2018 is now here and many of us will have reluctantly made New Year’s resolutions to better ourselves (myself included). Marketing Professionals also need to be self-reflective for 2018 and will need to be resolute with their approach to creating a marketing strategy for the upcoming year to avoid outdated concepts.
However, this does not faze marketers. As a breed, they are experienced in being adaptable…Over the past decade many (not all) industries have seen significant marketing changes with the rapid rise and growth of digital marketing which in addition has brought in a new world of painful marketing acronyms SEO, PPC and UX to name a few.
So what is going to be trending this year? Award winning columnist and marketing professor Mark Ritson has identified seven marketing bandwagons for 2018 in an amusing article published in December 2017.
Mark’s 2018 checklist includes:
1. Be Artificially Intelligent (AI)
AI powered marketing tools used effectively enables customers to be engaged with in a personalised and purposeful way – use data analytics wisely!
2. Be Virtually Real
Virtual reality is undeniably a cool phenomenon, but it has not yet made itself into mainstream marketing. Some organisations are experimenting with this technology to create a more personalised and engaged customer experience.
3. The Chief Content Officer is King
This is all about connecting with customers via content creation so the target audience can access it naturally. If there is no Chief Content Officer leading from the top, then ownership needs to be taken!
4. Storify Everything
Storytelling is key to building a brand. It delves into our human emotions and can complement content creation superbly!
5. Target Millennials - and Only Millennials
This is pretty tongue-in-cheek as other generations should not be discounted. However, what we can infer is that millennials are coming of age and having grown up with digital technologies, they are generally more receptive to these channels.
6. Have a Millennial - Friendly Brand Purpose
When targeting millennials it is important to be aware that as a generation millennials are deemed to care about the culture of a brand and are particularly captivated by transparency.
7. Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain
This has been continually mentioned towards the end of 2017 and many are still not sure what this is - it is a continuously growing list of records (blocks), which are linked and secured using cryptography (essentially it allows information to be stored and distributed, but not copied). The impact this has on marketing will enable marketers to communicate directly to their audience through adverts by cutting out the middleman.
Mark’s humorous piece is entertaining and does really highlight the need for a greater focus around the customer journey and the desire for personalised content. I think the increased customer focused approach was seen in 2017 with the rise of customer experience marketing roles being introduced and recruited across sectors and is something we are going to see more of in 2018 – fingers crossed in the rail industry (I am looking at you Southern Rail!).
I have recently joined Pro-Group in the Charity and Not-for-profit team focusing on Marketing, Fundraising and Communications appointments across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts on these trends and please get in touch to find out more about the exciting opportunities in 2018!
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