What does 2018 hold for marketers?

Nicola Proud, Wednesday January 3, 2018

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First Published in EDUcatering Magazine - January 2018

Wow! It literally feels like no time since I was looking ahead to 2017 and what that would bring for the marketing industry. Here I am again, doing our annual sharing of what’s going to be important for those working in marketing to know in 2018.  

I could probably make Morag’s job very easy by filling many pages of EDUcatering with all the different thoughts, statistics and tools that are predicted to make a difference to brands’ success next year. Everyone has an opinion on this, and they are often varying. However, I’ve picked out just five key things we would love you to remember as you plan your marketing activity for the year ahead.

Increase in voice-activated technology

We touched on this last year, but it’s not set to go away in 2018. For those who don’t know, this is things like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Siri and Cortana. By 2020, it is estimated that 50% of online searches will happen via voice search. This may surprise many of you, but I never see my 9-year-old or 7-year-old type into YouTube Kids or Google searches. They always speak their request using the technology available to them.   

Feeling the love for Instagram

If I was forced to choose just one social channel to watch in 2018 it would be Instagram. Those of you who read last month’s column will know I wrote a whole article on it. This is because it is growing at an incredible rate. Many brands are seeing better engagement rates on Instagram than any other social media platform, and because it shares its advertising platform with Facebook it is becoming more and more targeted.

Get ready to go live

If you hate the idea of live video, it’s time to get over that fear as live videos are usually the best performing content for our clients. Video content always performs higher than photos or links and live content even more so. Make sure you have a clear plan of what you will cover in a live video and what you would like to get out of it. However, it should never look or feel over-practised as consumers crave and respond better to ‘in the moment’ content.

Influencer marketing

Consumers, especially those who are younger, like content that feels less "staged" and is more natural and aligned with their own way of thinking. Brands tend to be moving away from traditional advertising and are looking for sponsored content opportunities with influencers. There is a vast network of parent influencers out there and as this is the target market for many of you reading this, it is absolutely an area I would encourage you to discover, if you haven’t already.

Be ready for GDPR

My one request for everyone in marketing in 2018 is to fully understand and be putting into place strategies that ensure you meet the General Data Protection Regulations. These are coming into force in May. This new law passed by the European Union is going to have a major impact on what businesses must do to protect customer’s data. There will be huge implications for those who don’t comply.

If you would like to learn more about any of these areas, you can tweet us via @digitalblonde or email Nicola@digitalblondemarketing.com


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