Happy New Year from the team at Mambo Media!
Companies and brands are under pressure to build better, more meaningful relationships with their customers while keeping up with an ever-growing technology landscape. As a “teach to fish” agency, we empower people and teams to thrive in tomorrow’s business environment. Let our expert team help you get ready for a year of successful Modern Marketing in 2018 with these tips and predictions about how to respond to this year’s new technology and trends. If this first serving of snackable marketing tips leaves you hungry for more, don’t worry! We’ll be sharing a full series of insights in the next few weeks.
The Market Is Ready for a Social Commerce Explosion
Siouxsie Jennett, CEO
Social Commerce, using social media and interactive user generated content to drive sales, will take a big leap in 2018. We’ve been crawling toward this inevitability, including some epic failures along the way, and are now at a confluence of readiness. It’s clear that the audience appetite for personalized and curated shopping experiences is real and growing. Current technology and tracking is certainly up to the task. And lastly, time spent on top social channels continues to grow at remarkable rates. I’ll be on the lookout to see which channel gets it right first.
Personalized Customer Experience Is No Longer Optional
Tiffany Salzman, Vice President of Customer Success
Companies that have been waiting to understand the importance of Marketing Automation and digital Customer Experience in their business model will be forced to make the shift in 2018 to offer more user-centric, personalized experiences.
In the crowded digital landscape, your users’ attention is one of your biggest assets and challenges. Your competitors are no longer the companies that sell the same products as you. Your competitor is the new YouTube video about trending topics in your industry. It’s the 13 year old down the street who’s talking about how they are building a new website (or YouTube empire).
In 2018, the gold standard for Modern Marketers will be how well you service, maintain, and grow digital relationships for your clients. You can win big in 2018, but only if you focus your efforts on these three key experience principles:
- Put clients first in all interactions
- Ensure your products serve a relevant purpose–and do it well
- Take customer experience to the next level
Accessible Sites Will See Higher SEO Rankings
Laura Allen, Digital Marketing Manager
All the best search engine optimization (SEO) advice, whether it’s about developing quality content or being mobile-friendly, can be traced back to Google’s laser-focus on user needs and the real human experience at the center of search. Google continuously updates their search algorithms to improve the experience and inclusivity of the internet for all. In 2018, we may see Google update their algorithm to include compliance with web accessibility standards as a ranking factor for search engine optimization.
Currently there are some areas of overlap between SEO and accessibility techniques stated in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) such as: video transcription, image alt attributes, and title tags. However, complying with accessibility standards is more than just optimizing a site for a screen reader. Google’s history of favoring sites that provide better user experiences indicates the potential of algorithm update to improve accessibility on the web. This update will push websites to deliver better experiences for people with physical, visual, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities.
Optimizing your site to today’s web accessibility standards may improve your site performance and search results (as well as ensure legal compliance), but it’s more than that. By removing digital barriers for people with disabilities, you can deliver an equitable customer-centric experience that welcomes all users to engage with your product or service–improving their interactions with you and building positive relationships with your brand.
AR & VR Will Finally Have Their Moment in 2018
Jane Roark, Digital Marketing Specialist
The rise of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in everyday life hasn’t been as meteoric a rise as once predicted. The technology advanced slowly and required a huge budget and equipment buy-in– making these technologies more gamified and less approachable to the general public. A major breakthrough came in 2016 with PokemonGo – a viral game that gave users the ability to interact with AR technology on their phones. While the experience was still a game, PokemonGo allowed us to get a peek at how engaging this technology could be.
Now, you can find an AR or VR experience for nearly any vertical or product–always attracting great press when they launch. From IKEA Place, an app that allows you to place furniture digitally in your home before purchasing, to wayfinding experiences from Lowe’s to technical prototyping projects, 2017 saw rapid development of AR/VR as powerful ways to connect with users. 2018 will be the year that AR and VR move from a gamer experience to a viable storytelling and marketing tool.
In the next seven years, AR and VR markets are predicted to grow into nearly $700-billion dollar industries. In 2018, will we will see a huge influx of approachable VR/AR experiences as brands commit to these channels for storytelling and building connection with innovative experiences–shaking up nearly every consumer industry along the way.
Marketers Should Shift Content to Incorporate IoT Devices
Wendy Hwang, Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we interact with digital content. More and more content is interwoven into our daily lives through hands-free and even eyes-free interfaces and interactions. Web enabled devices have been a trend for a while now but adoption continues to grow as these technologies advance and prices drop. Cloud-driven voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are commonplace for users and their capabilities are constantly growing and improving.
It’s been ten years since smartphones first disrupted the market, allowing people to carry computers within reach at most times–unless you left it in the other room. Wearable devices like the Apple Watch allowed us to stay connected always without a phone and even while surfing. Now, with impressively sophisticated virtual assistants you don’t even need a screen to search, shop, and connect online.
No longer are digital marketers limited to desktop experiences.Between our smartphones, wearable devices, and smart homes, we’re living in an era similar to an episode on the Jetsons! Marketing teams should consider additional new content and interaction points outside of traditional websites. With the addition of geotagging and augmented reality filters, the whole world is your canvas for designing exceptional experiences for customers.
That’s not all!
From everything we’ve seen so far, 2018 will be and exciting year filled with innovation and disruption. Follow along over the next 4 weeks for our full series of 2018 Modern Marketing tips and tactics.
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