2018 Marketing Predictions from Josh London, CMO, IDG Communications, Inc.
1. GDPR Will Be a Wake-Up Call to Marketers Globally
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 2018, will require businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states, but the regulation also extends to foreign companies processing data from EU residents. While an EU regulation, this will affect marketers globally, causing them to get serious about the value of the data that they collect to ensure that they are deriving market-driven insights.
2. The CMO Role Expands, But Growth Trumps All
There will be an expansion of the Chief Marketing Officer’s role to serve as the nexus of the customer experience within their organization – but all roads lead to growth. As Chief Growth Enabler, CMOs will be measured on their ability to move the business forward. As such, we will see the trend of CMOs being invited to join their company’s Boards continue to rise.
3. The Customer Experience Bar Continues to Rise
With switching costs and attention levels lower than ever, customers and prospects cannot be taken for granted. Loyalty is earned through every interaction with a company/ brand and as a result, customer experience (CX) will be a key differentiator in 2018. With the loyalty bar being set high by industry leaders, B2B marketers will be looking to create those same experiences for customers. B2B Marketers who prioritize CX will cement their place in the minds of customers.
4. Artificial Intelligence Moves from Buzzword to Enabler
2018 will be the year where AI’s benefit moves beyond hype and experimentation into demonstrable benefit to marketers. In the hands of an experienced marketer, AI will be a valuable shortcut for marketers, allowing them to maximize their efforts and drive growth. To ensure that AI’s true potential is realized, marketers must to continue to get their data houses in order.
5. Predictive Technologies Prove Out
While the industry is still drowning in data and thirsting for insight that marketers can act on, advances in predictive technologies will increasingly serve as a shortcut. This will enable marketers to maximize their budgets by identifying new revenue opportunities using insights from existing and prospective customers to help them reach sales and business goals.
6. Media Companies Will Grow Increasingly More Aggressive in Innovating Their Models
We are in an adapt-or-die moment, with traditional publishers failing to meet their clients’ needs due to a one-way model and lack of diversified revenue streams. Successful companies will demonstrate a deep understanding of their clients’ business and bring comprehensive solutions spanning all marketing channels. In 2018, we will see a rapid acceleration and focus on the diversification within models and a rise towards consulting services amidst the consolidation of client marketing spend.
7. Facebook And Google Have Become Mass Media for Many Audiences (And For Some, Their ONLY Media Sources)
Transparency missteps this year have come home to roost and this will only continue in the year ahead – especially given this past election year. Because of this, we can expect to see greater scrutiny placed on the true impact driven by these channels. At the same time, these missteps have opened opportunity for other marketing providers to widen the crack that’s already been made.
8. Social Media Moves from Megaphone to Conversation
B2B and B2C businesses realize that shouting into the ether is no longer sufficient. 2018 will see technology-enabled conversations that engage prospects and customers in a non-transactional way. Instead of broadcasting across social media channels, marketers will take a strategic approach by engaging with targeted audiences through social influencer campaigns that drive conversation.