We’d like to share with you six trends that are going to shape marketing in 2018. All have been present in some form in 2017, but come the new year they should be regarded as the main players.
Social continues its reign
All hail social media and its long and prosperous impact on marketing. Social media in the marketing mix is as important as ever and will link into other trends for 2018. Facebook Live is gaining popularity amongst users, people enjoy the real time aspect and that sense that anything could happen and unfold in front of their eyes. Much like the marvel of theatre, the phone screen has become the new fourth wall. Facebook Live is a function you could utilise as an organisation, maybe live film from an event giving an insider's view of behind the scenes footage or real time announcements. The same can be done with the Instagram Live feature, if that is where you know more of your followers interact with your brand. Advertising on social channels is also going to see a rise in investment. Behavioural analysis shows that many people pick up their phone when adverts appear during television shows, so traditional television advertising is less appealing to many consumers.
Up close and personal
Truly personalised content will soon become commonplace when marketing to consumers. Organisations such as Netflix and Amazon are already doing this very successfully, both platforms suggest recommendations on account of previous consumer behaviour. Data will need to be intelligently sourced, but that mining may lead to gold if you can match the right product/services to the consumer. We live in a time of visual saturation and we don’t want to be shown all of the products or services a business has to offer, just want those that are relevant to us. However, this is where smart decisions around data must be made because if personalisation is off the mark then it will turn consumers off.
I’ll have what he’s having
Influencer marketing really took off in 2017 with many brands recruiting various public, social media figures and celebrities. Whilst last year was all about ‘proof of concept’, these campaigns have shown to be an effective form of advertising. We expect to see influencer marketing continue as an integral part of the marketing strategy. This could be anything from using a quote from an influencer, to recruiting a brand ambassador. Weight Watchers started 2018 by introducing DJ Khaled — with millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram — as their new brand ambassador.
Talk to me
As we welcome Alexa into our homes, talk to Siri on our phones and feel like a boss with Google Assist, you cannot miss the sudden rise of voice activated search tools on the market. Google claims 20% of mobile searches are now voice activated. Whilst this technology has shown itself not always to share the most appropriate search results — like the kid in America who asked for Digger Digger, and learnt some pretty choice language — more and more people are integrating this technology into their daily lives. As it becomes more sophisticated, we'll begin to see more opportunities for businesses, and in turn more direct responses for the consumer. By 2020 it is predicted that 50% off all searches will be voice activated.
You may well be reading this on a mobile device, because 2018 is shaping up to be a big year for mobile marketing. We know it's important, so the focus for this year is to cater to the growing number of consumers using smartphones. Poor loading times are one of the quickest ways to turn visitors away, more than half of users will leave if they're kept waiting for than 3 seconds, so time is of the essence. The challenge is understanding how consumer behaviour is changing on mobile devices, then adopt new strategies that allow us to communicate with the target audience in a way that will optimise their experience.
Move over Millennials
Generation Z is the focus for 2018. Who are Generation Z? You probably didn’t notice them through the constant noise about millennials, but Gen Z are the next generation of consumers. Millennials are those between the ages of 19 to 35, whereas Gen Z includes people between the ages of 11 and 18. One of the key things to remember about Gen Z is they have never known a world without the internet. Both Millennials and Gen Z are digital natives, yet they don't necessarily consume the same sorts of content. It's well documented that consumer attention spans are shorter than ever, but Gen Z are also switching between different screens more often than the rest of us — which is why TV advertising is not even worth considering for some target groups. As Gen Z comes out of university and into the real world their spending power will begin to increase, so we'll be marketing to this generation for many years to come.
If you are interested in discussing the future of your brand or marketing strategy, contact us here at Beyond for more information.