As we approach the last few months of the year, we take a look at some of the key marketing trends of 2018, which have been on the radar of any good B2B marketing agency and their clients.
Artificial Intelligence is increasingly becoming part of everyday life. Machine learning (the name for systems that can learn to make intelligent decisions) is being used to understand, predict and take action on problems experienced by customers. These decisions can often be done much quicker than by a human. Additionally, ‘Hyper-personalisation’ makes use of software algorithms to build up customer profiles. This means that new content sent out to individuals can be tailored to that person and their interests, but to a level way beyond traditional personalisation techniques. Using AI in marketing can make a big difference to open and click rates and will continue to be an increasingly important part of marketing going forward.
Okay, using moving image in marketing is nothing new. However, it’s use and effectiveness has seen a dramatic increase in 2018. Youtube is now the second more popular social network after Facebook and statistics show that 72% of people prefer to learn about a product or service through video. Video is much more accessible and cost-effective than it was in the past, and it is much easier for businesses to include it in their marketing mix. 2018 has shown that there’s little excuse to not be at the very least seriously considering video content within your marketing.
VR and AR
Virtual reality is the simulation of a three-dimensional environment created by computers that can be interacted with through special equipment. Augmented reality is a little different in that it uses software and equipment to project the generated simulations into the real-world. In recent years the two terms have been seen as merely buzz words, and their usage gimmicky. However use of the technologies has steadily increased and can be seen to be adding real value to brands and products in 2018. Ikea, for example released an AR app that allowed their customers to visualise virtual furniture in their own rooms.
2018 has seen the rise of storytelling as a basis for marketing content. By telling the story of a brand or product, a stronger emotional and more personal connection is created with the customer. The trend has generally been popular with bloggers and commercial brands and although B2B marketing hasn’t traditionally taken this approach, some are starting to see the benefits of storytelling. Even small things like eliminating jargon associated with a particular industry can make a brand more personal and accessible.
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