Marketing Trends for 2018

marketing trends

With December dawning, it’s that time of year when articles can be classified into two types. The first are retrospectives of the past year. The second are making predictions about the year coming up, particularly marketing trends. 

The world of marketing is changing quickly. At many organizations, marketing departments spend more on technology than information technology departments. That tells us how much we’re coming to depend on things like CRMs, data analysis tools, and automation as a whole. As the lens of marketing widens, it might feel like there’s no way for a small or even mid-size organization to harness these megatrends

Don’t give up hope, though. Some of the biggest marketing trends for 2018 could be better handled by small, nimble organizations. And we’ve got the tools to help.

2018 Marketing Trends That Scale

Context, not advertising, generates growth

We’ve written before (in January 2017, actually!) about the customer experience, or CX. It’s a pipeline that looks at how customers view the entirety of their relationship with an organization, not just the simple transactional pieces of it. It’s how a company markets to them, how the shipping process works, and their unboxing experience. And it all starts with context. 

In short, people don’t like advertisements. Over 600 million people use ad-blocking software on their browsers to show that point.It’s seen as a distraction. In comparison, context matches it, or provides a solution. Our recent project, creating FobPads for car dealerships, provides a context for customers. It’s incidental to the car purchase, but provides an outlet for ongoing marketing. 

Purpose takes center stage over promotion

Promotional packaging might be our bread and butter, but we also knew a long time ago that the purpose was the key to any packaged solution. 

In a business sense, this refers to customers looking to support organizations with a social purpose. A social purpose means considering the personal interests of the employees and communities, and working to improve them. 

For products, it means allowing the purpose to supercede the promotion. Customers want to know the “why” in what products they choose to purchase. Consider enhancing your packaging to reference charitable donations or a non-profit status. 

Participate in public relations

“Participatory propaganda” is a term becoming more popular, particularly in the wake of the USA’s political climate. Time has shown that “…collective engagement has proven to be more powerful at narrative-setting than placement or coverage.” People have more power than ever before by means of unintentionally gaming algorithms (ok, debatably unintentionally) through backlinks, comments, shares, etc. 

This kind of participation is what is shaping the narratives, in politics, marketing, and beyond. Create content that’s worth sharing, and any business can participate in consumer conversations. When designing custom packaging, don’t forget to include hashtags and social channel handles. 

Are You Ready for 2018?

Don’t be intimidated by upcoming trends that rely solely on marketing automation or other big-budget tech tools. There’s plenty to be done on a smaller, more organic scale. And sometimes it’s more efficient as well.