Predictive marketing, content marketing, marketing automation and artificial intelligence have hit their stride. In 2018, they will completely revolutionize marketing as we know it, customer engagement being the major inspiration.
1. Customer experience
Customer experience is already driving digital marketing. Facing a major disruption of the industry, companies have to rethink their customer experience to remain attractive. Accenture Interactive’s Fjord Trends 10th edition synthetizes the new strategies deployed to target customers: shorter contents, more personalized and instantaneous, like video or infographics, are favored. In 2018, the individual and its scope for action will be emphasized.
2. Content marketing
In 2018, content marketing will be what matter the most for marketers, in B2B or B2C, whatever organization or budget. The link between content’s frequency of publication, the chosen angle and the number of customer interactions confirms the urge to implement a customer-centric communication, focused on learning material, disruptive and exploratory work.
3. Mass personalisation
Mass marketing is dead, long live mass personalization! The goal is simple: collect the maximum customer behavior data analyze it with artificial intelligence algorithms and then develop customized targeting strategies. Thanks to Big Data technologies, the tremendous amount of data collected from social networks, online purchases, mobile apps downloads or CMS can now be parsed.
4. Conversion Optimisation Rate
Conversion Optimisation Rate (CRO) – which means increase the percentage of users converting into customers through the website – will grow further in 2018’s marketing strategies. CRO is closely related to search engine optimisation (SEO) and can double the gains: better organic search and better converting websites.
5. Cross-devices marketing
Computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets… We use more and more devices to seek for information. If a lot of customers are still using computers or laptops, mobile devices use is increasing and more adapted to punctual and synthetic information. Companies are now facing a new challenge: analyze in real time demographic and behavior data to optimize the customer experience according to the place, the time and the device of the suspect. The aim: better understand purchasing behavior and propose a relevant content via a multi-channel approach.
6. Data-driven marketing
Data is the heart of marketing. To capitalize on it properly, marketers have to exploit it quickly to extract a sharp analysis on customer’s micro-segments. Connected objects, more and more integrated in our daily lives, are collecting more and more data – in 2018, there will be 6 billion connected objects on the market and 30 in each home by 2025. Gartner and Forrester are forecasting intelligent objects, capable to interact in a more collaborative way with customers to anticipate their needs.
7. Corporate blogging
Corporate blogging promises so many benefits: optimize organic search, build a community, set up a participative dialogue with suspects, prospects and customers… In one word, it’s a highway to create a new relationship with the audience. Supporting an inbound marketing strategy, a corporate blog becomes essential to drive traffic on the website and engage potential customers. In fact, 70% of customers learn about a company through its content and corporate blogging can generate 67% more leads.
8. Content marketing automation
Once the content is created, there is only left to address it to the right audience, at the right time! To gain time, efficiency and regularity in publications, companies are more and more referring to automation tools to promote content through various channels (social networks, newsletters, emailing campaigns and so on). Besides the undeniable efficiency gain, this solution will help reach and retain a community gathered around regular appointments for each persona, and set your company as an expert on your themes.
9. Social selling
75% of B2B customers use social networks to make a decision to purchase. Social selling is a new B2B approach built on listening and exchanging best practices. Sales teams can adapt their offer specifically to their prospects and accompany them on the entire thinking process, building an expertise in their field. With its 450 million subscribers, LinkedIn remains the number one professional social networks and also the priority for social sellers. LinkedIn Sales Navigator integrated solution help generate leads by improving the sales approach and the relevance of interactions to transform the buyer-seller relationship.
Chatbots are the perfect example of marketing automation solution impacting the business in 2018. These virtual assistants animated by artificial intelligence can bring to customers their answers in real-time. Democratized after Facebook Messenger opened its API, the simplicity to install this system on CMS convinced a lot of company to implement it. Today, their challenge is to offer a better user experience than a regular customer service, using customer data. Artificial intelligence is already being replaced with “artificial empathy”. Chatbots will soon be in symbiosis with customer expectations and automate recurrent tasks to enable humans to focus on customer operations holding strong added value.
Digital transformation pioneers showed the way to tremendous opportunities. If they can anticipate the consequences of the current mutations, companies will experience major evolutions of marketing resources in 2018 and new activities holding a new growth. Ready, set, go!
By Christelle Dhrif, marketing and communication director at Sidetrade Group
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