Actionable Forecasts For 2018

You’ve probably been inundated recently with macro forecasts of the growing importance of digital media, artificial intelligence (AI), mobile communications, drones, videos and more. But, as you’re a small- or mid-sized B2B or B2C marketer, or a non-profit one which forecasts should you actually pay attention to, and how can they be used to increase your revenue and ROI?

I think 2018 is going to be a bumpy ride and trust that my predictions will make the ride easier for you. Here’s the summary:

Improving Marketing And Marketing Communications By Paying Attention to These

1. Much thought and time is required to develop a new web language that can meet the growing demand for voice-activated Internet searches. Voice activated searches, using “personal assistants”, accounted for 20 percent of searches in 2016 (ComScore) which is projected to grow to 50 percent by 2020. Your website pages need to understand and reflect how people actually speak.

2. Greater attention to brand transparency absolute truth, face-to face interaction with potential customers and clients will be the main focus. Cybersecurity incidents, as with the erosion of trust in media and institutions, has led to the widespread search for the truth. Involvements and incidents at the point of purchase provide opportunities to strengthen (or build or rebuild) trust in your brand.

3. The reduction of returns to merchandise made by e-commerce consumers will receive increased focus and require new strategies. Although online sales are increasing at about three times the rate of brick and mortar stores (in part due to free shipping) about one-third of e-purchases are sent back (versus nine percent of stores). Since shipping costs are between twenty and sixty-five percent of an online store’s cost of merchandise (UPS) the company needs all available to help reduce this cost.

4. While digital marketing will increase, there will have to be significant changes made to its ongoing development. Consider these: Visit:-

— P&G has urged Google, Facebook, YouTube and others to implement safeguards against the existing false traffic reporting and indecent content until the end of 2017 or they will cease advertising with them; P&G has already removed $140 million from them in 2017.

– Walmart is also no longer making ads on YouTube.

It is true that Facebook says it could achieve 101 million 18 to 34-year-olds. But the Census Bureau counts only 76 million from this group.

The ANA is attempting to start the six-month, 50 million-dollar pilot project with 35 marketers as part of a test of 30 premium online publishers to evaluate their value.

In addition reports, there have been allegations of kickbacks on social media while over 600 million consumers across the globe have installed ad blockers.

It is obvious that drastic improvements must be made and quickly.

5. As another outgrowth of the distrust that exists within the market, employees, reps and distributors will become brand new communications for marketing “influencers”. They will become “the brand”, and management will be aware of the value of an engaged workforce. In their quest to develop brand ambassadors at every level Leaders who are savvy will promote honest and open communication within the company.

6. Though it may seem as if it’s a throwback to the past but direct mail is likely to receive more attention. According to CompuMail, average response rates for direct mail (5.1%) is greater than those for email (0.6 percent) and paid search (0.6 percent), social media (0.4%) and online advertisements (0.2%). In actual fact, direct mail has a higher response rate when it comes to millennials, as there are response rates of 12.4 percent among those 18-24. Research suggests that direct mail is more effective than email for generating longer time customer engagement.

7. Bloggers will continue to be an element, but they’ll have to write long posts will be more difficult, taking longer crafting them, and publishing less often (Orbit Media). Specifically, posts went between 808 and 1,142 words by 2017. The average post taking around three and a half hours to compose. The current regimen has 3 percent posting daily while 22 percent post weekly and the vast majority posting once a month or less often.

Changing Your Strategy, Planning And Tactics

1. Marketers are aware that – in the context of a constantly changing market, the most significant element of profitable expansion and increased ROI is establishing a solid marketing and communications strategy. In recent years, having played with a vast variety of tools and tactics (in large part due to their being easy to understand) marketers have come to realize that without a realistic evaluation of their value, these efforts may have been counterproductive. Putting tactics before strategy never will work… “ready, fire, aim” comes to your mind.

2. Marketers, in reality, are spending more time trying to determine if their marketing communications strategies are working. Admitting that clicks don’t inherently generate more profitable revenue and therefore, they must establish a strict measurements and metrics for the ROI of digital marketing the same way that they apply to traditional marketing.

3. In addition to focusing on the efficiency of an advertising medium, a lot more thought is put into selecting a specific medium by the trust that consumers place on the medium. A recent study of 1,030 users by Clutch identified broadcast and television as the media for advertising most trustworthy (61%) and social media and online media as the least trusted (38% and 41 percent respectively). Trust in all mediums is the highest among millennials and the lowest among baby boomers.

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