One week away from Christmas – let the countdown begin! Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of the year, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about how many talented marketing professionals don’t want to lose traction with their key stakeholders.
In my last blog post, I talked about how the engagement economy embodies a fundamental shift in relationships between buyers and sellers, and is something that extends across entire organizations to include customers, prospects, employees, and partners. Bottom line, today’s marketer must engage with all stakeholders in a business — and even further, connect with them as human beings. More than ever, the only way to win the heart and mind of your customer is to consistently deliver authentic and personalized experiences.
How will we deliver these personalized experiences? Santa’s best kept secret, digital marketing.
Looking ahead to 2018, I’d love to hear from you on your marketing predictions and resolutions for 2018. In the meantime, here are several of my own:
Prediction #1: #NoFilter Content
Authenticity was key in 2017 — and it’s here to stay. Audiences today know that behind every story, photo and video are hours of work, strategy and craft to perfect it. The reality is manipulated to create the perfect illusion, but we need to stop and understand that true identity matters now more than ever. Creating an engaging identity requires companies to humanize their brands, which means telling stories that show growth. At the same time, these stories need to be transparent by including speed bumps along the road to success.
Hold back from airbrushing real-life stories around your company’s digital transformation journey. Digital brands need to be human to engage effectively with people. This will show that companies understand – and lead to gaining trust.
Prediction #2: The Reel Gets Real
What’s a good way to deliver authenticity? Digital marketing has become a battlefield between omnichannel content campaigns, with company’s trying to penetrate the awareness of customers from all touchpoints. We saw the rise of video, particularly live streaming, in 2017 and I would argue that no other content form connects with viewers as quickly and efficiently as video can. Video is a great way to get an important message across, and is more effective in locking the eyes of targets to secure their attention. Look out for more changes as social media giants like Facebook and Instagram work to push out new features and functions in video marketing.
Implement video when it makes sense. The content is rich and the relevance of footage can last a long time. And I’m not referring to just filmed video – experiment with live streaming too!
Prediction #3: Insight Over Instinct – What’s Old Doesn’t Mean It’s Out
IoT is pushing everything to the edge. In today’s current phase of digital transformation, it’s up to us to leverage the convenience of automation and rapid communication of actionable insights. These insights are powered by IoT and cloud-based technologies, and combined with our human judgment to determine the right approach to customers, audiences, and geo-targeting, we have a winning formula.
The adoption of chatbots are growing and allowing companies to act like a 24/7 convenience shop for information. Technologies like AI will continue to grow, but brands are still experimenting to understand how to best incorporate AI into their business models in a way that will deliver the most business value. Regardless, it won’t be long before it becomes a mainstream marketing platform.
New trends and technologies are hard to resist, but we all have business models and are in different stages of digital transformation. Look into the resources you already have, and think about what can be streamlined and automated – as well as what can’t be replaced by bots just yet.
Prediction #4: The Rise of the CMOs
Today’s customer, and the customer of the future, will be more identity-centric. They’re searching for brands that cater to their identities as they look for ways to build their own personal brands. This is a great opportunity for CMOs and marketing leaders as we expect the demand for more thought leadership around topics that will benefit customers in developing their own identities.
Rethink our marketing and selling campaigns, and celebrate and leverage internal knowledge around strategies. This will cater to the growing appetite for self-marketing intel. Put forward a couple influencers from your marketing team and help them create platforms through their social media channels to start.
And that’s a wrap for my predictions going in to 2018. Happy holidays. Comments are welcome!