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Key marketing trends in 2018, by Renee Mariette (Harrison), Head of Marketing

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 | Posted in Marketing by Renee Mariette (Harrison)

More and more, marketing is being referred to as a science, in contrast to its former portrayal of marketing as an art. In this digitised world of modern marketing, we are continually refining our strategies by observing consumer patterns, building micro-targeted bio personas, improving messaging based on data insights and embracing ideas from scientific disciplines like psychology, sociology, neuroscience, economics and computer science.

Change is a fact of life in business today. One of the most sought-after management skills is the ability to forecast future trends and exploit the leaders advantage. In marketing, this is particularly true as the speed of change is dictated by customer expectations. To help you plan ahead, we have identified what we see as the top 5 marketing trends to consider in your 2018 strategy.

Content to Conversation
Content will be the number one top investment in 2018 so forward planning will be critical. The average person is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day with only 7% of that being compelling enough to convert to a sale. With more companies investing heavily in content creation, competition to get your message heard will be fierce.

The biggest change we will see in 2018 is the focus shifting from content to conversation. Tools such as Chatbots, AI customer feedback analysis and data driven optimisation are helping marketers to get personal and cut through the online noise. It’s not enough to create interesting content anymore. The future is creating compelling conversations that connects customers to your brands story.

Data to actionable insights
Many companies struggle to make sense of their data or generate value from investments in research. In fact, only 29% of us are actually successful at converting rich analytics to action. All the data we collect means nothing if we cannot turn it into meaningful insights to support our decision making.

We are seeing a major mindset and budgetary shift in 2018 as more organisations employ services from analytical experts to guide them through this challenging landscape. To remain competitive, investment in analytical translation should be a priority.

Invest in Technology
The marketing technology landscape has grown to over 5,000 vendors in the last 12 months. From machine learning to marketing automation, technology can play a role in helping you be more effective, save time and gather greater consumer insights. However, there are a few things you should to consider before purchasing new technology:

  • Scale - Choose a platform you can grow into
  • Build for future - Consider your long-term organisational objectives
  • Features - Look for platforms tick most your boxes
  • Integration - A necessity to greatly improve marketing effectiveness
  • Easy - Look for something you can start quickly and is easy to understand
  • Cloud - Invest in cloud. Everything else will outdate
  • Hidden costs - Explore any hidden costs incurred when you scale

Bio Personas
Creating bio personas is a technique used to build fictional character profiles to represent groups of consumers. More and more marketers are creating bio-personas to develop clear pictures of who they are marketing to and how to deliver content that is most relevant to that particular audience.

Most marketers aren’t phycologists however we can use human profiling and social categorisation techniques to help us understand the emotional and behavioural triggers behind consumer’s buying habits. It can also be used as a tool to help us better engage with targeted consumers and solve communication challenges for our businesses. By employing this technique, we can personalise our messaging and deliver a greater user experience which can improve brand loyalty and conversion rates.

The future is CX!
Most businesses have already recognised the need to improve customer experiences (CX), to increase revenue growth.

The new frontier of CX is creating purposeful experiences that build a sense of pride by aligning company values to the customers core principals. As a result, it’s likely that more businesses will look to develop a stronger customer-centric culture.

CX will be an ongoing investment in 2018 and beyond so it’s important to carefully track the customer’s sentiment and measure return on investment. To quantify a CX investment in an organisation, apply a multi-layered approach to measurement metrics through NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and CES (Customer Effort Score).

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