The it Crowd Marketing

Is Your Marketing On Trend? Top 10 Marketing Trends in 2018

As the summer heats up, that means we’ve entered the downward slope of 2018. We’re closer to the new year than we are to last year. If your 2018 New Year’s resolution was to overhaul and modernize your marketing plan, now is the perfect time to review your progress.

Marketing is one of those things that can be easily overlooked as you become bogged down in the day to day details of doing business. However, make no mistake: Marketing is something you absolutely must make time for if you’re serious about building your brand and boosting your bottom line. If you’ve got some catching up to do, you’re not alone. We’ve complied the following punch list of current marketing approaches that are effective right now. If you realize you haven’t made as much (or any) progress toward revamping your marketing plan, don’t panic. Get to work! Or, call us. We’ll do the heavy lifting for you!

Focus on Customer Experience

The ultimate goal of even having a marketing strategy is to win and retain customers. What do customers want more than anything? To be able to review their interaction with a business and feel overwhelmingly positive about all aspects of it. Ask your customers what they most value. Listen to what they say. Then create processes, policies, and programs to deliver.

Make it Personal. All of It.

From direct mailings and email blasts that greet each customer by name, to tracking customer preferences and customizing promotions they’ll love, to providing unique ordering and purchasing options tailored toward unique demographics, custom is key. One-size-fits-all marketing is passé.

Selling-focused Social Media Marketing

Often clever and sometimes quirky, social media marketing to date has been more about getting a somewhat generic message to the masses. There’s a new shift toward using more targeted, specialized social media marketing campaigns to drive concrete results (aka sales.)

Content is King and Video is Queen

You (hopefully) already know that fresh, organic, meaningful content (social media, blog posts, e-newsletters, reviews, and testimonials) are cornerstones of any successful marketing strategy. But video content (how-to videos and virtual and augmented reality features) are quickly gaining momentum. Embrace video or be left in the dust!

Data-driven Marketing Strategies

The most effective marketing is based on facts and raw data. There’s a new title you’ll be seeing more of in the marketing world: Marketing Technologists, whose main job is to identify this data and create strategies for putting it to the best uses.

The Right Time isn’t Always Real Time

Real-time or “on-the-fly” marketing – that opportunistic approach involving creating marketing strategies based on what’s happening at a given moment — has long been the norm. Now, there’s a shift toward more meaningful “right-time” marketing, which targets customers at the moment they’re contemplating a purchase.

The Thing’s the Thing

The Internet of Things, that is. All those customers you’re marketing to have devices. The Internet of Things refers to leveraging the infinite possibilities capable thanks to technology to mine data and make it work for your business.

Be Real Smart About Artificial Intelligence

They sound like futuristic creatures, but chatbots are here and they’re here to stay! They collect data about customer likes and dislikes so you can understand your customers and better cater your marketing efforts to appeal to them.

Marketing Teams Take the Lead in Creating Digital Transformation Campaigns

Your company’s Chief Marketing Officer is probably already involved in the digital marketing upgrades your company makes. Now, his new role is to articulate to your internal team and your target market exactly what these upgrades mean, how they’ll be rolled out, and most important, how they’ll benefit consumers.

Measure Your Marketing Campaign’s Success

Investors use one analytic to determine whether to keep or dump an asset: return on investment. Currently, there’s a shift toward using complex analytics of key performance indicators to measure marketing expenditures’ ROI.

There you have them – the 10 most buzz-worthy marketing trends. They focus on being customer-centric, precise, and effective, and embracing and utilizing technology. The sooner you implement some or all of these approaches, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards!

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