As we wrap up 2017, we look to what next year will hold. With so many changes happening in digital marketing, it’s always interesting to observe what’s up and coming. Pay attention to these trends now, and you’ll be on the cutting edge when 2018 rolls around.
- Mobile Marketing Automation
While we’ve seen marketing automation predominantly in email campaigns over the past few years, mobile marketing automation is proving to be a highly successful channel for connecting with consumers in the moment with offers relevant to their interests.
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is now front and center in terms of technology used to not only provide value to consumers but also serve as a marketing mechanism. Chatbots can, for example, suggest products a shopper might be interested in, along with offering a coupon for it. Apps can get smarter as users interact with them more, then can anticipate their needs in the future.
How to Leverage It: Find ways to incorporate AI in your digital campaigns so that you close the gap between what your customers want and how long it takes you to deliver it.
- Multi-Channel Marketing
Consumers no longer receive marketing messages on just one platform. Instead, they may flip from their phones to their desktops to their tablets. Marketers are only now learning to provide a consistent marketing experience across devices.
How to Leverage It: Start by understanding which devices your audience uses to access information, then work on campaigns that bridge the gap from one to another.
- Predictive Analytics
We’re well past the days when marketers would throw a campaign at the wall and see if it stuck. Now we’ve got the ability to see the granular view of every marketing effort we make, and this big data is hugely helpful in directing future campaigns. Marketing dashboards provide rich insights on customers and their behavior.
How to Leverage It: When you access analytics, make sure you’re reacting to them. If the numbers show that a particular strategy didn’t work, change approaches for your next campaign.
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Rather than focusing solely on simply increasing traffic to a brand’s site, the focus is now on optimizing conversion, or ensuring that an increasing percent of website traffic becomes customers or otherwise tumbles into the sales funnel.
How to Leverage It: Using those website analytics, see where traffic is leaving your site and not converting. This is where you need to put focus to improve your CRO.
- Mobile Marketing
As consumers come to rely more and more on their mobile devices, marketers continue to innovate in this arena. Mobile wallet not only allows consumers to pay for purchases, but also access loyalty cards and redeem points.
How to Leverage It: If you have a loyalty program, make 2018 the year you digitize and mobilize it. You’ll save money (no more plastic cards) and see higher redemption rates.
- Lifecycle Marketing
Because consumers have different needs at each stage of the lifecycle, marketers are now better matching their messaging and offers to consumers’ specific needs. Someone just starting out to explore solutions to a problem needs different messaging than someone ready to pull the trigger.
How to Leverage It: Rely on your customer data to identify the needs of your customers at each stage, then create messages that are tailored to every phase.
With all the data we have access to, it’s entirely possible to personalize marketing content to essentially the individual level. Using purchase history, links clicked, and other customer behavior, brands can deliver highly-customized content and see better ROI as a result.
How to Leverage It: Move away from the general campaigns and start segmenting based on buyer personas so that you can personalize the content you deliver.
- Chatbots in Social Messaging
Rather than developing a separate messaging app, a brand can now benefit from the trend of using chatbots in existing social messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The benefit is that the user base is already established, and consumers don’t have to download an additional application.
How to Leverage It: Migrate your customer service chat functionality to an existing platform, and test out chatbots as a way to automate certain interactions with your customers.
- Mobile Video
It’s clear that video — specifically watched on mobile devices — is becoming more of a trend. It’s been forecast that mobile video use will increase 11x by 2020.
How to Leverage It: Incorporate video into your marketing efforts, then optimize it for mobile devices with your keywords and SEO.
It looks like 2018 will be very exciting in terms of how we are able to deliver value to consumers!