It’s that time of year again. While most people are getting the last of their holiday shopping done and packing up the car ready for the trip to the in-laws, JJ is reflecting on an interesting 2017 for the marketing industry and looking towards an exciting 2018.
In our 2016 and 2017 marketing predictions we prophesised the rise of the IOT, voice search and a push for quality content. With the likes of Google Home, Amazon Alexa and growth in content marketing spend all making headlines this year, we have a pretty good track record.
Have a read below to see if on we’re set to make it a hat trick.
Over the last decade or more, we’ve embraced pretty much all the positive developments in mobile technology, sometimes without even thinking about it. Our phones are now indispensable and notify us of everything. Advertisers are all over social. We can find everything – and we can be found – thanks to the device in our hand. We are always on and leave our tracks all over the digital landscape. At some point, more people will begin to push back against this and will choose to switch off. Maybe not permanently (because mobile technology is incredibly convenient after all). But there will come a point when a combination of privacy concerns, mental health issues or simply a desire to be different will encourage people to view smartphone addiction as a bad thing. This technology should help us, not rule us. The challenge for marketers? As always, it’s to figure out what an audience does – or doesn’t – want and find the right, creative ways to meet those needs.
Security of consumer data and how it is being used has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds this year, and in 2018 that’s not going to change – it will in fact bring a change in the way brands approach their customers. Throughout 2017 there has been a lot of talk about personalisation – brands needing to give each and every customer a personal experience at every touchpoint from the online ads being served, to the in-store experience. While this will remain absolutely true and hugely important in 2018, consumers are becoming more and more wary of giving out data, meaning brands will be expected to not exploit the data they hold – there will be a much greater importance placed on relevance. No more personalisation for the sake of personalisation, consumers will expect to know not only how brands have got their data but also what the real benefit to them is. It’ll no longer be enough for a brand to serve a gimmicky personalised ad to grab the consumers attention, there will need to be real benefits that leave the consumer feeling that their data is being used simply to improve their experience.
We’ll see more computers with eyes (cameras). Driverless cars and image recognition for security purposes are just the start. As AI and machine learning evolves we’ll see more and more interaction in our homes and work places. Desk based tasks will be transformed – image outlining your next marketing campaign’s look and feel to an AI intelligent computer and see it developed with artistic intelligence and rationale before your very eyes – by a computer with eyes.
Rapid investment for Blockchain’s use in decentralised network settings such as in relation to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum is a big focus, along with serious considerations for aspects such as the security of digital identity and voting.
For our overall digital marketing industry, it will offer us the opportunity to deliver better user experiences using improved technology, built on top of this transparency, giving us the opportunity to improve customer trust in the products/services we deliver.
I predict that 2018 will see content and search join up so much more than what we’ve seen before. Beyond content for links and website visibility and search relying on content, I think next year will be the year we see developments in search, such as voice and visual search, having a huge impact on content and vice versa.
While visual and voice search, as I’ve predicted in years before, are taking their time in becoming mainstream, their applications are widespread and the impact they could have on content has the potential to be huge.
Imagine if next year we could start using data captured from our target audience’s visual and voice searches to inform content themes. There’s already been discussions about Google including voice search queries in Google Search Console, so could we soon see a content strategy informed by these searches as well? I’m excited to see what that could look like.
It’s been a year of ups and downs for the UK but, if one thing’s for certain, 2018 is full of unknowns. See if we’re right in our marketing predictions next year or let us know what you think on Twitter.