Many blogs and publications are looking at Big Data as the growing trend of the future. The use of large sets of data have been unlocked by the rise in machine learning and AI technology. The potential of this development is that Big Data can be used as “actionable insight” (Chaffey, Dave). Forbes contributor, Jayson DeMers, explains that although Big Data has already been on the rise – the trend in 2018 will be more accessible to mid to small range businesses than ever before.
Social media and brand influencers have also been a rising theme. From Misty Copeland’s Under Armour campaign to Joe Wick’s collaboration with Uncle Ben’s rice, influencers have been teaming up with brands to create more dynamic interactions. However, the landscape is ever-changing and the real estate for people’s time and attention seem to be shrinking. TJ Kiely, writing for The Drum, argues that brands will have to develop longer term relationships with influencers. The main strategy going forward will be to create more authentic relationships – customers are quick to tell a forced collaboration!
In 2018 there is also projected to be a continued rise in non-visual experiences for customers. The smart speaker industry skyrocketed in 2017 and people are starting to rely on these devices as part of their daily routine. We have all started becoming used to interfaces that don’t use any visuals! This rise is going to have an impact on how marketers will communicate with consumers (DeMers, Jayson). Peter Adams, from Marketing Drive, argues that the technology is not quite there to boom in 2018 but will continue to gain momentum.
Another hot trend this year is the rise of the chatbot! Most marketers seem to agree that brands are starting to use the chatbot to create more personal relationships with their customers. Dominos have launched their bot “Dom” to keep you up to date on your pizza journey while Ikea has started using “Orc” to conduct customer research. Instead of a straightforward customer survey Orc uses a messenger system to collect customer feedback. Orc uses emojis, encouraging language and incentives to build this bridge between the brand and consumer.
Whether you are a marketer or consumer, everyone’s digital experience will change after May 25th this year. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come in to effect with the aim to give citizens more control over personal data. This includes asking for explicit consent to collect consumer information, informing what data is being used and used for.
Other trends to look forward to in 2018 include the continued success of video content, capitalising on micro-moments and using more native and smart content. Whether 2018 brings you chatbots or authentic influencers we will all have to keep up to date to see what’s next!