A Few Super Cool 2018 Marketing Trends

If you are anything like me, you love reading all of the 2018 trend reports that flood your feed during the first few months of the year. They all spark my imagination and excite me about what the future holds. I let my mind ponder how these trends will affect our daily lives and our business.

For obvious reasons, I keep a close eye on print and digital marketing trends. Not only does digital trickle down the pipeline, but I often use both tactics to find the right communication solutions for my clients. Here’s what has caught my attention so far in 2018:

Advertising:
Who would have thought that social ad transparency would become a big deal in 2018 and that the Russians would be responsible for the push? Thanks to their meddling in the last election with political ads, consumer trust has been undermined. As a result, advertisers will be forced to face new levels of transparency. Coming this summer, Facebook will let anyone see all of the ads any Facebook page is running, including those targeting other individuals according to eMarketer.

And then who’d have thought peeing on an ad would take print interactivity to the next level? Well a Swedish agency (Åkestam Holst) that has created killer ads for Ikea in Europe over the last few years invited women to pee on their magazine ad … yes, I said pee. It might sound unconventional (to say the least!), but the goal was to entice pregnant women to urinate on the ad to reveal a special discount for a baby crib.

The call to action read, “Peeing on this ad may change your life.” Now, that’s taking customer engagement to a new level. I wouldn’t want to be the store clerk accepting that coupon.

The ad was created in a collaboration with Mercene Labs using similar technology that you find in pregnancy test kits, but to make it work properly there were several technical advances that had to be made. And the outcome has the potential to improve medical diagnostics. So in other words, print was driving tech, which I love. Speaking of technology …

Technology:
A few weeks ago, at the World Economic Forum, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said “AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire.”

Artificial Intelligence has become an umbrella term for technology that mimics humans by utilizing large amounts of data and learning from an experience, adjusting “behavior” with new inputs, and accomplishing human-like tasks. However, machine learning technology is actually what is driving AI’s development. Machine learning is what makes it possible for computers to learn for themselves.

Marketers are already using machine learning in their marketing for tactics like intelligent email subject lines, or social media optimization, or product recommendations. Perhaps the most noticeable is the use of chat bots providing a conversational user interface for customer service support. This technology is expected to continue growing as more companies offer both voice interaction and text input to handle customer inquiries.

By the year 2020, according to research firm Gartner, the average person will have more conversations with bots than their spouses because bots can be available at any time. That’s a bit scary/creepy, but on the other hand imagine your company being able to handle high volumes of customer interactions – servicing customers, or even selling, 24/7?

Mainstream adoption of AI will of course not happen in 2018, but it will no doubt affect every industry in the next 5-7 years. AI-based products and services are expected to grow to $59.75 billion by 2025.

How will you use these trends to drive engagement with your audience?

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