10 Marketing Trends to act on in 2018 (Author: Dave Chaffey)

Source: https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/10-marketing-trends/

I feel fortunate to have followed some of the amazing major changes in digital marketing and technology over the last 15 or 20 years. I’m sure you will have enjoyed living through, following and acting on these changes too. Looking back, we’ve seen a phenomenal growth in the importance of organic, then paid search, then social media and more recently, incredible worldwide growth in mobile and particularly smartphone usage.

As well as this article, to help Smart Insights members, we also have a more detailed free download of the marketing megatrends, which are 9 digital marketing and martech megatrends that will help give you an edge in 2017.

Looking forward, in this article, I’m going to review 10 new trends which I believe, based on my experience consulting and training, are relevant for marketers across businesses of a range of sizes. But, first, I’m interested to know what you think will be important to you and your business in 2018.

Which marketing trend will be most important to you and your business in 2018?

We have asked this question over the past few years and it’s been really interesting to see what ‘rocks your digital world’ since there are some common themes amongst the top 3 and some activities surprisingly low. The question we asked was around the most important commercial trends. We had around 850 votes from marketers in different types of business from around the world. Thank you if you voted! Here’s what you thought:

By asking for just one technique from many, this helps shows the top 3, 5 or 10 top-level trends. There are a clear top three techniques, each over 10%, but with a long tail of many other techniques showing the potential for optimising different areas of digital marketing. Let’s take a look at the top three…

It’s no surprise to see content marketing ‘top of the pile’ since this has been in the top three for each of the years we have run this poll. We see content marketing as the ‘engagement’ fuel that powers all digital communications from search to social to email marketing to creating website experiences which convert. Our content marketing toolkit is popular since members want to learn a more planned approach to mapping content against personas across the customer journey.

More of a surprise is that Big Data is in second position. I think this is because marketers are aware of the potential of using data as what we call ‘actionable insight’. To help the decision on which technique to choose, we expanded upon the short labels you see in some polls to help scope the response more carefully. ‘Big Data’ is a nebulous term, but when we expanded the definition to include insight and predictive analytics, it shows the value of the specific marketing techniques for Big Data and this help explains why this is in position number two.

In third position is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We added this to the poll this year with the interest in it and it’s ‘straight in at number three’! It’s good to see the interest in these techniques which we have been covering a lot on the blog and in our member resources this year. In trend 8 we show how different AI techniques can be mapped against the customer lifecycle.

Here is the full listing of digital marketing techniques:

The ten marketing trends to act on in 2018

If you look at the 14 themes that we covered last year, none of these top-level marketing techniques are especially new, so it’s difficult to describe them as new trends or innovations. However, techniques like Big Data and analytics, Content Marketing and Email/Marketing Automation have continued to grow in importance and will be used by many businesses.

So in my look at the trends this year, I’ll be looking at integration as the theme. In our research on managing digital marketing (another free member download) you can see that only 6% of companies thought their integration process was completely optimised, yet many are actively working on integration.

Integrated marketing communications or IMC isn’t a concept you see written about much on blogs or social media since it’s high-level with everyone getting excited at the latest minor innovations from the frightful 5 – at the time of writing we’re getting excited about the Animojis in iPhone X for example. Fun, but they’re not going to help deliver the most relevant message and offer for an individual, which is the aim of IMC.

So, let’s take a look at the 10 trends. You’ll notice that in a lot of these predictions, I’ll refer to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It’s what I see as the biggest trend to consider in the year ahead. There has been a lot of hype around it in 2017 and we’re starting to understand the opportunities. In 2018 it will become more about selecting solutions and implementation.

Trend 1. Integrating Marketing Activities Into the Customer Lifecycle

Given the way the complexity of marketing and digital marketing has increased, techniques like customer journey mapping for different personas are increasing in importance to help define the most relevant communications and experiences for different touchpoints in the customer journey.

To support this, the way I like to think about how to improve the effectiveness of digital marketing is to think from the customers’ viewpoint of the communications opportunity available through the customer lifecycle for different types of business.

We define lifecycle marketing as:

Creating a managed communications or contact strategy to prioritise and integrate the full range of marketing communications channels and experiences to support prospects and customers on their path-to-purchase using techniques such as persuasive personalised messaging and re-targeting.

We designed this mind-tool to help members think through all the potential touchpoints across paid, owned and earned media. Then you can perform a ‘gap analysis’ of the use and effectiveness of lifecycle comms you are using against those you could be using to increase the relevance and response of communications.

Trend 2. Integrating personalization into the user journey / customer experience

To increase relevance and response of comms, website personalization has been widely used within transactional ecommerce sectors like retail, travel and financial services for a long time now.

More recently, lower cost options have become available with different types of solutions. There are many forms of web personalization varying from those integrated into content or commerce management systems; those integrated into analytics solutions or standalone Software as a Service (SaaS) personalization options that integrate with your CMS and analytics. A useful method to review your use of personalization at the top-level is this experience personalization pyramid:

the Personalization Pyramid

The three levels shown in the chart are:

  • 1. Optimization. Structured experiments. AKA AB Testing or Multivariate testing. Google Optimize is an example of one of these services that launched in 2017.
  • 2. Segmentation. Target site visitor groups, each one with specialized content to increase relevance and conversion.
    Each one still requires separate manual rules and creative to be set up. So returns for this approach eventually diminish after the maximum sustainable number of audience segments has been reached.
  • 3. 1-to-1 Personalization. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to deliver an individualized experience to each customer. 1-to-1 employs some of the same principles as optimization and segmentation, but by offering a solution to their two greatest limitations-delayed results and inability to scale-it represents a fundamentally different approach.

So, the main trend within personalization is increased use of artificial intelligence rather than manual rules. Plus, we can also expect to see Website personalization services being adopted across more sectors than the transactional sectors it has become popular within.

Trend 3. Integrating machine learning into marketing automation

Personalization can also be applied across the lifecycle in email comms.  Yet, our research on email marketing shows that despite the widespread use of email and marketing automation systems, many companies don’t manage to put in place a full lifecycle contact system like that shown in the lifecycle visual above.

We assessed segmentation and targeting of emails based on the number of criteria that are used from none at all up to dynamic content.

The findings from our State of Email marketing report are shocking: Half (50%) don’t use any targeting whatsoever, less than a third (29%) use basic segmentation for targeting and less than 15% use segmentation and personalization rules to reach specific audiences within their database. This means that they may be missing out on opportunities for automated emails with dynamic content for welcome and nurture of prospects and customers.

Although email marketing automation is another technique where artificial intelligence and machine learning is being applied more often. Using machine learning offers opportunities to automate targeting as it does for web personalization. However, personalization is potentially more difficult since emails, by their nature, have more complex creative. This data suggests to me that many businesses aren’t ready for AI and machine learning within email marketing and they need to deploy fundamental triggered automation features first.

Trend 4. Integrating social messaging apps into communications

The increasing use of messaging apps is a trend we have mentioned in previous trends round-ups. According to the latest Ofcom Communications Market research more than half of the total mobile audience used Facebook Messenger (61%) and half used WhatsApp (50%). Both properties are owned by Facebook. The Snapchat mobile app had a reach of 28%, with 10.1 million unique visitors.

We’ve been looking at some early adopters of marketing applications of these social messaging apps on Smart Insights. Examples include using Pizza Hut using Messenger for booking tables and IKEA for customer research.

Trend 5. Integrating video into the customer journey

Video is also increasing in popularity fuelled by social . This breakdown of Google popularity shows the dominance of YouTube. We used to say that YouTube was the second biggest search engine, but this data shows that it is now more popular than Google Search based on number of users in a given month (this research also from the comScore panel via Ofcom).

This visual reminds us of the opportunities to use video marketing through the customer lifecycle from pre-roll ads in YouTube (just one option, Google has 10 Video ad options), explainer ads on site and retargeting through video.

Augmented and Virtual Reality are closely related to video engagement, but although we’ve been tracking these, we have seen fewer examples and case studies this year. So, do let us know of any examples.

Trend 6. Integrating content marketing into the customer journey using a customer engagement strategy

Video is just one type of content, albeit important. In previous polls about the technique that will give the biggest uplift in future, content marketing has been popular, in the top one or two in the list.

The trend I’m seeing here is that businesses are getting serious about treating content as a strategic resource, that means developing a customer engagement strategy using different media as shown in the lifecycle diagrams above, and at a practical level, developing content for different audiences using techniques like Personas and Content mapping. Our research shows that these customer-centric analysis techniques are growing in importance, which has to be a good thing for consumers and businesses!

Recommended resourceContent Marketing Strategy guide

Trend 7. Integrating search marketing into your content marketing activities

If we look at the top digital sales channels, search marketing is dominant. Social media is far behind in most sectors, despite its ongoing popularity with consumers. We now know that in many sectors social media can be a great tool for engaging audiences with a brand and improving favourability and awareness, but it typically doesn’t drive lead volume or sales. So I haven’t given social media it’s own section, although integrating it with other channels like web, search and email marketing remains relevant. See our recap of SMW London for the latest social media trends.

However, within search marketing there is today relatively little innovation that we get to hear about compared to the past. Looking at natural search shows that the Moz algorithm change history has no entries since the non-specific ‘Fred’ update in March, whereas in previous years it would have had 5+ with new updates to Panda and Penguin. This is partly down to Google sharing less, with Matt Cutts no longer actively evangelising, although updates are available from John Mueller in their Search team.

Within organic search, one trend I think marketers should be aware of is the changing face of the SERPs as shown by the Mozcast SERPs features update which shows the types of links within a bundle of top 10k keywords they monitor.

It shows the importance of techniques such as Knowledge Panels (important for brands and local businesses); Related questions; featured / rich snippets / quick answers and reviews. We have found that the way these vary across the top 3 to 5 positions can make a big difference in the volume of visits from informational searches.

Within AdWords, referencing Google’s list of new features shows more innovation. Much of it is around reporting compared to new ad features for mobile in previous years, but there are some new options like with Enhanced CPC (ECPC) bidding and Smart Display campaigns. This is an example of Google deploying different types of machine learning including Automated bidding Using Target CPA as a basis; Automated targeting which means your ads increasingly show where they’ll get you the most business and automated ad creation from the building blocks you provide, like headlines, descriptions, logos and images.

Trend 8. Integrating marketing technology

If you follow applications of marketing technology you have almost certainly seen Scott Brinker’s Martech landscape which has grown to over 5,000 vendors this year.

Our own digital marketing tools wheel seeks to simplify this, but has over 30 categories of insights and automation tools which shows the challenge of integrating marketing technology. The trend here is that there is no let up in tools offering innovative methods to analyse or automate. Our final two categories highlights some of these.

Given the plethora of martech, the most apt definition seems:

‘very large amount of something, especially a larger amount than you need, want, or can deal with

You might expect there would be a trend to increasing use of marketing clouds, but our research suggests there isn’t widespread adoption of these.

As we have mentioned throughout this article, machine learning and AI is one of the biggest trends here, see this article and infographic for AI marketing applications across the lifecycle.

Trend 9. Integrating different data sources

This challenge was highlighted to use recently in our members’ Facebook group where a member asked about tools for integrating insights from different paid media ad serving tools which can give the best results if managed separately, for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ads and Google AdWords. Rivery.io is a new option that has launched recently, that should do well. The trend here is new integrated media insights tools other than Google or Adobe, which can help you compare performance of different media.

These services are surprisingly expensive, particularly since they are additional analysis tools. They’re not martech that directly increases leads or sales to the business. For example, I was recently recommended this service (Funnel.io ) that costs a minimum of $200 / month, even if it’s solely used to integrate data from multiple sources into Google Sheets. It’s a lot when to get the value from these tools you have to ringfence time so that the analytics are reviewed and acted on sufficiently.

Trend 10. Integrating digital marketing insights sources

Our digital marketing tools wheel contains many free and paid sources of insight about your digital marketing. Here, I’m talking specifically about services which help you stay up-to-date. We’re avid users of these services since they help us keep readers up-to-date via our own blog, twice weekly newsletters and monthly What’s Hot feature.

In a recent article on keeping marketing teams up-to-date, Mark Kelly explains that we recommend using Feedlyas a way of aggregating primary marketing news sources via RSS. Plus, I recommend taking a look at Zestwhich is a Google Chrome extension, new in 2017, which I and the team at Smart Insights use and is well worth checking out. Its curated content is specifically designed for and updated by marketers. Like Feedly, you can use it to review the most useful content recommended by ‘the crowd’, in this case ‘your tribe’ of marketers.

How workflow software could be the backbone of the future web | VentureBeat – Guest: Kevin Lindquist

How workflow software could be the backbone of the future web | VentureBeat.

Web 3.0 is knocking, and you will never guess who is opening the door: workflow software.

Traditionally an enterprise-level business process management tool, workflow software is coming into its own as Internet technologies become more and more connected. (Disclosure: I work for workflow technology vendor Decisions.com.)

Granted, the social media industry has done a lot of the heavy lifting in the Web 2.0 world by connecting people, but social networking as we know it is now more than a decade old — Facebook is nearly 10 years old! So, how is this legacy enterprise tool that predates social media transforming itself to become the platform for the next generation of internet technology? And how can I claim that Web 2.0 has come and gone? Let’s take a look.

Web 1.0: ‘The Static Web’

Essentially, Web 1.0 was the birth of the interwebs. Back in the 1990s we had static HTML pages that were found predominantly through directories and bookmarks. No man was an island, but web pages and information in the Internet were compartmentalized and were oceans away from each other.

Marketers were just starting to realize the potential of internet advertising and lead generation, but there wasn’t too much in the way of software products designed to help with that effort.

Workflow at this time was rudimentary, mostly focused on specific applications that required basic approval processes. But when people and software started talking more online, and the web began to mature, some very interesting things started to happen.

Web 2.0: ‘The Social Web’ or ‘The Collaborative Web’

There has been intense debate over what Web. 2.0 is, and some even say that we still haven’t reached it yet. I think that we have not only reached Web 2.0, but we have surpassed it. This era added value through new forms, and new models of communication. Web 2.0 was about people and systems being able to communicate across multiple platforms.

We recognized that there needs to be some level of uniformity in the way that we interact with each other online (I am not just talking about human to human interaction here). We created a number of standard formats that allowed for quick communication between systems. We enabled better human-to-human interaction through social media and better system-to-system interaction through the advent of the API (application programming interface). This was one of the marquee events of Web 2.0.

Throughout the 2000s we developed new, more intuitive ways to find things online, to interact online, and to create things online. We had basic APIs that allowed developers to integrate with powerful foundations of data and structure. We had telephone lines between those website islands that could send data between apps, systems, and platforms. We were talking; we were doing a lot of talking.

Marketing experts who had added polish to banner ads and other forms of internet advertising throughout Web 1.0 liked all of this chatter and started to come up with ways to be a part of the conversation. Pay-per-click campaigns, better content management systems, search engine optimization software, customer relationship management software, social media management tools, and many other disparate pieces of marketing software started to see huge demand as the need to manage all of this online traffic grew.

Workflow evolved during that time as well. Managing huge enterprise IT systems was made easier through automated processes created and managed with workflow platforms. The idea of ranking algorithms and recommendations emerged and required custom componentry that workflow platforms have had for some time, but the technology had yet to be applied that way until now.

Welcome to Web 3.0: ‘The Integrated Web’ (Not ‘The Semantic Web’)

Many are pushing for this thing called “The Semantic Web” where an app will be able to understand user interaction in such a way that it will not only return directly relevant results (for example, a search for “showtimes 84003” returning what time movies are playing at the Cinemark in American Fork, Utah) but also indirectly relevant results such as places for dinner that are nearby because you are probably going on a date, or gas stations en route because the app knows your car is out of gas. These concepts are exciting, innovative, and forward thinking, but there is a critical evolutionary step missing between the “The Social Web” and “The Semantic Web”: being able to take one object, and pass it through multiple services to accomplish a task.

Instead of a world where the app returns data about indirectly relevant things, what if it could instead automatically perform those indirectly relevant services for you upon approval? In other words, if you are going to show me “The Semantic Web,” show me a semantic web that can get things done without me needing to go between a number of different apps, web pages, and more.

For example, you have one object, the customer (aka. prospect, lead, opportunity, etc.) that needs to be taken through a growing number of disconnected pieces of marketing and sales tools and finally returned to accomplish any number of given tasks. Marketing needs the web analytics data to be attributed to the form submission that was handled by their CMS. Email campaigns need to be included in that story as well so that we can know how many touch points it takes to convert a lead. Oh, by the way, sales uses a piece of software to take notes on calls and manage the pipeline; would it be helpful to know what content the lead has seen on the website, or what emails they have responded to? And then we have all of the billing processes and accounting software, followed by more marketing and sales action in the customer success lifecycle. Take a deep breath.

Workflow software is the glue, the foundation that is bringing all of this together in Web 3.0, leveraging the progress made by the social media leaders of Web 2.0. “Social” connected people, “workflow” connects companies, systems, technology, apps, and people. And it is not just going to solve the CRM problem. It is going to help solve the big data problem, the cloud security problem, and many of the roadblocks facing software technology today.

How to innovators should adopt Web 3.0

In order to take advantage of this evolution, you are going to need a way to manage your processes across multiple services. Over time, more and more products will emerge that integrate multiple services. Marketing automation is just the beginning. However, waiting for these services to evolve into a full, integrated service solution will put you behind the game. Not only because one size won’t fit all, but because your competitors will have figured out a way to make it happen exactly the way they need it to work.

Good workflow platforms will cater to specific needs and technology stacks and will take a bit of effort to implement. Great workflow platforms will bring the primary components of workflow (forms, flows, rules, and dashboards) into one hosted package that will allow you to flip a switch, connect the dots, and start running.

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/08/23/workflow-software-future/#q6BfUBWheZCmm0AY.99 

How Many iPads Can Apple Sell? | Business | TIME.com

How Many iPads Can Apple Sell? | Business | TIME.com.

By SAM GUSTIN | @samgustin

Apple’s new iPad went on sale Friday morning, and as usual consumers lined up outside the tech giant’s retail stores to get their hands on the company’s latest gadget. Although Apple made only incremental improvements to the device — most notably doubling the screen resolution, boosting the processor speed, and adding 4G connectivity — that didn’t stop the faithful from turning out in cities around the world. So just how many iPads can Apple sell?

It’s a difficult question to answer because the iPad dominates an entirely new product category — one that barely existed before Apple launched the device less than two years ago. To get a sense of how rapidly iPad sales are growing, consider the following: Apple sold more iPads in the last quarter of 20111 — 15.4 million — than it did in the entire year of 2010. As of the end of 2011, Apple has sold a staggering 55 million iPads so far — amazing when you think that the product is less than two years old. On a year-to-year basis, iPad sales are growing by over 100%.

Obviously, that kind of super-steep sales growth cannot continue indefinitely. At some point, iPad sales growth will begin to  taper off, but there’s reason to believe that we’re nowhere near that inflection point, simply because the overall tablet market — which Apple dominates — is growing so rapidly. IHS iSuppli Market Research forecasts that global tablet shipments will exceed 275 million by 2015 — up from only 17.4 million in 2010.

To be sure, Apple will face increasingly vigorous competition, particularly from tablets running Google Android mobile operating system, but for now the iPad owns an estimated 60% to 70% of the tablet market. And Apple is moving preemptively confront its rivals — that’s why the company dropped the price for the iPad 2 to $399, which should spur even more sales.

(MoreApple Stock Tops $600 Day Before New iPad Release)

“All the momentum in the media tablet market is with Apple right now,” Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS, said in a statement when the firm’s forecast was released last summer. “The competition can’t seem to field a product with the right combination of hardware, marketing, applications and content to match up with the iPad.” Six months later, Alexander’s comments are still true.

Meanwhile, Apple literally cannot produce enough iPads to meet consumer demand, and there is a two to three week shipping delay for the devices. A recent poll by mobile advertising network InMobi found that nearly one-third of all mobile web users surveyed planned to buy an iPad 3. With that kind of intense consumer appetite, it’s no surprise that Apple shares recently topped $600 per share — a new record for the company — up a whopping 44% so far this year.

So how many iPads can Apple sell? Analysts at Canaccord Genuity forecast that the company could move 65.6 million units this year, alone. Of course,  predicting the future is a notoriously tricky business, but judging by how successful the device has been so far — and given how young the tablet market is — that estimate may wind up looking quaint.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2012/03/16/how-many-ipads-can-apple-sell/#ixzz1pRUrZXoL

[Infographie] Big Data, Gamification, Mobile,… : 2012, l’année de l’intégration | Websourcing.fr

[Infographie] Big Data, Gamification, Mobile,… : 2012, l’année de l’intégration | Websourcing.fr.

L’année 2011 a été marquée par l’apparition de nouveau paradigmes sociaux et techniques. Nouvelles technologies, nouveaux usages, nouveaux modes de vie.

Les derniers buzzword sont arrivés à maturité pour le plus grand bonheur des usagers :Mobilité, Cloud, Social commerce et Gaming, …

Les chiffres donnent le tournis et il est temps maintenant de consolider tout cela pour aller vers une intégration des ces paradigmes. 2012 sera sans aucun doute l’année de cette consolidation comme le montre en chiffres, cette infographie créée par ODMGroup.

2012 integration 500x2036 [Infographie] Big Data, Gamification, Mobile,... : 2012, lannée de lintégration

Endomondo | Community based on free GPS tracking of sports


Une très très belle intégration:

via Endomondo | Community based on free GPS tracking of sports.

Endomondo Blog:

Our Concept

Are you into running, cycling, walking, skiing, kayaking, roller skating – or other sports involving movement across a distance? Endomondo makes your experience even more exciting! Endomondo.com is the place where you automatically track all your sports data and set up and monitor your personal goals. At Endomondo.com you meet like-minded friends, get inspired by them, challenge them and follow their activities… live! So whether you are into just following your personal achievements or whether you wish to place yourself in a larger network of sports partners that challenge and support each other’s efforts – Endomondo.com is your new world of endorphins.

You will get the most out of Endomondo.com with a GPS mobile phone or a Garmin GPS watch. Free of charge, you can download the software to most common GPS phones directly from the website. On our Download page, you can see a list of the phones we support. New ones are added all the time.

Sign up at Endomondo.com, and if you want to use your mobile, click on the Download link and you will receive a text message with a link to the free program. You are now only a few steps away from a completely new way of doing sports. Join us… get out there and free your endorphins!

Our History

In December 2007, three colleagues decide to live out the dream of becoming entrepreneurs. We leave our jobs as management consultants to pursue a dream of changing the way you do sports whether you are at elite level or merely someone who wishes to get into shape.

The vision is to create a service that makes sports more exciting and to offer the ability to unite a large group of physically active people. There are many different kinds of motivation for doing sports. Tracking our training and monitoring our progress motivates some of us whereas others need a friend to play or compete with or even a coach to stay motivated over time. We wanted to meet all of these needs to reach both recreational as well as more serious athletes.

In September 2008, the very first alpha version of Endomondo.com is officially launched in connection with the world’s largest running race, the DHL race with 100.000 participants in Copenhagen, Denmark. Based on feedback from the first users, the beta version of Endomondo.com is launched in July 2009. Ever since that day, we have worked hard on improving our service – and we’re not planning on stopping any time soon!

Our Team

Since the beginning, we have expanded our team to include other Endo’s. Today our team consists of the following.


Endomondo | Community based on free GPS tracking of sports.