Marketing and advertising are constantly changing, especially in the modern era. People are more connected than ever to companies, products, and brands across the world, thanks in part to ubiquity of social media. For marketers, this means unprecedented levels of data gathering, targeted and automated ads, and audience analytics. But with great analytical power, comes great responsibility to the client. Now, more than ever, there’s no rest for the wicked. Brands have to stay on top of the daily trends and changes in order to reach their audiences in the right place.
So, what’s hot? What’s trending in 2018? Where can brands get the best bang for their marketing buck?
Everyone at IDealogic® eats, sleeps, breathes, lives for marketing, advertising, and brand development. It’s our job and our passion to stay on top of the latest trends. Here are 5 key trends we’re watching.
AI: Artificial Intelligence
It may not have reached Haley Joel Osment levels just yet, but AI is a very real thing, and it’s popping up more and more on websites across nearly every industry in the form of chat boxes and automated helpers. Though it requires a deeper understanding of the brand’s target audience (and the creativity to use that knowledge), it’s a surefire way to form immediate connections with visitors. And, ultimately, that’s the real goal of branding: creating real, human relationships with people.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
We really are living in the future. AI, robots, AR—just look around! No, we’re not navigating cities in flying cars or practical jetpacks á la The Jetsons, but we’re getting closer every day. Virtual Reality doesn’t suck anymore, and as evidenced by Apple’s growing commitment to Augmented Reality as more than a fun gimmick, it seems like the digital and real worlds will be combining much sooner than we thought. Smartphone apps like IKEA Place let you see products in your home without ever leaving your living room. Toms Shoes used VR to create a touching—and ingenious—campaign where people could “travel” to places like Colombia to virtually give real shoes to the needy. The future is now, and it’s an avenue savvy brands should start exploring today.
‘Influencer’ was the marketing buzzword of 2017. The focus on reaching influential personalities and minor celebrities (thereby reaching their entire audience) has found its footing in 2018 and will certainly continue growing in popularity for a long while. It’s a deceptively simple way for brands to utilize social media in a way that’s much more subtle than paid ads. It’s innovative, cost efficient, and effective. What’s not to love?
“Really dude? You’re on Pinterest?” You won’t be hearing that too often anymore. What was once looked as a niche mood board app for the wedding- and food-obsessed is slowly but surely becoming an downright social media monster. In fact, Statista reported earlier this year that Pinterest has no cracked the top 5 most-used social media platforms. Consumers have grown wise to traditional marketing techniques and, in turn, those tools are showing less ROI than brands that focus on the human behind the transaction. People want to build meaningful, human relationships with brands. Similar to Instagram—the second most popular social media platform—Pinterest allows you to engage with customers in a very visceral, image-focused way. Though it’s unlikely to topple the Facebook giant any time soon, the way Pinterest puts style front and center is capturing more and more marketing attention every day.
Last but certainly not least. As consumers become savvier and more adept at sniffing out bullshit, they’re looking more and more for authenticity from brands. It’s been coming for a long while, but the rest of 2018 and beyond will be dominated by brands who aren’t afraid to be brutally honest. Honesty is a good look for all people, and that’s exactly what brands should look like—people. It lends credibility, integrity, and authority to the brand, and builds a level of trust that keeps customers returning.
Knowing the trends is one thing; understanding and implementing them in a way that grows business is something else. If you’re anything but 1000% sure what you’re doing, you need the help of a team of qualified creative experts with a proven track record of building audiences, growing businesses, and generating profit. Call us today to speak with an award-winning Brand Catalyst™ so you can get started turning your business model into a brand model.