2016 will perhaps be remembered as the year of the unexpected – political, economic, even sports… we have learned that the only thing that you can anticipate is that things will evolve and shift over the next 12 months.

With 2017 bringing in more change, what are a few of the trends that we are expecting to see from across our business?

Mediums of communication

When audiences have access to a wealth of information, the impetus for comms professionals is to share compelling content that allows audiences to come to their own conclusion.  Analytics and statistics from social media platforms tell us that visual content is the most “engaging” – you just have to take a glance at a Facebook newsfeed to see that it’s video content on the rise. The use of film can enable a company to tell a story – moving away from campaign-led and company-owned narratives about message, position, benefits and spokespeople; in favor of a creative approach that embraces story, purpose, rituals, heroes and influencers. Unlike other marcomms tools, creative content stands out and has the capacity to grab the attention of relevant audiences in a sea of content.

The rise of fintech

In 2017, the fintech sector will continue to grow. Within fintech, two themes that will dominate are ‘consolidation’ and ‘collaboration’. As this nascent industry begins to mature, expect M&A to become increasingly common as larger businesses seek to shore up market share or diversify their product offering further. Moreover, while fintech has talked a very good game about taking on the banks, and has taken some market share in the process, what is clear is that traditional institutions are not going anywhere, anytime soon. Banks and fintech providers are increasingly looking to work together, with partnerships likely to intensify given the mutual benefit to each partner. These trends will provide both opportunities and challenges for communications professionals to navigate in what is a very fast moving space.

Altered approach to risk

As a certain overhaul in the US next month approaches, it will become necessary for all internationally-focused organisations to prepare for geo-political uncertainty that may arise, as well as ambiguity around legislation and the unclear future of established trading markets. While 2016 caught many unprepared, 2017 will see a front-foot approach for brands that wish to lead the charge into the unfamiliar territory, to not risk falling behind. By taking a proactive approach to issues and crisis management, organisations can identify, mitigate and manage risks effectively.


Samantha Bartel, Managing Partner, Middle East, Instinctif Partners