Your Go-To Guide For Marketing Trends in 2018
By Alberto Barchetti
First of all, wherever you’re reading this, Congratulations!!! You managed to survive 2017, and boy was that a ride.
You’ve seen it all by this point - an elected president tweeting out of fury?
Hollywood’s most powerful producers and actors being accused of horrendous behaviors?
Your favorite tech company facing criticism over purposely slowing down their own (i)phones?
You got it.
2017 left us all in a continuous state of awing speechlessness, and what we all need with this new year is perhaps a new American President more certainty about what’s to come.
But worry no more! We pinned down some of the most relevant trends we believe will shine in 2018. So, here’s your guide to marketing this new year, you can definitely use it to brag about your wisdom with your friends guide your future strategic plans.
The annual report from Edison Research and Triton Digital, The Podcast Consumer 2017, demonstrated how podcasts are still on a rise. The results, which were given from on a telephone survey, revealed that around 40% of the 2000 respondents have listened to a podcast this year ( an increase of 4% from last year), with 15% of them having listened to one in the last week ( increasing of 2% from 2016).
Podcast users are interesting marketing targets because they represent a part of the population that is quite active on many social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest top the charts). They are also more likely to follow brands on these networks, and thus can create a loyal customer base.
So, if you’re looking to target a younger, socially engaged audience, our advice is to get them listening. Literally.
2. Voice Command
Did you know that the voice recognition market is predicted to hit a $600 Million threshold in two years? As if that isn’t enough to convince you of the potential of this technology, ComScore has reported that 40% of adults use voice command at least once a day now, and it forecasted that by 2020 50% of all internet searches will be done by voice. Amazon sold more than a million voice command devices just during the 2017 holiday season, and we’re literally calling Alexa more than we are calling our own moms. But what does that have to do with marketing you ask?
Well, this trend is especially relevant for companies’ communications. People are starting to ditch the typing for the talking, thus getting more used to an informal way of acquiring information. Our advice is to start avoiding formal structures that may bore the users in favor of straightforward, realistic messages. Use the conversational words people use on a everyday basis, and talk to your customers the way they talk to each other.
3. Virtual Reality
We know, we know - the taking of virtual reality has been on the news for a couple of years now, but rightfully so. Google’s 2016 Consumer Survey has shown that 41% of adults is interested in trying VR, and the sales of VR headsets of any leading brand are improving from quarter to quarter. In fact, as of 2017, for the first time ever more than a million VR headsets were sold over the time of a single quarter.
Marketing-wise this technology has the potential to change the future of story-telling within advertising. U.K. travel agency Thomas Cook launched a campaign named “Try Before You Fly” in 2014 to convince travel agents to adopt VR as a sales tool. The goal of the campaign was to engage customers in a variety of New York experiences ( an helicopter ride e.g.), and the campaign was a huge success. The agency saw indeed a 190 percent increase in New York travel profits in the next year.
VR allows customers to interact with a company and its offerings in an unprecedented way. The Ericsson ConsumerLab has shown through a study that shopping was the top reason why smartphones users would use VR. Being able to see items in their real sizes and forms when doing online shopping was an attraction for 64% of the respondents. Investing time and resources in this new technology is promising for any company who seeks to engage their client base through innovative and more compelling methods.
4. Micro Influencers
The power of online word of mouth has been greatly praised by a multitude of marketers worldwide. This explains why in the past decade we have witnessed several bloggers and social media personalities who have succeeded in making a living out of advertising products in their social networks profiles. However, these influencers have seen a decrease of consumer trust in the past year. A 2017 research by Environics Communications showed that bloggers were trusted less than traditional ads as seen on TV or print in the same year, only ranking higher in the chart than online ads.
Companies are therefore looking for a way to increase customer trust in social media’s public figures, and they may do so by partnering with micro influencers. These are in fact showing a lower amount of followers than their more popular counterparts, but according to Markerly they are showing a higher engagement at the same time. Micro influencers are usually more apt to become loyal brand representative than simple promoters, and consumers appreciate their higher engagement with the product. Micro influencers are also more easily approachable by both companies and customers, making them therefore an ideal bridge between the two.
Whether these trends will shape the future of marketing in 2018 is for time to tell. Meanwhile, if you have your own theories make sure to let us know in the comments!