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Marketing Trends for 2018

A well-known American marketing author named Philip Kotler once said, “Marketing takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master.” When you consider the rate at which marketing trends can change to keep up with technology and customer demands, this quote is accurate. As 2018 rolls on, there are some marketing trends that you should consider as part of your strategy.

Understanding Marketing Trends

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s important to identify what creates a marketing trend. In 2018, technology is the huge player, followed closely by the customer journey. As a result, the following factors shape the trends that marketers adhere to.

  1. The need for businesses to provide “full-service,” removing silos and collaborating to provide a complete customer experience
  2. The rise of Data Management Platforms (DMP)
  3. The need for advertising to be less obvious or “smarter”
  4. Growth in mobile usage

Content Marketing

While the concept of content marketing isn’t new, it has changed over the years. The format that is the preference for 93% of B2B marketers continually proves itself as an effective strategy in today’s climate.

How Has Content Marketing Changed? Over the years, content marketing has moved from buzzwords and catchphrases to long-form text like blogs, interview, etc. Content is measured to see how successful it is for business. What was once a tactic is now a model and businesses are using content marketing as a tool to drive growth.

Why Bother With Content Marketing? The basic theory of content marketing is to be something that consumers are interested in as opposed to interrupting the thing they are interested in. The benefits of content marketing include:

  • Higher ranking in search engines
  • Referral traffic/conversion potential
  • Smaller marketing budget required
  • Engaged potential customers
  • Builds trust with consumers
  • Shareable
  • Not industry specific

Blogging will generate nine times more leads that short form posting and best of all, it educates and provides value for your audience.

Machine Learning

As technology continues to blow our minds, you can expect it to affect marketing trends. The personalization of the customer experience will move forward with AI, and machine learning will integrate with marketing automation. Machine learning (ML) means computers will learn without direct programming. It sounds like the beginnings of a real life terminator but is quite handy for marketers. The computer uses the data it receives to adapt and classify information.

How Do We Use It? We already do quite a bit. Machine learning is the reason why Netflix recommends Stranger Things after you’ve binged Black Mirror and Siri is your go-to for suggestions. By removing the menial data work that ML can handle, it allows human beings more time to focus on creative elements.

Big Data

Informing the informed. With a consumer base who research more now than ever before, information itself becomes a marketing trend. The accurately named big data is quite simply, large amounts of data for customizable research. There are many reasons why it is important:

  • Plan comprehensive strategies for smaller, segmented target groups
  • Customize personal journeys based on personal preference
  • Adjust product pricing in real time
  • Measure results more effectively
  • Create more accurate business forecasts

Video Marketing

A third of online activity is spent watching video, and that figure is on a steady incline. 8 billion videos are viewed on Facebook every day, even more on Snapchat. When scrolling through your feed they even begin automatically so like it or not; you are watching some of it. Considering this, keep these points in mind for a compelling video:

  1. As we just said, they start automatically so make your opening few seconds an attention grabber
  2. Keep the video under two minutes, people like to watch, but not for too long
  3. Play with people’s emotions, make it funny or tug at the heartstrings
  4. Animations or 3D graphics will have a better chance at grabbing attention

Honorable Mentions

The best kind of marketing strategy is the original, never-before-seen one. It’s also the hardest one to come up with. While pushing the envelope and being unique is great to aim for, here is a list of some other established marketing trends to consider.

  • Improved website experience
  • Mobile advertising and applications
  • Paid search marketing
  • Co-marketing partnerships cross business
  • Augmented reality (VR)

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