Every year, we get out our crystal ball and attempt to divine some major themes for the year. While last year ended with a lot of buzz around AI and marketing automation, we believe that this year is going to take these tech basics and start to weave them into next-gen communication methods that will knock your customer’s socks off! Each interaction with your customer will be available for micro-analysis, from social media platforms to purchases to Yelp! reviews. What will you be able to do with massive quantities of data at your fingertips? We’re betting that whatever “it” is, that it’s going to be pretty awesome. Here’s some more predictions that will rock the marketing world in 2018.
Smart phone, meet smart home. Speaking to a hidden speaker is set to become a major trend for 2018, with Google Home, Amazon Alexa assistant and Apple HomePod vying for top spots on your shelves. Smart speakers are a massive trend, with more than 55 percent of households expected to buy one of these gadgets by 2022. While it may seem counterintuitive that we’re adopting a non-visual method of communication after the furor of multimedia content over the past few years, this direction isn’t going anywhere. Get ready to interact with customers in a whole new way via smart speakers.
Death of Desktops
While 2017 was a banner year for a move to mobile, 2018 is shaping up to accelerate the trend of customers surfing from a phone or other mobile device. Desktop and laptop browsing is down 19 percent year over year, with mobile phones showing a 25+ percent growth trend. This shift makes it increasingly important to ensure that your website is fully responsive to any size of screen. Even though laptops are still a major viewport into the web, the screens of many laptops today are closer in size to a tablet device than a desktop computer.
Customer Lifecycle Management
Understanding your customer’s journey is more important than ever before, with customer expectation of a cohesive omnichannel experience at insane levels due to data leaders such as Amazon.com. If you order something from an app, email confirmations better arrive ASAP — and your order should show up on your website immediately or on a customer service rep’s screen for any questions or changes. Are we spoiled? Doubtless. However, this seamless experience has raised the expectations for our customers to levels that it can be tough to live into. Better put down that triple skinny vanilla latte and get started mapping customer journeys. Yes, now.
Tech Toys That Talk [To Each Other]
Big Data. Artificial Intelligence. The big buzzwords of 2017 are coming into their own for 2018, and are the fuel that will drive higher levels of engagement now and in the future. If you’ve got a bunch of dissimilar and disconnected digital platforms, take the time now to audit and determine which ones will truly improve the experience for your customers in the future. Fearlessly cut the fat from communications — people are skimmers these days — and make sure you’re relentless in your drive to improve website experiences at each step of your processes. The only way to be successful in 2018 and beyond as a digital marketer is to ensure that your tech toys talk to each other flawlessly.