Ask the Experts: Predictions on the Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2018 Marketing

By Ruxandra Mindruta on November 29th 2017

Whatever the next year holds, marketers need to keep up with the latest developments. In 2017, we’ve learnt that every minute, 4.1 million videos are viewed on Youtube, 1.8 million Snaps are created, and 15,000 GIFs are sent via Messenger.

And the numbers will only get bigger.

The digital marketing landscape has become so busy, it’s increasingly difficult to focus your attention on what truly matters.

Where should marketers spent their budgets, time and resources in 2018? We’ve asked ten industry experts, and here are the 2018 trends they shared.

 

“Chatbots saw a rapid rise in 2017 as various social media networks opened up platforms for developers to build smart experiences for customers, brands, and publishers.

One of the failings of chatbots thus far has been creators building truly useful and memorable bots that people would come back to again and again.

Also, discoverability of chatbots has had mixed success depending on which platform you are using and searching for bots on. In 2018, chatbots will become a far more common solution for brands wishing to serve their customers in a smarter and more cost-effective way.

With AI now being easier to integrate into various tools and services, chatbots will become far more useful and personalized with each individual interaction it has with users. We may see a customer service revolution as more and more brands turn to bots to handle enquiries and common customer interactions.” – Matt Navarra, Director of Social Media @TheNextWeb.

 

“Social media to date has tended to be part of the social media department or marketing.

What we see is the shift from pockets of excellence to the understanding that social is an activity for all employees of an organization.

Prospects and customers want a relationship with people they trust not corporate marketing. It is through direct conversations between employees and customers via social that brands will win in 2018.” – Tim Hughes, Co-Founder @Digital Leadership Associates.

 

“The change that a lot of people have missed is the transition from millennials to “generation Z.”

The oldest Gen Zers are now 22 years old and entering the workforce. This is generation of people who were, at most, nine years old when Facebook came out.

They use Instagram and Snapchat more often than Facebook. But the real takeaway is that this is a generation of teens and young adults who use up to five screens a day and aren’t married to any specific platform.

They’re using every platform, and checking them all frequently. As for the type of content they are interested in, most are looking for video, especially “day-in-the-life” videos, behind the scenes, and how-tos.

Expect messenger app handles to start rivaling email addresses as vital contact information.” – Pratik Dholakiya, Co-Founder @E2M.

 

“The push toward influencer marketing being at the center of planning will continue to drive many brands.

The ever-narrowing organic window offered by social networks for brands and the ever-growing sea of noise that is content creators today means the trusted ones with large, engaged followings will rule the day for media and placement.

It’s a hell of a lot easier for a brand to spend $15,000 to get in front of a major influencer’s audience with an explicit endorsement than it is to spend that same amount on advertising and hope you get some clicks. Influencers will continue to rise as critical components of every brand’s approach.” – Jason Falls, Director of Digital Strategy @Cornett.

 

“Messenger for businesses will keep iterating at a fairly fast pace, adding more new features to enable business of all sizes to create closer connections with their audience members.

More businesses will embrace “conversational commerce” through the right mix of automated messaging and human interaction. Organizations will more closely integrate Messenger with their website and entire shopping experience to allow their customers more streamlined and personalized interactions.” – Mari Smith, Premier Facebook Marketing Expert @MariSmith.com.

 

“Our attention has become fragmented, lacking deep focus, due to the growth of social media and related information that causes us to become addicted.

As a result, our content consumption is 12 hours per day, changing how we create and distribute our marketing.

To succeed in 2018, marketers must embrace customer lifetime value (CLTV) as the key success metric.

This enables marketers to focus on prospects and customers with the greatest potential to grow long-term. Unlike ROI, CLTV proves marketing’s contribution to business assets and market value.” – Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer @Actionable Marketing Guide.

 

“In 2017, Facebook gave us a glimpse of what social media will look like in a virtual reality world with Facebook Spaces. It’s still crude and clunky but the platform also opens the door to transport us to truly immersive new experiences.

I see this as just the first of a host of new immersive social platforms in our future. This trend is important for brands because our favorite applications like Facebook and Google lock us into a “relational bubble” based on our social connections and previous history with the platforms.

So being exposed to anything new would be a filter fail and a real challenge to marketers. Creating immersive experiences is a way to invite people out of that filter bubble, so this is a significant marketing trend.

Eventually, virtual reality will be a primary driver of the social media experience so watch this development closely in 2018.” – Mark Schaefer, consultant, keynote speaker, and author.

 

“We’re seeing a ton of overlap happening with certain social platforms. Take Snapchat and Instagram, for example. Both offer timed video, so using both can be redundant for brands.

Brands will have to be more selective and focus on the actual audience and reach each platform offers. When you look at the numbers, Instagram Stories is able to get a wider reach and has typically yielded a high percentage of audience members actually opening the stories on a daily basis.

But it’s also important to remember that Snapchat is able to tap into a younger demographic, so it really depends on your brand’s goals.

As this trend of overlapping continues, being more selective will be the name of the game for marketers and brands in 2018. The best way to do this is to tap into any analytics features that these platforms offer.” – John Hall, keynote speaker, and CEO @Influence & Co.

 

“In 2018, agencies and brands alike will transform themselves to take advantage of Customer Experience (CX) strategy and technologies as online e-commerce and retail shopping converge through the use of newly available customer tracking data sets.

Many digitally mature organizations will leverage customer journey data, and cx mapping, to understand important customer experiences. This change will drive personalized content development in unprecedented ways as well as signal a vast increase in the amount of new content needed to capture the hearts and minds of consumers.

This new era of CX intelligence will reshape the marketing landscape by finally, unifying all the disciplines and practices through data.” – Dennis Wakabayashi, Vice President, Digital Marketing and Commerce integration @The Integer Group

 

“As marketing engines and voice activated back-ends get smarter at understanding user intent, the relevancy of results and targeted messages should see a marked improvement.

There is, however, a long way to go with this kind of technology. Machine learning needs to be seen as a trustworthy and cost-effective avenue for a brand’s budget and next year we’ll see some noteworthy advances.

While companies are dabbling with machines for marketing, 2018 will also be the year of increased brand campaigns. With the voice search and digital assistants becoming more ubiquitous, brands will be battling for recall in the minds of consumers.” – Mel Carson, Founder, CEO & Principal Strategy Consultant @Delightful Communications.


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