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Things change fast in the digital world, where new technologies alter the way consumers communicate and behave. To future-proof their marketing strategies, it's important for businesses to know what's coming, so they can grow and adapt to the ever-shifting digital landscape.
A Big Chunk of Change
Whatever the date on the calendar, one truth remains constant: forward-thinking businesses accelerate ahead of those who embrace the status quo. In 2017, there were all sorts of hints pointing toward big changes in digital marketing. In turn, many companies began preparing to take advantage. For those who didn't, there's still time. Here is some of what you can expect in 2018, along with some tips on preparing for the inevitable.
Unification: Modern customers demand more from companies competing for their dollars. In 2018, successful businesses will meet these expectations better by unifying their marketing campaigns with all customer-facing functions. While marketing is typically the first and most powerful entry point, it must play nice with every touch point that drives client engagement, including communication, customer service, and social media interactions, along with idea-sharing and collaboration among B2B clients.
AI and Machine Learning
According to a study by Forrester Consulting, a large number of forward-thinking companies are leveraging AI to targeting appropriate prospect audiences more effectively, enhance customer retention, and derive real-time, actionable insights from huge amounts of data, so they can take appropriate action to engage with the customers - or allow AI to do it automatically.
With this in mind, it's becoming clear that we are rapidly approaching a major tipping point, where business who have been slow to explore AI will be stuck in pursuit of those who are already utilizing the technology.
Diversity in Content
In 2017, more companies began diversifying their content marketing strategy across more channels. This is one of the biggest reasons 60 percent of B2B marketers reported that their content marketing strategies were more effective than one year before, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) annual Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report.
From blogs and newsletters to eBooks, white papers, infographics, webinars, live video and more, successful companies will be leveraging every possible content platform to reach more customers. To do this, they will need teams of people who have talent in:
- Video production and editing
- Audio production editing
- Graphic design, editing and illustration
- Content optimization across numerous formats
- Content promotion and distribution
- Strategy development and management
- Branding and communications
- Media buying and advertising
- Metrics, analytics and reporting
According to CMI, the average company already uses eight of these tactics across a wide range of channels and media types. 2018 is likely to create more separation between stagnant enterprises with limited capabilities, and businesses that have access to teams of people with diverse digital skill sets.
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