In 2018, marketing and technology will be inseparable. We have reached the point in digital strategies and marketing tactics where actioning data, personalization and understanding the consumer is what will result in growth and loyalty. Teams step back and reflect on the past year’s performance, what worked well and how to improve on the campaigns that didn’t.

Looking for metrics your competitors don’t have, to get the upper hand for next year, is also on the agenda. At the core of every campaign is the search for a direct line of engagement to consumers that is relevant and will resonate with wants, needs and interests. Purple see 2018 as the year marketing will work together with IT departments to create new opportunities and nurture warm leads with data centricity in mind.

2017 was the year for interactive content, influencer marketing, mobile video and live streaming, chatbots, augmented reality, short-lived content like Snapchat and mobile-first strategies and optimization. Steadily being adopted in the background, quantitative-based marketing (one of our picks for 2018) will make a splash next year as well as campaigns (and KPIs!) moving away from soft-skill metrics and towards clear and measurable results.

Read the 8 marketing trends for 2018 we predict will be a hit in 2018 with your team and your consumers, and download the guide on Top 10 metrics marketing executives need to get their hands on.

1. Personalization is mainstream – Proximity marketing is hipster
Personalization is considered a benchmark for consumers. They give out their details to brands, subscribe to newsletters and go out of their way to visit brick and mortar stores amongst the crowds of people. Proximity marketing will be next big trend for businesses to capitalize on for 2018; where consumers are sent 10% off discounts or 2-4-1 vouchers as a reward for their 5th visit in-store, or when it’s their first game of the season.

2. Quantitative-based marketing
Quantitative-based marketing means a more data-focussed approach to campaigns and even content marketing. The data brands are gathering and collecting from website traffic, email campaigns, online competitions and more is used to profile consumer segments and understand why consumers are engaging with your brand – but what about the physical spaces of brands? There are 10 metrics marketing are dying to get their hands on for 2018 to put them apart from the rest.

3. Qualitative surveys
Consumers are influenced by friends, family and complete strangers more than ever with the growth of social media platforms such as Instagram taking first place for most popular social channels (see point seven). Reviews and surveys should feature as part of digital marketing strategies because they offer multiple benefits; such as a valuable glimpse into your consumer experience, timely feedback on messaging and targeting, and a method of increasing online search engine optimization (SEO) to influence future consumers. Consumers will love that you’re listening to them and actioning their responses, which can help boost your loyalty.

4. Augmented reality content
Virtual and augmented reality content has been huge for 2017 after Pokémon Go took the world by storm. We’ve seen sports teams and fashion brands use augmented reality to create new and exciting experience for consumers; but as a relatively new marketing tactic, cost and time ratios make it a big investment. Marketing teams need to be sure the experience they create for consumers in 2018 is relevant and resonates with social interests worthy of a ‘love’, comment and share.

5. Voice optimised content
In 2017, 20% of online searches were done through ‘voice’ searches, using Alexa, Google Home, Cortana, Siri and more, and by 2020 this percentage could rise as high as 50%. Data gathered about consumers: click rates, return visits to stores as well as online product pages are key to optimising content for ‘voice’ searches in 2018. Cross-referencing CRM databases with insights collected in physical venues of brands will create an unparalleled picture of who customers are and their needs.

6. Data security is a selling point
As GDPR draws nearer for companies operating in the European Union, data security and privacy policies are getting a thorough re-write. Letting consumers – as well as other companies – know you are GDPR compliant and place an obvious importance on data security will give everyone peace of mind in 2018. Marketing departments who are using the data collected about EU citizens will be just as accountable as IT teams who process and store the data. There’s also a 20 million Euro or 4% global revenue fine for those that aren’t!

7. Change of most popular social channels
If you’re in marketing you are most likely aware of this point already, but Instagram took over Facebook this year as the most popular social media platform. However, knowing which social outlets are most popular with your consumers is what counts. Account-based marketing for social media is like a dream and a myth wrapped into one if you can get through the noise of competitors and kittens, but will soon be a reality for 2018. Going hand-in-hand with personalization, targeting consumers on their favourite social media platform rather than a blasted general ad will speak volumes (of clicks!).

8. Warm-outreach campaigns
Cold-outreach campaigns have been forecast for a comeback in 2018, but what about warm-outreach campaigns? What if you could identify new visitors and send them a follow up email of their visit based on the products they were considering while in-store? You would know they have visited, be able to see their movement throughout your venue and then be sent a discount offer based on their demographic. Sounds cool, huh?

Get ready for 2018 and download the free guide Top 10 metrics marketing want to get their hands on for 2018 with examples from our customers and how they are engaging their consumers.