There are a number of trends we see coming down the line that could prove fruitful if done in the right way. Albeit it is frustrating that the rate at which digital marketing is changing means we have to be extra cautious of not losing focus and have a bigger picture of what trends have a good chance at paying off for years to come. I have been spending a great deal of time reading, attending meet-ups and conferences and talking with digital enthusiasts covering a wide range of topics and narrowing down what to act on in 2018. And here is what I think will be important for you and your business in 2018.
Getting Personal & Integrating into the Customer Life Cycle
In a galaxy far far away Adtech discovered that conversions go up when ads are focused directly on an individual user. It’s also something I have advocated in recent times, as well in my previous articles in for example Woo Your Audience. The journey towards personalization is a dream, most marketers agree on and want to fulfil. Although emphasis is growing and not just a dream anymore, to really HELP users get personal experiences, webtech needs to catch up. Machine learning can help with this as well, which we will cover later but personalization could be as simple as having a customized landing page that changes its content based on the channel users are coming from and where they could be in their customer journey phase. It’s time you start believing and understanding that people are sick of ads and will only engage with different, targeted and sophisticated (sophisticated doesn’t mean fancy solutions) content you share with them.
In addition, a keyword that we must remember for 2018 is that personalization will require interactive marketing experiences across all digital channels to engage consumers at every digital touchpoint. That could be through an Appvert (an interactive marketing ‘application’, fully customizable by the advertiser, which is used instead of the traditional ad unit.) The different campaign types and real-time visuals to can be embedded into Appverts and help you stand out and drive action. Something new and exciting for the consumer.
Search is Still Alive & Will Be Better
What keywords to customers use to search their products, services or entertainment is as crucial as ever. And how you set up your content to include those keywords is just as important but what we will see more of in 2018 is that voice search will have a stronger impact and potentially be a game-changer. Voice Search already accounts for almost 20% of searches according to the Digital Agency Network and with app assistants through Amazon Echo or the Google app itself longer tail queries are becoming easier. Add to that you take a picture of a say a poster and Google will search the results within that specific poster for you.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
AI and machine learning are very much related, but they’re not quite the same thing. AI is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”. And Machine Learning is an application of AI that simply put “trains” the machines to learn from experiences and data how to perform a task, according to Forbes.
97% of business leaders feel the future of marketing will consist of clever human marketers working in collaboration with these technologies. As discussed earlier, the ability to respond quickly and perhaps more accurately to user behaviour changes will be vital to the digital needs in 2018.
To paint a clearer picture of the power of AI and Machine Learning in the context of digital marketing have a look at its impact in these videos: