2018 Marketing Trends

2018 Marketing Trends to Consider, Retire, and Watch

As we look forward toward 2018, we want to provide marketers with a new way of looking at the future. Instead of worrying about all the buzzwords, new techniques, and technologies, we want to help marketers better understand how to listen to trends based on their specific business.

What 2018 marketing trends are important for your specific business? Furthermore, what roles and technologies do you need to be successful?

Trends to Consider in 2018

Social Advertising

Business Type: All
Marketing Objective: Acquisition

Technologies: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Kenshoo, Sprinklr, Salesforce Ad Studio, Adroll, Adobe Media Manager.
Roles: Social Media Analytics/Advertising Manager

With over 2.8 billion global social media users in 2017, social media advertising is no longer a new, novel thing — it’s a must-have. And with new targeting options, social media advertising enables marketers to reach a large number of highly targeted people at a relatively low cost.

But don’t just think in terms of static images. In our mobile-first culture, video is our main consumption. Learn to capture your audience’s attention in the first 3 seconds and watch conversion rates soar. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter are all investing in video help generate engagement and build followers, and marketers need to follow suit.

Get started with Torchlite’s social advertising campaign templates.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Business Type: Best for B2B Companies targeting under 1,000 key accounts
Marketing Objective: Conversion
Technologies: Terminus, Engagio, Demandbase, Marketo.
Roles: B2B Demand Generation Strategist/ABM Certified Marketer

Ideal for B2B companies who are targeting a well-defined list of key accounts, account-based marketing can be approached as a campaign or a business philosophy and strategy. It requires a close collaboration and alignment between sales and marketing teams and focuses on an entire department or business, not a handful of individuals or buyer personas.

Get started with Torchlite’s AMB campaign template.

Journey Building

Business Type: Best for growing or established online retailers with 5,000+ customers
Marketing Objectives: Acquisition, Conversion, Retention, Advocacy
Technologies: Salesforce Journey Builder, Adobe Experience Cloud, AutoPilot, Marketo.
Roles: Marketing Automation Specialists, Data and Analytics Specialists

Journey Building is how we map customer interactions across multiple touchpoints and channels. Marketers identify the moments that define the customer experience and use them to power highly relevant and contextual interactions using very sophisticated data sets and technologies. To do this well, you have to really understand your customers and have access to a large amount well-organized data. This means you need a process for capturing and aggregating data from a variety of sources including browsing behavior and purchase history – all in real-time. It may seem challenging, but it when done right can be extremely effective.

Get started with Torchlite’s customer journey map building template.

Trends to Retire in 2018

Social Media Automation and AutoBlogging

Business Type: All
Marketing Objective: Advocacy
Technologies: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, CoSchedule, WordPress Plugins (ThreeWP Broadcast), WPeMatico, Content Egg.
Roles: Social Media Manager

Marketers need to stop relying so much on social media automation. It simply doesn’t work and turns off your audience. You know because you’ve experienced it as a consumer. People turn to social for real, human interactions and know intuitively when they receive an automated messaging.  Instead, focus efforts on social media engagement and analytics.

Blog-Only Content Strategy

Business Type: All
Marketing Objective: Acquisition

Technologies: VidYard, Wistia, Cincopa, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram.
Roles: Content Marketing Manager

If you are blogging, great. In 2018, that won’t be enough. Look to expand formats to short videos, podcasts, how-to videos, and even apps. Video will become increasingly important to content marketing, and it’s not going away. Don’t let the overall quality of content suffer because you are focusing on new formats that might take more time and energy. Consider taking existing content and bringing it forward to a whole new format — like a video, instead of starting completely from scratch.

Tracking Every Single Metric

Business Type: All
Marketing Objectives: Acquisition, Conversion, Retention, Advocacy
Technologies: CRM software, Google Analytics, Domo.

Roles: Marketing Manager, Marketing Analytics Manager

Sales and marketing must be tied at the hip. Too many marketers focus on justifying their jobs with metrics that don’t have any effect whatsoever on driving the business. In 2018, marketers need to make sure their goals are aligned with the business goals and focus on optimizing metrics that really matter.

Trends to Watch in 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Business Type: Enterprise company with over 1,000 customers
Marketing Objectives: Acquisition, Conversion, Retention, Advocacy
Technologies: Salesforce’s Einstein, Oracle’s Adaptive Intelligence, Adobe’s Sensei, and Marketo’s Adaptive Engagement platform. Startups include – Conversica, Ampsy, Amplero, Quantifi, Sentient and Complexica
Roles: Data Analytics Manager, Marketing Automation Specialist, AI Specialist

While we all seem to have a different definition for AI,  it typically means software that carries out tasks that would normally require human thought, empathy, and intuition. It shouldn’t be confused with predefined triggered messages based on consumer interactions. Think instead about the software that powers self-driving cars, and how those cars need to be responsive to their environment, as a human would be.  Depending on what you are trying to achieve, an AI strategy can require specialized skills that are difficult to find and a large upfront investment, but definitely worth exploring in 2018 as you work to drive more personalized customer interactions.

Live Streaming

Business Type: All
Marketing Objectives: Acquisition, Conversion, Retention, Advocacy
Technologies: Contus Vplay, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
Roles: Data Analytics Manager, Marketing Automation Specialist, AI Specialist

It’s no surprise that video continues to dominate social. Expect to see a continued shift towards video content and in particular, live video. Video streaming was 75% of all internet traffic in 2017, and there are no signs showing things will slow down. Studies found viewers watch live streams 3x longer than prerecorded video. Look for major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to double down on live videos by improving feed quality and adding more interactive features.

Now what?

Staying on top of new trends is what makes our jobs in marketing exciting. But, if the constant motion has you overwhelmed, look no further than Torchlite. Our Torchliter network of vetted experts are on deck and ready to help you leverage your existing technology and turn these 2018 trends into action.

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Susan Marshall, Founding Partner/CEO

Susan Marshall is the CEO of Torchlite Marketing.