Marketing Trends of 2018
Consumer expectations continue to grow year to year, and as content marketers, we must understand the evolution of marketing trends and how to best take advantage of new technologies to remain relevant.
According to estimates from Statista.com, the number of worldwide social media users reached 1.96 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to some 2.5 billion by 2018. Consumers will begin to rely more on social channels as their primary points of contact among brands. Consumers today expect instant-gratification. Prompt and timely customer responses, to general product and service inquiries, are no longer a joy to customers, but an assumption. To ensure the highest quality, consistent shopping experience for its customers, industry leaders like Amazon require each of their 2-million sellers to respond to customer inquiries within 24-hours, every day of the year.
To meet this demand within our own business, we have implemented a personalized chatbot on our homepage—that is linked directly to our employees, to communicate in a timely fashion with prospects, while maintaining an individualized approach.
With a seemingly endless variety of ways to interact with consumers, it’s difficult to know where, when and how to target your audience. It’s an ongoing competition for consumer attention, forcing marketers to be more interesting, engaging, relevant and personal in their approach. Delivering the ideal experience to your customer at the right place, at the right time, is not entirely scalable if done manually, and that’s where AI, machine learning, and other similar technologies fill the gap. Interactive emails with increased functionality will become more conventional in this upcoming year.
Consumers are constantly bombarded by marketers throughout the day, much of which arises from digital platforms. With this comes an increased desire for more personal, face-to-face experiences.
Automated machinery and technology have slowly taken over the roles that were once filled by humans. Robots manage warehouse inventories. Airport restaurants have iPad menus to order food. 24-hour chatbots now regulate customer service lines. Goods of all sorts are ordered online and dropped at your doorstep within 2-days, and soon enough, drones will be delivering your products within the hour. This shift to automation has created a craving amongst consumers for a more traditional, face-to-face interaction with brands and companies.
Taking advantage of the live capabilities of social networks and video channels remain one way to ensure a more personalized approach to marketing, which differs from the overplayed and inauthentic automation of today. This shift also means that events will begin to become more critical to a brand’s overall marketing strategy. Live event experiences are a refreshing way to market to your customer and a way to give a face to your brand.