2018 Marketing Tools, Trends and Insights

With 2017 behind us, it’s interesting to look back on some of the things that will continue to impact marketing in 2018. Here are just a few tools, trends and insights we see continuing into the next year.



Just a few years ago, I didn’t think podcasting would still be around. According to Edison Research, monthly podcast listenership has grown from 21 percent to 24 percent in the past year. Additionally, VoiceLabs estimates as of the end of 2017, there are more than 30 million “voice-first” assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. The adaption of voice and audio is happening fast. People are moving from typing in search bars and listening to the radio to voice and audio at an alarming pace. Potential opportunities for marketers? Podcasts, Voice apps (like Alexa skills) should be on your list of new marketing technologies.



The traditional TV spot has always been the king of advertising platforms. But according to research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, watching digital video ads is growing on people over the just the past year. An increasing number say the digital video spots are better, more memorable, less disruptive and there are fewer of them compared to regular TV. Add to that, the fact that digital video is highly targetable and the analytics are much more measurable, and digital video is a no-brainer from a marketing standpoint. If you’re not already using it, you should be — no matter what you are marketing.



Checking email. Reading texts. Looking at the weather forecast. Price shopping. Reading product reviews. And catching up on the latest posts from friends. Mobile is instant gratification. It’s also a powerful marketing medium. Look for sophisticated marketers to begin using mobile as a more effective marketing tool. Think offers that include “text XXXXX to XXXXX” as a tool that is just the beginning of a one-on-one programmatic marketing strategy between customer and marketer.


Branded Events

We are seeing more and more clients asking why they are spending so much time, energy and marketing dollars to exhibit at trade shows where they are just one of hundreds of exhibitors vying for the attention of attendees over the span of just a few hours. Look for marketers to invest in their own customer events, where they can control the brand experience themselves and target exactly what the people they want. Think product demo tours, educational seminars and VIP events that increase brand loyalty.


Social Marketing

Twitter and Facebook marketing are nothing new. But if you aren’t at least considering other social media channels like Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, you may be missing entire swaths of your customer base. As few as five years ago, teens and young adults were avid Facebook and Twitter users. But in my own experience as a father of teens and young adults, it seems that most of these age groups spend a LOT more time on Snapchat and Instagram than they do on Twitter and Facebook today. If you’re not keeping on top of the newest and latest social media channels, you run the risk missing part of your next generation of brand advocates. You should at least spend a little bit of your marketing budget experimenting with different social media channels.


Attention Spans

If you’ve watched any NFL football games, you’ve noticed “kinda” ads. These are the quick, branded messages that show up alongside the live screen of the game you are watching. They mostly happen between plays when there was no action, but there isn’t enough time for a 4+ minute bank of commercials. These quick spots are partially the result of marketers realizing that people don’t want to spend their time and attention watching commercials (especially ones that are less-than-entertaining). Look for ways to integrate your brand into the content. Our clients have seen a lot of success using contextual ads over the past year as one strategy to cut through the clutter and grab attention.


Response Time

As mentioned earlier, people expect instant gratification. According to a 2016 research report, more than half of consumers say businesses need to be available 24/7.  If they have questions, they want answers. If they have to look too hard, they’ll just stop and look elsewhere. Look for ways to make it easier for your customers to get the info they need.  Your website is a great place to start. Make sure you make it easy for people who visit your website to contact you, whether by contact form, email, social media channels. Look for live chat to grow in popularity on websites as well. In fact, a study by Zendesk indicates live chat on a company website leaves 92 percent of customers satisfied. That is higher than phone calls, email and social media messaging.


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