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Key themes, trends, and areas marketers will have to focus on 2018

Anshuman Dutta
21st Dec 2017
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Change is inevitable and with change, there is an opportunity for companies to grow through new insights and new channels of opportunities. Change has always been an intrinsic value proposition of marketing, just like technology.

Not so long ago social media marketing was a frenzy and was the most happening thing for a marketer. Today it is an innate part of any marketing plan and a thing of the past. Newer once are here to take over the rein.

Marketers in 2018 are poised to take the plunge with the latest trends that is sure to impact both their top and bottom line as well as bring in more brand awareness and recognition.

Here are the top key trends to focus on 2018:

Machine learning is a shot in the arm for marketers

Machine Learning (ML) will be the next best friend for a digital marketer. Well, Google or Facebook, who is the first, I will leave it up to you to decide. Will ever-increasing data ML aide a marketer to analyse data from virtually anywhere and help to better understand customers by creating micro-segment of a customer based on their behavioural pattern through his/her buyer journey? ML will be key for digital marketers as features such as Google’s Smart Display Campaigns, Smart Bidding, and In-Market Audience will help businesses maximise conversions multi-fold.

Consumers are embracing voice technology

According to an estimate by comScore, by 2020, almost 30 percent of searches will be done by, without a screen. Google has also recently claimed that nearly 20 percent of search queries via its app is done through voice. This for the marketers means that the consumer, instead of looking a long list of result the voice search in most cases is picking up one most relevant result. It will have a huge impact on search results and thereby on SEO.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven chatbots

Chatbots are already one of the top priorities among the marketers and they are raving about the benefits it can provide to them in terms of connecting with the customers 24x7. AI has provided the chatbots with the necessary impetus it needs and this is pretty evident from the fact that it is more effective than email marketing and less intrusive than opt-in pages. The focus on chatbots is also seen the way Facebook is helping the marketers to target the consumers through its messenger app as well as WhatsApp.

Blockchain for marketing advertisers

It has always been the dream of every marketer to get a single, constantly up-to-date view of the customer in real time. The use cases of blockchain such as accurate and error-free targeting of the customer across all channels can change the very basis of customer segmentation.

Startups such as MetaX along with ConsenSys have come together to launch adChain. Adchain is a curated list of advertisers and publishers that will make use of blockchain to vet inventory sources through a democratised voting system.

In other examples Brave, launched by Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and inventor of JavaScript, uses blockchain for advertising and micro-payments. AdEx, launched with a focus on streaming video is an ad exchange build on the blockchain. MadHive is the first blockchain ecosystem for OTT space.

Live Video Stream through various social channels

Live Stream is where marketers will have to be innovative in creating content to get the attention of the customers. The content will be the key to acquire traffic, brand awareness and increase customer engagement. Content marketing has proved to be immensely effective for B2B marketers to inform and educate potential customers.

Resurrection of LinkedIn and the sluggish growth of Twitter

LinkedIn in 2017, has lived up the expectations of B2B marketers as the single most reliable social media platform for marketers. Once acquired by Microsoft LinkedIn has spruced up it the user interface and also made several improvements to its ad platform. The other acquisitions such as Slideshare and Lynda is augmenting LinkedIn to act as a single destination for professionals. On the other hand, Twitter, though is trying different features, is still grappling with trolling issues and shunted user growth. There have not been many improvements to Twitter’s ad platform.

Targeting and Personalisation will be the key

Geo-location based targeting and in-store personalisation can help to target a customer with very high precision and address their needs. Geo-location targeting can help to show the customers explicit deals that the marketer is pushing as in-store marketing campaigns will aid to understand the demand of the customer base, their requirement as well as the purchasing will of the customers.

The coming of age of some channels and emergence of new ones

The classic case in hand is the emergence of Instagram. Instagram currently has more than 800 million users and it has grown at a tremendous pace. B2C consumer brands have seen better engagement on Instagram. Influencer marketing has also played a pivotal role in Instagram. WhatsApp is also working with brands to better connect with the customer. For instance, Bloomberg has a WhatsApp channel that allows the users to receive the latest news updates within WhatsApp. Snapchat in the next couple of months can surprise the marketers with some very enticing features. With self-drive cars knocking at the door, with the drivers not paying much attention to the road will consume content and that leads to being a very important form to get a slice of attention of the consumer for the marketer.

These are the exciting times for the marketers. The technology shift and advent of newer channels to reach out to the consumers through targeted analytical and focused form to address the specific needs of the consumer will be the top priority.

Bonus Material for Marketers: Here is a marketing technology landscape for the marketers. The massive 5000 companies list of marketing technology landscape super graphic created by Scott Brinker of chiefmartec.com

Click here to download : http://cdn.chiefmartec.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/marketing_technology_landscape_2017_big.jpg

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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