Hector The Connector's Internet Marketing Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

By Hector Cisneros

Every year I write my prediction article because it's a fun and useful thing to do. It forces me to do some serious research and to take a hard look at what may happen in the near future. I take prognosticating seriously, even though I know my prognosticating is only as good as my research and instinct. Having said that, I have been right 97% of the times in the last six years. I am sure this year will not be any different. So, tighten your seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride, as I predict the coming year's crazy internet happenings. Here’s what's coming at you.


Internet Commerce Will Boom – This will be in part due to economy actually growing significantly for the first time in 8 years. It will also boom because many companies have been holding back because of the lack of consumer and business confidence and because many businesses just need to upgrade their internet presence. Many Business and websites have not been upgraded since the recession started. Many that were upgraded were not fully upgraded to take advantage of not only HTML5 but also using CSS coding to produce a truly dynamic website that automatically scales properly to mobile devices. Since most of the web traffic today is mobile (over 60 percent), all businesses must upgrade their websites to be responsive to mobile traffic or lose most of that traffic to their competitors.

Programmatic Continues to Grow - Programmatic marketing will continue to be adopted by the larger marketing firms. This type of automated marketing and media buy decision making will also slowly move into the everyday arena. Parts of this technology will filter down into pay per click, banner, video and social media marketing venues.

Courtesy of  Pixabay
Artificial Intelligence Predictions – It was said by many that 2016 was the year of the AI assistant devices. The Amazon Echo was selling like crazy. Amazon also released its second-generation DOT and Tap devices. Alphabet released Google Home and in 2017 and beyond we will be seeing copycat devices flooding the market. This technology will soon be added to many everyday devices like smart TV’s, refrigerators and other home appliances. Companies will be scrambling to sign licenses with AI companies to differentiate their products. Expect to see significant leaps in this technology over the next 18 to 24 months as it is being used in everything from smart cars to systems that write programming code. I also think that next year will be the beginning of a hack fest that will take place on and through these devices.

Major Hacks Predictions – One of the larger social media sites will be hacked compromising millions of subscriber accounts. More major banks and government facilities will fall prey to hacker groups and the hacker war between nations will escalate. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if it’s your accounts that get hacked, it’s a big problem for you!

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Social Terror - Social Terrorism will decrease on the major social networks because the top 5 social networks will start to work together to disable terrorist related pages and pull down terrorist hate related posts. The major social networks have already announced that they plan on working together to create a database of terrorist players so that they can coordinate their efforts. This will initiate a retaliatory attack as the terrorist organization attempt to disrupt or bring down one or several of the social networks.

Courtesy of  Pixabay
Internet Social Pornography - Social Pornography subscription networks will continue to grow as a new kind of porn destination. Anonymous or one of the other hacker organizations will attempt to bring down or expose the subscribers in one or several of these networks in order to make a similar statement to the one they made when Friend Finder was hacked, and its subscriber base was exposed.

Pay Per Click – 2017 and beyond will see the rise of social media PPC dominance as these platforms move to increase the ROI, effectiveness, and ease of use of their platforms. Currently, Facebook is proving better click through rates than AdWords and a much lower cost per click. The conversion rate also seems to be just as good. Expect to see other social sites step up their game to claim their piece of this pie as all player’s attempt to steal market share from Google.

Organic Search – The outlook for organic search will be that of increased difficulty for the average small user. Googles newest ranking algorithms have thrown multiple monkey wrenches into the mix, making it very hard for small businesses to achieve page one success. This will drive more customers into the Pay Per Click arena, which is exactly what Google wants to happen. This is one of the primary reasons Google marketing revenue is up and why they will continue to grow as a company. If you’re looking to get on page one of organic search in 2017, be prepared to hire a team to make it happen.

Media Paradigm Shift - TV, Radio and Print media will continue to lose market share except where the media company has successfully made a transition to both a digital/analog hybrid delivery system. Media companies that have made this transition will grow and prosper. Old school media giants who drag their feet will lose more market share and become takeover targets for successful media companies. Keep a lookout for media companies like HBO, STARS, Cinemax and the like to start inking more deals to offer their products through alternative distributions along with the direct sales model that many have already adopted. The unbundling has begun. Expect to see social media giants to move in this direction as companies like Facebook and Twitter via for news and broadcast market share.

Courtesy of  Flickr
Twitter Finally Get Respect and Makes Money – Twitter has been the Redheaded step child of social media for a longtime. However, it looks like 2017 will finally be the year it gets respect from the public and makes money. I also believe It will also be purchased by a bigger company. Twitters experimentation with broadcasting events, other experimental advertising offerings and the fact that President-elect Donald Trump is using it to bypass the regular media outlets, will give the social media giant the credibility it finally needs to reach profitability. This in turn will make it a must have takeover candidate as well. Look to see one of the media giants make the first bid.

New Features Added to Software – Expect to see Artificial Intelligence features added to many software applications. This includes text to speech, security access and command and control of your software applications. I expect Microsoft to lead the way, but it could also be Apple who wins this race. Speech recognition is already good enough that these features could be added to many applications. It’s technically already a part of Windows 10, SIRI and OK Google. This AI technology will require the latest hardware to be most effective. I don’t see this as being an obstacle to widespread adoption with hardware prices being so low. Expect to see widespread adoption within the next 12 to 36 months.

Consolidation of Internet Healthcare Tech Companies – We will see many smaller healthcare tech companies get swallowed by their more successful counterparts. At the end of every recession, the fallout of the long struggle for survival is that tired viable companies get swallowed by the few companies that weather the storm better. The healthcare tech industry was replete with mergers and acquisitions in 2016. This trend will escalate as dominant healthcare tech companies look to grow quickly to stay ahead of the coming changes with will occur as Obamacare is dismantled.

Courtesy of  Flickr
Health Trackers Devices – The sale of health activity trackers will slow dramatically this year because the US market is getting saturated, and because many smartphones now have these features built-in as well. There will still be industry growth, but many companies like Fitbit and others will be looking to expand into new arenas to sustain profits and growth. Look to see them try and expand into other health related medical products approved for medical care. Also, expect many of these companies to be swallowed by bigger medical companies ripe with cash looking to grow their reach. Recently Fitbit purchased a few companies including smartwatch rival Pebble. I would be willing to bet that Fitbit is looking for a tasty meal for one of the medical device companies who would like to have that name and product line added to its portfolio.

IoT for Healthcare Will Come of Age – 2017 and beyond will see and the explosion of new home healthcare products designed for you and your doctor to monitor/track your health. Until recently, most of the health tracker products were not considered accurate enough to be used as medical devices. This will change starting in 2017, and there will be widespread adoption that takes place over the next 36 months. Expect to see medical IoT blood glucose, blood pressure, blood oxygen, heart rate and other monitoring devices hit the shelves of medical supply companies prescribed by physicians this year.

Internet Security Companies Will Have a Boom Year – With the mad expanse of hacking and the growing threat of ransomware and other malware looming, consumers and businesses will have no choice but to step-up and buy security products to try and protect their assets. Most of these products are being sold on a subscription basis, and we are seeing people set up layered defensive strategies which mean consumers are not buying one anti-malware product but multiple products for self-defense. Time to look at researching anti-malware company stocks?
Courtesy of  Pixabay

Growth and Position of Social Media Players – Expect to see major changes in the social media arena. Facebook is looking to take a major growth spurt by entering the Chinese market. LinkedIn will begin to flex its muscles with the help of its new parent company Microsoft. Keep an eye on Microsoft as it will look to leverage LinkedIn to maintain its influence on business and grow its user base. I expect Microsoft to begin bundling LinkedIn services with its desktop and application products within the next 12 to 24 months. This will provide Microsoft products more value and leverage to compete with Apple and other tech companies. 

If you are like me, you will take advantage of these emerging long-term trends. Our world is evolving quickly, and no business or individual can stand still, or they will be left behind. If you have money invested in the stock market, these trends can give you a direction to investigate and learn where to invest your hard-earned money. I hope you enjoy this article and that you will check back a year from now to see how many of my predictions came true. My batting average is well over 95% so far. I think this year will be even better.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

In this article, I have provided a wide array of internet growth and marketing related predictions for
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2017 and beyond. The notes section of this blog has many links to other prediction articles I have written in the past. You can also find articles ranging from marketing fundamentals to tech advancements, on internet security and Artificial Intelligence or robotics. Just type in your search phrase in the search box at the top of this blog.
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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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