The push towards cross- and omni-channel marketing increases every year. In particular, there are several major trends emerging in 2017 for direct mail and other channels.

Direct marketing

Augmented reality

Creating a direct mail piece that comes to life and can be manipulated by the viewer is became more affordable every year and 2017 will likely see even more brands making use of it in very targeted, personalised admail campaigns, such as this one from the UK gaming development platform, Unity.


In 2017, direct mail will see more budgets shifting to programmatic campaign, which is a direct mail solution that’s closely connected with online activity. An example of programmatic would be when personalised direct mail is sent to a consumer who has just browsed a specific product or service online or clicked on a digital ad but hasn’t bought the advertised product or service. Many direct mail advertising providers will seek to make a number of acquisitions of database companies or to look for suitable business partners to be ready to offer such solutions in 2017.

DM for SMEs

One established example of direct mail solutions for SMEs is the Admailer.ie solution from An Post, with which local businesses can send postcards or enveloped letters. This year will likely see an increased number of solutions that give opportunities for hyper-local targeting, both from postal operators and competitors.



Growth in digital and programmatic exceeded expectations in 2016 and are bound to continue growing in 2017. eMarketer estimates that digital ad spending in the US will reach 40% of total media ad spending in 2017, while 78% of total digital display ad spending will be programmatic. Recent success of companies such as PebblePost (combining programmatic digital display with direct mail), however, shows that adding a physical channel always adds to the ROI.


In the US, 20% of searches on Google came from voice activated sources in 2016. With the progressing adoption of smart home services such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, the amount of voice activated searches is bound to grow in 2017. 


According to Syndacast, 74% of all traffic will be video in 2017. Social video platforms like Instagram or Snapchat are working hard to optimise feeds to improve the viewing experience. Having more videos also improves SEO, as Google - which owns YouTube - favours them in search results.

Virtual Reality

VR is not going to become a significant marketing channel until hardware becomes more accessible. Despite trials by major brands like Samsung or Facebook, the virtual reality space remains relatively unattractive to advertisers at the moment, with standards regarding measurement and targeting still to be established.

Sources: Forbes, Convince&Convert