This is our 22nd year doing annual marketing trends report for the online marketing industry.
Have a wonderful and very prosperous 2018.
Each year, we contact hundreds of online marketing industry leaders and the top PR company executives to conduct a one-hour phone interview to ask questions about their predictions for the upcoming year. We then compile the data and have an in-house discussion among our own leading marketing experts, each of whom have at least 20+ years of digital marketing experience. Once all the data is compiled, we produce our report: this Annual Business Marketing Trends and Predictions.
AND THANK YOU IN ADVANCE, FOR YOUR TIME.
And we thank all the people who were involved and provided their expertise and knowledge for us to put this report together.
FINALLY, see if you notice how we tried to make key points
and avoided long and boring sentences, or pages and pages of reading.
Hope you enjoy it.
Thank you for visiting us.
Basic apps for consumer-focused "digital assistant voice recognition" systems like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, Echo and many others will intensely evolve.
At least 30% of all human-machine interactions with devices will be voice-based by the end of 2018. In particular, search engines will need to evolve and compete with new apps which will hugely influence the world of business search ranking as well as SEO and search marketing. Business owners will recognize that their website ranking, organic traffic, and lead generation will be affected by this rapid development.
content marketing is the center of all successful digital marketing. Social Media Networks offer the most convenient and welcomed 'marketing engagement' process that promotes content while creating user experiences which convert.
According to a recent survey, more than 80% said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago. Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video. Hubspot’s Consumer Behavior Survey confirms this trend. Over half (55%) of users say they consume an entire video (when distributed through Social Media), compared to 29% for blogs and 33% for interactive articles. If you want your entire message to be consumed, video tends to be the preferred medium. Still, many smaller businesses have no clear strategy for making Social Media work for them and say they need help with this form of content marketing.
It will become even more crucial to make sure customers have a good experience when being marketed to.
Accenture study found 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent and better customer experience. Aberdeen Research Group study found that companies with multi-channel customer engagement strategies retain about 90% of their customers, as compared to 30% for companies with weak multi-channel strategies. Also mobile experience is key as 52% of customers are less likely to engage with the company because of bad mobile experience.
It's been said a dozen times in the last 12-months by industry experts, that the new sales and marketing "Rainmakers" are the "Subject Matter Experts". They are the ones customers want to buy from, not an order taking salesperson.
For decades long, there has always been the talk about some salespeople being simply magnificent at their job. Well, in almost all cases studies, that particular salesperson was an expert in the product/service field they were selling. People do not want to buy from someone who is selling a product. They want to receive an insight and they will continue to gravitate towards "Subject Matter Experts". That is why they are called the new "Rainmakers".
It's no longer just about optimizing your website for Google Search. It's about optimizing your presence across the web.
Human-machine interactions are now tilting towards voice-based interface, and Social Media engagement continues to skyrocket to new heights. In particular, search engines will need to evolve and compete with new apps which will hugely influence the world of business search ranking, SEO and search marketing, as mentioned earlier. Big brands have plans to commit to a very large investment in social media campaigning and marketing in 2018, as they did when Social media marketing budget experienced a huge growth in 2017. SEO for Google Search is coming to an end, since now everything is a search engine, not just Google Search. The days of ranking a page for purchase-intent keywords on Google Search, are limited.
Now that most people know they can go direct to Pinterest, Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay, using Google for search to buy a product is now an extra step most people don't have to take.
Everything is a search engine now, not just Google or Bing. Facebook is a search engine. Twitter is a search engine. Amazon is a search engine. Quora is a search engine. Pinterest is a search engine. YouTube is a search engine. See my point? Most of these search engines offer some kind of reviews, maps, and other features users were getting from Google Search in the past. This is now an extra step which people will bypass, sooner or later. Do you go to Google to find a Website you already know has what you want? Didn't think so.
May be obvious, since you don't want to find a dentist 100 miles away when you have a toothache, but most things are going "more" local.
Local focus in Social Media interactions and their search results (localized social platform) in 2018 and beyond will continue more rapidly as this gives consumers what they keep asking for: local focus. This also gives local businesses the chance to compete with even the biggest brands for consumer attention, but they will certainly have to fight for it.
Over 60% of searches came from mobile in 2017, and are expected to be about 80% in 2018. Not only more mobile web browsing, there are more searches by mobile users than laptop/PC users.
For some time now the trend on the rise has been a strong emphasis on mobile. Advertising has een swiftly transitioning to digital and mobile advertising and businesses continue to shift their spending towards digital marketing, in particular in Social Media, since smartphones continue to proliferate and digital advertising continues to dominate. The newer generations (Millennials and Z-Gen) are so use to (and confortable) with smartphones that they find laptops/PCs as almost antiquated and primitive. Yes, mobile will continue to grow - even more.
As customers and buyers continue to do research online to find answers to their questions and concerns, smarter companies are positioning themselves to answer these questions as part of their marketing process.
Successful companies are quickly adopting a full integration between the front-line sales teams to identify topics for content marketing, and the content marketing team to develop content online to help sales professionals to effectively use this content in the sales process by answering customer questions and concerns and develop loyalty and reputation. Most of this takes place over the Social Media, where customers are relaxed and are enjoying interactions with their friends. Obvious.
Digital advertising holds a ton of potential and it’s one of the most effective ways to get your business in front of qualified and targeted customers. However, doing it wrong is as impactful (in the negative sense) as doing it right.
Professionals (attorneys, doctors, dentists, chiropractors, accountants, bookkeepers, etc.) often complain about marketing as they don't have the time to both market to customers and deliver their professional services. Many campaigns in the past did not work either due to poor judgement in vendor selection or the wrong marketing method/media that did not complement the overall business or strategy (or even lack of strategy). But that all has to change, sooner for the better - or later for the worse.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Grow in 2018 but not as much as the hype or what people expect
2. Voice activation will grow much faster than AI or other hypes like 3D printing
3. Video marketing, streaming, usage, searching, and viewership will continue to soar in 2018
4. Customer experience marketing will probably be the biggest marketing story of 2018
5. SEO Google Search will be heading for a slow death
6. Subject matter experts - a phrase you will hear again and again
7. Everything mobile, mobile, mobile
8. Digital marketing heading for strong localization
9. Everything is now a search engine
10. The integration of sales and content marketing for advantage
11. Professionals need to maximize marketing opportunities
12. Strategic social media marketing will be the best method for winning customers in 2018
13. Marketing to Generation Z will start to take shape
14. Messaging on digital platform must be compelling
15. By end of 2018, mobile advertising to grow to 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending
16. By end of 2018, American adults are expected to spend about 4 hours/day on mobile media
17. Smartphone users spend about 80% of their time on social media
18. SEO services will have to start focusing on voice search ranking
19. About 70% of users say they won’t use/recommend a business with non-mobile website
20. Over 71% of marketers regard mobile marketing as a core part of their business
21. About 50% of millennials watch video on their mobile device
22. Just short of 50% of mobile searches are looking for local products/services/businesses
23. Content marketing is a very significant strategy for more than 80% of B2B marketers
24. 80%+ of mobile visitors who look up for a business on their device, visit them
25. 85% of mobile visitors use their mobile devices to have access to Web content from anywhere
26. Social media is the fastest growing trend in the history of the world
27. Social media growth faster that the Internet itself (1.4 billions users within first 10 years)
28. Social media influencers an essential part of social media marketing
29. Augmented virtual reality beginning to be embedded in social media marketing prototypes
30. If Facebook were a country, it would be the biggest country in the world