5 Marketing Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

The digital world is constantly evolving, with 2017 bringing us a whole new, virtual world of marketing with the arrival of AR and VR advertising, as well as big changes in the way we use social media marketing– with platforms like Instagram and Snapchat altering the way in which they display content to users.

Navigating GDPR

One of the hottest topics of 2017, GDPR will come into force on 25th May 2018. As well as impacting business in general, GDPR signals significant changes in the world of digital marketing.

The new data protection regulations will hugely affect the way in which marketers collect, process and utilise data. As a result, organisations that advertise online are quickly learning how to navigate the new regulations while still executing well-thought out campaigns that resonate with their target audience.

There is no doubt that GDPR will bring new challenges for marketers, but that is not to say that savvy digital marketers cannot capitalise on these changes.

Though they may seem restrictive, the new data protection regulations will give marketers a far better understanding of how prospects want their data to be used, meaning that, although audiences may shrink, they will become more targeted, consisting of data subjects that have a keener interest in the collateral and content that marketers want to put in front of them.

Integrated AR on Social Media

Both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality were hot topics in the digital marketing world in 2017; unsurprisingly, these new technologies are set to evolve over the next 12 months.

It’s no secret that our mobiles are becoming more and more integral to everyday life and with the vast majority of users accessing social media via their mobile or tablet – it makes perfect sense for social apps to integrate with AR. This opens multiple (virtual!) doors for brands to better engage with their prospects at the perfect time; using their location to show them relevant, sponsored, AR content.

A Boost in Brand Purpose

There was a growth and somewhat pivotal change in brand purpose in 2017, with the likes Tesco, Procter & Gamble and Audi among those who took a stand – and arguably a risk – by putting social issues at the heart of their advertising.

In our now highly politicised world, people expect more from the brands they engage with. Turning up a brand’s political voice can advance brand awareness, popularity and purpose, but it must not be approached clumsily (we’re looking at you, Pepsi).

Native Advertising

Though native advertising is nothing new – with companies spending billions on native ads every year – 2018 will see more advertisements nestled into content that your target audience is already consuming.

Companies aiming to increase their reach, boost brand awareness and obtain more promising engagement stats can benefit from new forms of native advertising; using social media, mobile and video to embed branded content and capture engaged and relevant prospects.

 Marketing to Generation Z

2017 was peppered with various articles discussing the love/hate relationship between marketers and millennials, but with the New Year comes a new challenge: Generation Z. The UK’s youngest generation (born after 1996) consists of tech-savvy consumers who have been raised in an age of digital transformation.

By 2020, 40% of all consumers are expected to be Gen Zers; in order to capture this new and challenging audience, marketers will need to fully understand and utilise Generation Z’s reception of ads. Having seen approximately 200,000 marketing messages before their 15th birthday, the average Gen Z prospect has a strong filter for promotional content and marketing collateral.

While we can expect mobile marketing and video content to remain strong, marketers need to think carefully when creating unique campaigns to be heard above the noise.