Marketing, especially internet marketing, is constantly evolving as technology evolves. Companies, therefore, must keep up with rapid changes, or risk losing market share to competitors and eventually becoming obsolete.
Below, we discuss the top 2018 global marketing trends we think are important to every business leader. You can also learn more about them in Freedman and Clickz’s collaborative report: Global Marketing 2018.
#1 Embracing Charitability
An astounding 96% of consumers find it important for a brand to have good social and environmental policies, according to Reason Digital. For brands that want to stay relevant to consumers, affiliating with a specific social cause or charity can be a good decision. Many consumers in 2018 are actively looking for brands that act and lead responsibly. A study by Unilever states that 78% of U.S. consumers and 53% of UK consumers feel better buying from brands that use sustainable practices.
Diversity and representation is another large issue for brands around the world, with the 2018 trend showing an increase in focus on diversifying the workforce. Gender and racial diversity both play a role in showing a company’s progressive intentions, but only if the company acts reasonably and stays in touch with consumers.
#2 Short-Form Content
Attention spans are growing increasingly shorter, especially with long-form content, sponsored content, and ads. In response, companies must create shorter and more concise content. Many brands are already starting by creating short-form video content, attention-grabbing GIFs, short infographics, and humorous images.
Video content has been the most effective form of content for years, even with an increasing number of companies taking advantage of it. With the larger number of mobile users today, video is still projected to grow in usage and popularity.
#3 Transparent Practices
Growing skepticism among consumers makes it more important for brands to portray a truthful picture of themselves, rather than trying to only show perfection. Modern consumers are very skeptical and distrustful of brands of all types, especially in terms of advertisements and communication. Authenticity and transparency help brands to establish credibility and gain trust with consumers. For brands to communicate authentically, they should be perceived as trustworthy, real, and respectful.
Brands should use various types of content to establish a more authentic image. These include real-life stories from people who have used the product or service, user-generated content, and demonstrations of values expressed by company employees. All these forms of content show a more authentic image of the brand, rather than a glossed-over and edited image.
#4 Online Chatbot Services
As social media becomes a more popular platform for customer service, consumers are becoming more demanding of brands. A study from Altitude showed that 47% of consumers expect a brand to respond on social media within an hour of receiving a message, while 84% of consumers will not wait more than 24 hours for a response before moving on.
With this knowledge and the understanding that prompt customer service can be highly beneficial, many companies are now using chatbots run by artificial intelligence programs. These bots are capable of handling most simple customer service problems, and they can pass off complex issues to a human counterpart. Solutions that integrate chatbot technology help users get answers more quickly.
#5 Increased Collaboration
Collaboration with other brands can bring excellent results to all parties involved. Companies that share information, communicate more with their people, and work well with other firms tend to have better results in the modern economic climate. There are many online platforms and apps available that help simplify this shared-knowledge model for businesses.
Information shared between companies and employees is not the only form of collaboration that’s growing. Many companies have also started tapping into the knowledge and abilities of their consumers as much as possible, allowing more interaction and a greater level of empowerment and creativity.
#6 On-Demand Service
Online services have been available for years, but in 2018 there is a growing need for more on-demand service.
As technology increasingly empowers consumers, they are also growing impatient with delays in delivery of goods, communication (especially those involving questions about a product for sale), and general customer service. Providing more immediate access and convenience to consumers is very important for businesses in 2018.
#7 Making Technology Personal
Analog communication tends to feel personal to consumers, but digital communication can feel very impersonal and disconnected. Brands that are able to use technology and create memorable experiences with consumers have a better chance of making a lasting, positive impression.
Numerous studies have found that modern consumers, especially those in the Millennial or later generations, spend more than 6 hours online every day, with many spending more than 8 hours daily on a device of some kind. This time is spent consuming content in all forms, which often leads to tech-fatigue. Brands that can break through tech-fatigue with personalized, meaningful, relevant messaging have higher conversions than brands that spam consumers or utilize widespread, generic advertisements.
Internet marketing is constantly evolving, so brands must evolve to use new technologies and deliver desirable experiences, which includes personalized, fast, reliable customer service.
Brands, therefore, are challenged with developing an internet marketing plan within budgetary constraints that robustly generates leads and enables tech-driven, on-demand customer service.
Image Building Media is a full-service internet marketing company. We help companies generate robust leads while delivering conversions through personalized, fast, and reliable consumer experiences.