It’s all about the data.
There has been tons written about data driven marketing and the importance of understanding the customer journey. As marketers we know how relevant this is to our plans but to achieve it has been a journey in itself. Until now that is. Mapping Tools like Smaply and ExperienceFellow, make this crucial task a lot more accessible and affordable, with most offering 14 day free trial. These tools will become more sophisticated in 2018 and true understanding of the customer journey will be a major business focus this year.
AI will feature in more apps and analytics
According to Gartner we’ll see every app, application and service with AI features, and this will be a key driver in 2018. We should be challenging our service providers to tell us how they will be using AI to add business value, in terms of analytics, processes and the user experience. I think we’ll start to see these requests and expectations filter down to more businesses this year.
Voice search will bring out our creativity
It’s no real surprise that the Echo and Echo dot were the big sellers last year and that will continue throughout 2018. This will result in the rise of voice search and the impact it has on keywords and content strategies. That said, I think keywords will become less important as we have a more rounded understanding of a user’s needs and the customer journey. Brands and agencies will have to be more creative with their audience targeting
Live video in Social Media
We are all becoming video stars and the demand for well made live video is going to feature heavily in 2018. Expect to see the emergence of professional live video services for social platforms this year as the old way of filming with a grainy laptop camera or one hand holding slightly out of shot phone just won’t cut it anymore. Marketers will be looking to create more video content for search engine rankings and to increase engagement as we demand instant information and our attention span becomes less and less. I expect programmatic video to grow too.
Greater emphasis on mobile
Mobile customer experience will be a major focus for brands this year as the new generation of consumer have a different approach to researching and assessing a purchase. The experience from desktop to mobile, voice activation and in-store will become more consistant as brands look to gain consumers’ trust.