2018 Business Marketing Trends Predictions :
Social Media Digital Marketing Explosion

Brief: Customer experience personalised through Social Media, now the biggest driver of marketing transformation. The era of traditional SEO (Google search positioning) coming to an end. Everything is now a search engine. The battle of voice search engine positioning starting.

Who will be the new winners? The well-prepared, bold, visionaries.

This is our 22nd year doing annual marketing trends report for the online marketing industry.

Have a wonderful and very prosperous 2018.

2018 Business Marketing Trends Predictions :
Social Media Digital Marketing Explosion

22nd Edition of our Annual Online Marketing Trends Report - 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 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.

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Contact us if you wish to discuss this report with one of our research experts:

10 Major Marketing Trends Predictions For 2018

Digital Media Dominates The World of Marketing, As Expected

1. Voice Activation Arrives With Serious Intent

Voice Recognition Apps Will Dominate

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.

You will soon need to make sure that your website is "Voice SEO optimised", i.e. it comes up in the top of the list of voice search results.
The Good Early birds will rise in voice search results to the top
The Bad Too much uncertainty and unpredictability
The UglyAll your current investment in SEO could fade away

2. Video marketing will be the new MARKETING KING, and
social media will continue as the MARKETING GOD.

IT's all about content marketing

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.

Every savvy marketer knows social media is the most effective digital marketing method to expand your market reach, connect with your target audience, and grow your business.
The Good Social media advertising will grow about 150%
The Bad Marketers have to fight a decline in organic reach
The UglyMarketers face a Never-ending "New Tools" Fatigue

3. User experience will become key to marketing success

Customer experience is the new battlefield

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.

Plenty of opportunities if you get the customer experience (engagement, mobile experience, service, and support) right. Very little, if you don't. About 90% businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience. Organizations that take customer experience seriously will win customer loyalty.
The Good The single most exciting opportunity for 2018
The Bad Now, it's an urgent "key brand differentiator"
The UglyChallenging, time-consuming, difficult to gauge

4. "Subject matter experts", are the new rainmakers

The BEST WAY to attract, and sell to customers

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".

"Subject Matter Experts" are the ones everybody wants to buy from. These individuals understand and can help guide the sales process, whom everybody wants to have access to in order to gain insight.
The Good Great opportunities for smaller companies
The Bad Too many avoid interaction with customers
The Ugly Can't hire them cheap, can't train one quickly

5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Google
positioning is coming to an end

Traditional SEO dying breath

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.

Soon text-based search ranking and traditional SEO will be replaced by voice-based SEO and search ranking, while Social Media continues to grow rapidly, they are now (all) - the search engines.
The Good New search engine rank leaders will emerge
The Bad Everything changes more rapidly
The Ugly Timing is everything - more than ever

6. Everything is now a search engine, including Facebook, Twitter,
Google+, Pinterest, etc. - Not just Google Search

The evolution of search engines

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.

Many Social Media platforms offers unique search features to the users, (for instace #Hashtags in Twitter). In a lot of cases, people looking for things on these platforms are likely to bypass Google altogether.
The Good Lots more choice, many more features
The Bad Human Sensory Overload Possible
The Ugly Too many things to discover, too rapidly changing

7. Digital marketing will continue to go LOCAL and you'll
have to fight for your local presence

Consumers want local businesses to interact with them

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.

Big brands as well as smaller businesses have to focus on local marketing: getting all their locations ranking in local events, local social media pages, and local targeting.
The Good Local has always been more trustworthy and authentic
The Bad Have to compete more for smaller marketplaces
The Ugly Newcomers soon positioned to be excluded

8. About 80%+ of Website visits will be on mobile devices
by end of 2018

Mobile the most popular way to browse the Web

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.

By end of 2018, mobile advertising is expected to represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending, because 62% (currently) of internet users own a smartphone and use it for Web browsing, which will only continue to grow.
The Good More apps and features for mobile users
The Bad Yes, more apps and more features = overload
The Ugly Competing larger mobile apps, slower internet speed

9. Sales and content marketing will be fully integrated

Smarter organizations are integrating sales and content marketing

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.

Marketers are more successful when they integrate sales needs/activities into the content marketing cycle where engagement channel is used as an entry point into the sales process.
The Good Great nurture journey leads to successful sales
The Bad Untrainerd digital sales rep squanders leads
The Ugly Non-adopters will be left behind, in the dust

10. Professionals (attorneys, doctors, dentists, accountants, etc.)
need to learn how to maximize their online marketing

Has to be impactful, in the right way

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.

Professionals who don't have a lot of time to market directly, will need to consider a new way of marketing that includes listening, engaging, and publishing content across earned, owned, and paid media to maximize marketing opportunities.
The Good Great success awaiting the bold and the willing
The Bad Too much resistance to change and adapt
The Ugly No more time left to procrastinate



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



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