Mega Trends that Will Shape Marketing in 2018


In order to grow our business and put us in a vantage position to achieve our growth aspirations and mandates going into 2018, we need to review and understand the following mega trends that will shape marketing in 2018 according to Salesforce.

The Future of Marketing Will be Contextual

The future is contextual and having conversations around the context that matters to your customers. It is engaging and putting things in the context of how consumers want to relate with it. It is no longer about the big marketing advertising budgets or outperforming your competition on advertising budget.

Advertising is designed to distract away from the consumer’s task at hand, while context seeks to match it. To see the power of context look no further than Facebook. Each time you log on to Facebook there are several posts awaiting you, yet their algorithms only show you the ones contextual to you to the moment. This is why we’ve seen organic reach on social media decline below 1%, especially for business accounts. If you want your social media sites to grow going forward you have to boost it and without context to the moment, there is no way our messages will make it through. Context is the future of marketing because consumers demand it, the new media environment supports it, and it is proving to be a much greater driver of consumer action than advertising.

Purpose becomes the heart of marketing

Every organisation must ensure that their purpose and ideological slant is front and center because the next mega-trend shaping the future of marketing in 2018 is the notion of Purpose. High performing marketing leaders say they’ve become more focused on purpose-driven marketing. Top marketers are 2.2x more likely than underperformers to leverage purpose-driven methods. The reason is simple, consumers demand it. According to the Economist 79% of consumers prefer to purchase products from a company that operates with a social purpose (data to be published by the Economist Insights Team early 2018). Purpose-driven marketing is a holistic approach to growth and the new heart of marketing.

While traditional marketing tells about products and services, purpose-driven marketing is contextual by aligning with conversations our audience cares about past just our products. In Nigeria, we see brands like Fidelity Bank and GTBank actively supporting SMEs by promoting activities and events that support them. Access Bank , recently supported the arts and health with their marathons. Sterling is focused on the environment and ensuring social cleanliness and Glo supports the entertainment industry.

With purpose driving the conversations, organisations are changing how we view them and the profits they make because purpose driving marketing allows brands to relate to their worlds in new and powerful ways, allowing them to break through where other methods can’t. Marketing of the future must have a heart.

The Future of Public Relations is Participatory

Marketing will no longer be one sided but involve the participation of customers and the organization, especially with the way customers have accepted social media. The new contextual notion of marketing also opens up the doors to the future of public relations and shows us the power of participatory marketing. The traditional idea of public relations is about controlling the narrative by controlling the press, however, our modern world shows that collective engagement to be a more powerful ploy at narrative setting than publication. The future of PR is engagement with your audience. For example, Nigeria’s parties and government are now using social media to drive their message in order to have a share of mind of the electorate. Just like Donald Trump pushing is message and encouraging conversations with his millions of twitter followers.

Organisations also now need to hear about how they are doing by encouraging their customers to provide reviews of their products and services. Many more organization need to start doing this in Nigeria because purchasing decisions are made by how independent comments and reviews are received and how the general public feels about a product or a company.
The future of narrative control lies in driving engagement with an audience. It is from this engagement modern channels take their queues, placing participation as the key to the future of public relations.

The Future of Marketing is More Automation

The future of marketing is more automation. A traditional marketing automation platform ingests data, and executes via email or the website. In the future there will be automation to segment markets, access back end data, identify key usage trends of customers and alert sales variation, identify key customers, pop net promoter surveys and take action on results via any channel instantly. According to digital Ocean, 85% of high-performing marketing teams that are implementing loT-based marketing rate their results as effective or very effective at helping their company to create a cohesive customer journey.

“The future of marketing is about creating contextual experiences. To create these we have a greater idea of marketing automation past the walls of the marketing automation platform like Digital Ocean has. The future of marketing automation is now taking place across a hyper connected network of apps, tools, and data far exceeding the idea of marketing automation from just a few years ago”.

The future of marketing in 2018 will be hyper focused on context, purpose, participation and technology. To succeed, we must ensure that we are relating and listening to our customers, are lot more effectively.