Over the past year, we have seen marketers relying on our tactics to be "programmatic." Meaning they have become more customizable when it comes to targeting audiences - from ads on social, to even mobile-only advertising options like SnapChat and Instagram. Year after year marketers have become more and more responsible for the tracking and analyzing results. However, with all of these new technologies and targeting opportunities, we often find ads ending up in spaces that don't have actual value or results. For 2017, we want to incorporate intelligent marketing into our strategies. Meaning, we want things to be as accurate as possible when it comes to tracking, and we want to think beyond just digital. We want to expand upon what we think is possible with the budgets and restrictions that marketers are faced with these days. Here are some key changes we can incorporate that will ultimately drive more results, revenue, and ROI:

1. KILL the conversion funnel.

The conversion funnel as we know it no longer represents a buyer's journey online. It is now more reflective of what we call an "Influence Loop." Users have caught on to our tricks, and we need to now adapt to their behavior and intentions, and use that information to target them properly. We need to respect the intelligence of our users as we all become more and more familiar with technology. Decisions are happening in real time, and people are finding brands more organically like through social media. The buyer behavior digitally and offline indicates to marketers the intent behind their purchases. We can take advantage of this information, and use customized messaging to reach specific users, with specific behaviors, from specific demographics. The Influence Loop requires constant feedback in order for it to be effective. This means taking in the reactions from your audiences, and customize your marketing strategy in order to bring them continued value. The relationship between a brand and a buyer doesn't end at a single purchase - you need to keep showing them value in order to keep bringing them back.

2. EXPAND your media plan.

2017 is going to be all about intelligent marketing and making our ad units and platforms work together to reach our goal. We need to layer media successfully and seamlessly in order to project ubiquity within our marketing strategies. The reality is that there are not a whole lot of channels that marketers can't take advantage of today. 2014 was the year of desktop advertisements, while 2015 saw an increase in mobile and digital TC products. 2016 was all about social media and targeted display offerings, and in 2017, we want to get into the full media mix. Every product can be advertised on any platform. However, these ad units need to work together so that users can get a sense of ubiquity for our brands.

3. FOCUS on creative that connects.

Users go out of their way to avoid ads online. So the creative we use in our marketing campaigns needs to be developed in a way that actually accomplishes something more than just raising general awareness. Leverage how your ads can impact or inform the user, rather than simply catching their attention. Using the same creative over and over again is wrong. Make creative with purpose and intent in mind, and deliver it to consumers where you can maintain their attention. What is going to speak to your audience? Leverage your knowledge of your users, and customize your creative for each platform in order to leave an impact.

4. BUILD attribution models that finally work.

With the amount of information and technology evolving today, it is imperative to use those resources to your advantage, and leverage data to make strategic decisions with your advertising budget. Track everything, measure your results, and build an attribution model that fits the specific needs of your business. In order to show where your ad dollars are going, and track performance better, attribution models need to be optimized for your business. You need to be tracking the correct things, in the correct way. That will allow you to properly target your audience, and make any appropriate adjustments to your budgets when necessary. You should be tracking absolutely anything that gets sent out there to audiences in order to see what is working, and what is not working. By doing this for every marketing channel, you will be able to build out attribution models that accurately represent your ROI. The technologies are out there today, so there is no reason for you not to incorporate them into your business practices. In the end, its not about the new techniques, challenges, and trends that come along every year in the marketing world - it is how we as marketers adapt to those changes, and harness those opportunities to help our clients grow their businesses. What are some of the intelligent marketing opportunities that you are looking forward to in 2017? Leave a comment below or tweet us @BFMweb.