In the final part of our series on predicted marketing trends for 2018, Andrew Haines, Marketing Consultant of 15 years with significant multi-sector experience and Jessica McEwan Head of eCommerce across Joanie Clothing & Bernard Weatherill give us their insights, predictions and tips.

Jess believes that 2018 will be the year that we understand the influencer. ‘Over the past 5 years, social media and ‘influencers’ have been the catalyst for a whole new approach to advertising and marketing. This industry shake up has allowed bright young things to scoot up the career ladder leaving corporate dinosaurs sweating under their starched collars and swiftly embarking on digital courses. Jargon once popular in lecture halls and agencies now seems somewhat out of date and as ageing as an over plucked brow. Dropping terms such as ‘Above the Line’ like a hot potato is a step in the right direction – as is accepting the fact that QR codes will never really be a ‘thing’. 

My advice for 2018? Stay modest, and in touch. In touch with your audience, with their technology and with competitors.

With an eagerness to learn and evolve within the changing digital landscape, both you and your brand are able to remain agile and reactive - getting the most out of budgets and resource.

Instead of pouring more money into TV, print, or even conventional digital advertising methods like Google Adwords, we see brands allocating larger pots of spend over to influencers – it’s influencer marketing but not as you know it.

Rather than over processed imagery and click bait content, influencer marketing in 2018 is to be much more focused around credibility and creating a partnership that will open further doors of opportunity.

Think of your influencer strategy and roster of talent as a brand family, multi-faceted – and each bringing something to the table, nurturing all segments of your demographic.

Get to know them, and work together – what ideas do they have? How can the relationship better both parties?

Respecting this relationship, and investing in it as you would a friendship rather than a transient ‘paid post’, adds weight, truth and authenticity that brands nowadays seem too impatient to wait for.’

Andrew Haines top tips to help marketers excel across the year are:

Consider external factors

Marketers will become more accountable in an uncertain economy, with a likely increased focus on delivering a return on investment. Be aware of added pressure on marketing departments; marketing budgets may be the first to be cut if activity is not positively impacting the bottom line.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)

Ensure 25.05.18 is scheduled on calendars – the date GDPR is enforced. Confirm plans are in place and compliant to new guidelines, no matter the size of your business. Data collection pre 25.05.18 could be obsolete – check compliance to data collection principals.

Embrace Voice Search technology

A fifth of all mobile searches are voice activated. Identify a plan and incorporate into current marketing strategies to utilise this emerging channel.

Prioritise customer life cycle

Focus on customer satisfaction and net promoter scores to maximise sales and retention. Customers will return to businesses with a customer centric mentality and create lifelong brand advocates.

Thanks to both Jess and Andrew for their insights and we wish you a very successful and prosperous year!


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