By Morgan International Staff Writers
Are you ready to hit the ground running in 2018? Keeping up with the latest marketing trends, especially in social media and adtech, is increasing as much in difficulty as it is in importance. Here are our top marketing trends for 2018 to help you stay ahead of the competition.
1. AI takes hold
There has been non-stop excitement in the media about AI in the last few years and now businesses are starting to see applications take hold in the marketing space. A prime example is the chatbot, the little robot that replies to messages on behalf of your business. Brands like Starbucks, National Geographic and Marvel have already successfully rolled out chatbots via Facebook messenger this year and we expect to see more follow suit into 2018 in both the B2C and B2B spaces.
Chatbots might change the way brands interact with their customers in a very obvious way, but according to research conducted by Accenture Interactive, AI is also enhancing data analytics, customer insights and workflow processes for marketers, thus improving strategy and ROI on marketing budgets.
2. Big Data Analytics
Wait, hasn’t this been on the ‘trends to watch’ for years now? Well, yes it has, but it will continue to adapt and change. Insights from analytics have mainly been the preserve of campaign optimisation and performance tracking to date, but it could also be used to start making the customer experience better with tools such as the aforementioned chatbots. For larger businesses, CRM and ERP software will continue to get smarter, see increased adoption and provide actionable insights across multiple business units, including marketing.
3. Live Streaming Video
Social media platforms paved the way for live streaming video and brands will be taking full advantage in 2018. Studies have shown that 80% of consumers prefer watching a brand’s live video to reading a written blog so it is time to brush up on your live-streaming skills if you are not on board yet. Live-streaming is very interactive which is great for both the audience and the brand. Getting feedback and questions that you can respond to in real-time gives you great insight into customer needs while also making your brand transparent and trustworthy.
If you are already on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter, consider working live-streaming into your 2018 content plan.
4. The rise of micro-influencer
Influencer marketing has had its ups and downs in 2017, when Instagram’s algorithm changes kicked-in, many an influencer was left frustrated or, sometimes exposed as being built on less than true fan followers.
However, there is nothing quite like tapping into the audience of an influencer who is genuine and trusted by their audience. The big celebrities might be out of reach for many marketing budgets, but there is a lot to be said for influencers with between 1k and 20k followers. Their endorsements are more likely to be perceived as authentic than a superstar who is clearly being sponsored.
5. The GDPR
Things are about to get very real around the GDPR in 2018 as businesses that handle the personal data of EU citizens get their compliance policies ironed out and rolled out. When first announced, the GDPR probably struck fear into the hearts of many marketing teams but it is a good opportunity to clean up databases and ensure your marketing practices are ethical and your communication with your audience is welcome.
If you would like to learn how to better leverage new marketing trends and technology, get in touch and we will help find the right course for you.