As technology continues to evolve at a rapid rate it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the different channels you can potentially reach your target customer. With prospects spending a great portion of their day in front of screens—whether it’s a phone, a laptop, tablet, work computer, or simply watching TV at home we’re all being subjected to a barrage of different stimuli. Whether it’s from social media, text messages, what’s app’s, email, online video, notifications, or push alerts. With modern technology making it “easier” to reach your prospects your message can easily get lost in the noise!
So just how, in 2018 are you going to make the most of your marketing? We’ll take you through our predictions for successful marketing in 2018 but one common theme is personalisation!
Our Marketing Predictions…………..
Video becomes essential
Video is no longer a “nice to have’ in marketing. With increasing demands on our attention, a number of people will opt for video as the preferred way to receive information. Videos not only capture action, but they are also a great resource when we want to transmit information in a clear and visual way.
As algorithms continue to push “live streaming” We’ll all need to stop being afraid of getting in front of the camera as this becomes the new way of communicating and get closer to your audience than ever before. It allows for a more personal, real-time interaction with your target market. It also transmits spontaneity and authenticity. People spend 3x longer watching video which is live compared to pre-recorded video
Mobile use continues to grow and increase in importance
As people increasingly use their mobile devices for connecting and consuming information, search engines place mobile-friendly websites first. If your website is not optimised for speed and ease of use on a mobile it’s unlikely to get traffic. As this only continues to increase in ranking factor it’s likely we’ll see more Progressive Web Apps. Progressive Web Apps are websites that enable an app shell and configuration file to be downloaded to a phone, which allows it to take on all the best characteristics of a native app whilst living on the web.
As consumption of video via mobile also increases, the format in which videos are presented is also shifting in order to coincide with the relevant social channels. Square video is becoming more popular as it takes up prime real estate in social news feeds.
Email marketing has to be a more personalised experience
Standalone email campaigns will become a thing of the past; with softer, more customised drip campaigns being more effective. Why? Because these automatic emails are timely, personalised and hyper-relevant to the reader. As a result, they are opened and clicked more frequently and drive visits and revenue for your business. In 2018 this is much easier to set up and achieve with the advancement of email marketing platforms. Particularly with the use of visual journey planning:
Setting up lead nurturing emails can help increase your sales. 50% of leads generated by organizations are qualified but not yet ready to purchase. Email nurturing sequences can overcome this challenge and keep your business top of mind when they are ready to purchase. As actions by the reader can trigger a more personalised response.
It’s worth noting here that within the UK you’re going to be expected to ensure you have a personal connection with your customer information. With the forthcoming changes to the Data Protection Act and the introduction of GDPR and e-privacy in May, you will need to know where all your customer and prospects information was originally sourced from.
Interactive chat for customer service will increase, as AI continues to improve.
Have you used a website and had a chat box pop up asking if you needed help? Or maybe you clicked a customer service button and got a chat window? Often these chat boxes don’t connect you to a real person but computer programs that use machine learning to pick up on conversation patterns and mimic human conversation when reacting to spoken or written prompts. Chatbots can be connected to a variety of data sources via APIs to deliver information and services on demand, from weather forecasts to order requests. In 2018 Chatbots promise to be cheaper, faster and better than their human alternative.
However, companies shouldn’t necessarily rush to jump on the bandwagon – especially when it comes to customer-facing chatbots – just to get ahead of their competitors. They need to be well planned and have a clear purpose. If your target consumer is tech-savvy, an expert social media user, and comfortable using live chat, then having a more automated, online approach can work well. However, if you are dealing with an older audience that just wants a real person on the phone, keep that in mind when streamlining your customer service tools. This doesn’t mean that technology is not relevant to your business; you just need different tools.
Key Take Aways
- 2018 is the year to get personal, get visual, get found and get your house in order. GDPR is designed to make you more responsible about where you store your customer data (in the cloud is no longer good enough) and, how you use your data. Terms like Safe Harbour and Data pinning will be used a lot.
- Assuming you have permission to communicate with your audience, segment your list and make sure what you say to them is relevant, make it personal to them, more than just ‘Dear xxx’.
- There will be a significant shift in Smartphone Apps. Apps are now known to kill Smartphones and the battle for small screen real estate is on, furthermore, data within apps are not searchable on the web. Progressive Web Apps remove the overhead on the Smartphone, provide data that is searchable by Google, which in turn improves your ranking. All key to finding your next customer. If you’re looking for your next web site, make sure it includes a Progressive Web App element.
- Videos will become the standard, anything less will be viewed as a Luddite approach. Professional intros and outros are available and Smartphone video is good enough quality. So what’s holding you back?