At this time of the year, T.S. Elliot’s lines from The Rock come to mind, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in the information?” We’re overwhelmed with trends and predictions, but which of those will further our knowledge, rather than just add to the information overload? We think the following trends will realistically make waves in the marketing world.
Optimising for voice
Google reported that 20% of mobile search queries submitted via app are done by voice and Gartner estimates 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020, so becoming more vocal is here to stay. Marketing strategies will shift quickly to be more “visible” to voice and be geared towards providing answers to questions (on all platforms) from text search to voice search.
Advertising looks set to take off where Burger King and Google Home left off last year with their controversial “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger” ad. In a short space of time we’ll be wondering why we ever thought a brand entering our home in this way was invasive. Interacting with consumers via voice is not the near future, it’s already here (or should we say “hear”?).
Instagram bigger than Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s message promised he would “fix” Facebook in 2018. What with fake news and global politics, he has a big task ahead, plus he’s also acknowledged: “I’m not going sit here and tell you that we’re going to catch all bad content in our system.” So… Instagram, with an estimated 800 million users in September 2017 and growing fast, it’s a better place to be. There are less trolls, it’s friendlier, better looking and it’s where the influencers are – so that’s where the marketers are headed – until the further rise of Amazon that is.
Transparency rules, OK?
“Transparency is fundamental to running a sustainable business,” said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, when the company launched their “What’s in Our Products” addition to their website. We’re going to see more transparency from business on their products and where they’re sourced in 2018. Much of the “new” transparency will be enabled by blockchain technology, as Business Insider reports, “…Top brands are betting that blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins the cryptocurrency bitcoin, can fix all that ills digital advertising.”
What does this mean? Forbes unpacks it in laymen’s terms explaining that due to pressure from increasingly vigilant consumers on “social responsibility and online security” the role of blockchain will become vital as the blockchain makes it “nearly impossible to forge digital transactions and scam customers.”
If you’re ethical about the source of your products and services, Blockchain can help you prove this to your customer.
In terms of advertising, more transparency from clients opens up a world where we can bring brand storytelling authentic life, or as Seth Godin says, “Touch the humanity inside and connect to the humans in the marketplace.”
Sheila McGillivray is tribe leader at One Lady and a Tribe.