Top marketing trends for 2018-part I

Content marketing will bring the biggest commercial impact for the brand

After years and years of talking and writing about the power of storytelling and its huge impact on the brands and businesses, it looks like business people and marketing representatives are starting to put bigger emphasize on it and see its full potential. On a study conducted by Smart Insights, content marketing is the most important trend (20 % of the respondents recognizing it), content marketing being seen as the 'engagement' fuel that powers all digital communications from search to social to email marketing to creating website experiences which convert.

Businesses are getting serious about treating content as a strategic resource, that means developing a customer engagement strategy using different media as shown in the lifecycle diagrams above, and at a practical level, developing content for different audiences using techniques like Personas and Content mapping.

Personalization takes the extra mile

"A key tenet of account-based marketing (ABM) is providing content tailored to specific accounts or account types. As ABM principles go mainstream, look for content personalization to proliferate. Platforms provided by Adobe and Optimizely make it possible for marketers to recommend specific pieces of content similar to the way Netflix suggests shows," wrote entrepreneur.com.

Moreover, according to AdWeek, personalization also takes other forms on mobile and through AI. According to Robert Garf, vice president of industry strategy and insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, a technology like AI can help guide a consumer to better product recommendations or remind a consumer of their size for an item. "Over on mobile, personalization will manifest itself in the checkout process, the navigation to show you the right products or reminding you of past purchases and the sizes you used to buy for those items, adds AdWeek.

In e-commerce most of all, creating unique customer experiences will be an important part of the industry, and product suggestions based on past purchase history, geographic location and personal information will be key to success.

"If you aren’t in the business of saving your customers their precious time, making their lives easier and better, you risk being disrupted by a newbie who will. Personalization is the best marketing investment you could make. People want experiences that are actually relevant for them. Customers today demand the hyper-personalization of everything. Personalization is what happens when the company leverages a deep understanding of customer preference, structured and unstructured customer data, conversations in and across all channels; when companies can preemptively anticipate a customer’s needs," wrote Forbes.

Integration. Integration. Integration

You might say, what is new about that? Experts have been talking all the time about integration in the last years. But integration is about so many factors: integrating machine learning into marketing automation, integrating social messaging apps into communications, integrating video into the customer journey, integrating content marketing into the customer journey using a customer engagement strategy, integrating search marketing into your content marketing activities, integrating marketing technology, etc.

One can read more here.