According to a 2018 survey by BrightEdge, there are 3 top marketing trends that are set to dominate the industry: AI, personalization, and voice search.
Let’s look at each trend to see how marketers are earning and learning from them.
Trend #1: AI in Marketing
Conductor research discovered that AI was the “biggest point of uncertainty” for marketers in 2018. However, that doesn’t change the fact that most marketers plan on implementing AI in their marketing.
- Innovate with email marketing
- Improve product and search recommendations for retail customers
- Enhance SEO
- Analyze data
AI, uniquely suited to crunching and analyzing massive data sets, can also improve usability and the user experience.
While many of us may not know where to begin with AI, we can get a few ideas by exploring the other 2018 marketing trends below.
Marketing Trend #2: Voice Search
While Conductor also reports that marketers feel unprepared for voice search, the voice market is pushing forward anyways:
- Around 20% of searches in the US are voice searches
- One-third of US homes own a smart speaker or voice-controlled product, claims ThinkNow
- Juniper Research projects that 55% of people in the US will own smart speakers by 2022
- Invoca says that nearly 90% of smart speaker owners talk to their devices on a daily basis
Invoca – a marketing firm that specializes in voice, AI, and big data – presents more statistics suggesting that voice search share is gaining ground on “type and swipe” searching.
Marketing Trend #3: Personalization
Personalization can come in the form of tailored ads, algorithm-driven social media feeds, customized website content, or AI-driven e-commerce experiences.
Regardless of the form it takes, it’s easily one of the most influential trends to come with the internet.
Since it relies on personal information, though, many people are worried.
Customers worldwide are concerned about privacy and data collection. They cite, for instance, lack of trust as a major barrier to mobile purchases or app downloads.
Another study found that customers trust social media companies about as much as they trust foreign secret service organizations.
Despite these obstacles, personalization offers major advantages.
When done right, customers don’t mind it. And marketers universally report revenue boosts in a number of areas, including:
- Search engine marketing
- Email marketing
- Website content
- Offline channels, such as direct mail
The majority of marketers focus on personalizing email, which makes sense since it is the easiest and earns the biggest ROI. When Ascend2 asked more than 500 marketers what gave them the highest return from their email marketing experiments, personalization came in at the head of the pack.
While customers continue to be wary of how companies handle their personal information, personalization still delivers major rewards.
Conclusion: 2018 Will Be Another Year of AI-Driven Personalization
From one perspective, “recommendation engines” could be considered the key marketing trend that drives the internet.
After all, whenever we perform a Google search, browse personalized product feeds on Amazon, or use Facebook, we’re using a recommendation system.
Whether we know it or not – these systems are AI-powered systems designed to personalize the user experience.
Given the advances of technology and the direction of the marketplace, every business should consider expanding their use of personalized marketing. Even small businesses can use email marketing software, retargeting, and search engine marketing to start boosting their marketing ROI.