Digital Marketing Trends in 2018: Our Predictions

digital marketing predictions

We asked our team to make their predictions of the most significant digital marketing trends for 2018, and some recurring themes popped up. Now’s the time to start thinking about how these technologies could impact your business in the coming year (and beyond!)…

“Chatbots will continue to become the best means of providing instant access to information and running tasks. Brands will increasingly rely on chatbots to represent their ‘personality’ and provide the best method of transaction with products and services. I can see opportunities to develop internal and external applications requiring bespoke chatbots, as well as the configuration of off-the-shelf chatbots.”

-- Mark Roller, Partner

“Voice services like Alexa, Siri, Cortana integration and skills enablement will create an additional touchpoint for customers to interact with content and products.”

-- Anne Burdge, Account Supervisor

“This isn’t necessarily a trend, but with the loss of Net Neutrality I think companies will ultimately be forced to invest more resources in promoting their content at the ISP level rather than traditional methods (or 'the Internet as we’ve come to know it'). In addition, richer data analysis via machine learning and artificial intelligence will be more adapted.”

-- Mike Janowski, Senior Application Developer

“I think the combination of leveraging consumer data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will have the greatest potential for growth. That requires most companies to start applying better best practices and strategic thinking to data collection habits. I think just the overall stereotyping of or preconceived notions about AI will lead to an increase in coverage and hype around it. This will lead to a few people doing it poorly, but more people beginning to work with these technologies will ultimately yield more education around it.”

-- Tom Johnston, President

“Repealing Net Neutrality, even though ISPs say they have no plans to do so, and creating fast lanes could disrupt more than just media companies. Most of the focus has been on bigger media companies delivering content like videos, photos, audio, etc., but cloud-based marketing and productivity apps like analytics, Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and Amazon AWS could be rendered ineffectively slow if businesses decide not to pay for speed. If there is a positive to the fast/slow lane debate, it could bump metrics like server response time, page weight, and start render time to the top of people’s list.”

-- Frank Connelly, VP of User Experience

“I think voice search will have the biggest impact on digital marketing in 2018, as it’s quickly being adopted by all age groups. This is making search more conversational than concise (for example, ‘What is the weather in Milwaukee today?’ rather than ‘Milwaukee weather’).”

-- Colleen Noonan, Account Coordinator

“Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) – web apps that deploy quickly and deliver an app-like experience. They work offline, use push notifications, touch gestures, access native device features, and so on. PWAs use Service Workers to do all the magic – Service Workers are currently only available on Android, but are in development with iOS (Safari) and will be coming soon.”

-- Jason Kufrin, Application Developer

“I think visualization will have the biggest impact. More and more users are relying solely on smartphones to consume information, so presenting engaging videos and graphics (interactive or otherwise) to convey your message will be more impactful than words alone. Sadly, fewer and fewer people want to read. Millennials in particular engage strongly with video.”

-- Chad Donnick, Director of Technology

“Voice search. People have been talking around it already, but brands are going to have to start taking it seriously as it becomes more and more pervasive with digital assistants.”

-- Colleen Bielinski, Marketing Services Supervisor

“Testing – and leveraging the test results – will continue to make a big impact in digital marketing in 2018. From A/B testing emails (subject lines, CTA copy, button colors) and digital ads to user testing and landing page tests, all forms of testing will remain at the top of everyone's mind. It’s also going to be even more critical to determine the best ways to leverage the insights and continually refine digital marketing efforts to ensure tactics are focused on achieving stated KPIs.”

-- Kristen Davis, Vice President of Professional Services

Interested in incorporating new technology into your 2018 digital marketing strategy? Contact us today!

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