Hopefully, we can see these 2017 marketing trends and more continue onto 2018!


Want some help with your 2018 marketing strategy?

Give us a call!

Here at HeartBrain, we’re excited to help you with all your marketing efforts.








Kelsie Collins

Project Manager & Content Creator

Kelsie at heartbrain dot marketing


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