Capitol Communicator is running 2018 predictions from a number of area communicators.  Below are predictions from Carousel30 and PCI.

Greg Kihlström, Founder & CEO, Carousel30:

Prediction: Personalized user experience hits the mainstream. While it’s been talked about for years, low-cost and easy-to-use tools will make this something that every marketer needs to add to their 2018 wish list, and puts it in the reach of most.  2018 is the year that the idea of customer experience will truly replace siloed views of mobile, brick-and-mortar, social and other channels within brands that have continued to separate their marketing efforts despite a trend towards embracing CX. Integrated or omni-channel marketing will become more universally accepted as a two-way relationship between customer and brand that is medium- or channel-agnostic.

Robert W. (Bob) Sprague, President & CEO, PCI:

Prediction: Crisis communications will flip from reactive to proactive.  Scandals surrounding executives and brands co-opted by extremist groups will cause more and more organizations to calculate that they are better off communicating — before the bad news erupts.

Prediction: Social media goes inside.  Corporations that want an engaged workforce will be forced to communicate the way employees communicate.  Social media and user-generated content will take over internal communications, and legal and HR departments will have to learn to manage the risks.

Prediction: PESO dissolves.  The divisions between paid, earned, shared, and owned media will continue to blur as hybrids like paid social evolve.  Clients will demand truly integrated strategies for any communications need.

Josh Golden, VP & Senior Creative Director, PCI:

Prediction: Design thinking will grow as an industry buzzword and permeate all sectors of the communications space. Agencies will focus singularly on the user’s need as the guiding principle of good communications. In the age of ever-changing information and technology, we will become more agile–more able to pivot so our messages will move not to where we thought they were headed, but where they need to go.

Mark Pedersen, Director Marketing Strategy, PCI:

Prediction: Content is still King, but less is more in 2018 with a stronger push towards value over volume. Accelerating this shift is the problem of truly bad content that ranks well on SERPs or appears in our news feeds (fake news anyone?) – and how Google, Facebook and others are responding. Algorithm adjustments aside, customers will demand more from marketers, and be quicker to shun those who don’t seem to understand their needs.

Jeb Brown, Senior Partner Corporate Development, PCI:

Prediction: The battle between Amazon and Walmart will intensify and the world of retail will continue to evolve. Twitter and Facebook will face increasing pressure to monitor their services for bots and foreign influence. Agencies will continue to consolidate and clients will continue to use multiple agencies to address their complex needs. The need for strategy to tie together all the threads of tactics will become more important.

Edith Bullard, SVP Marketing and PR, PCI:

Prediction: The trend toward “consumerism” — whether people are buying books from Amazon or an annual physical from their primary care provider — will continue to grow. Consumers will expect brands to provide even more convenience, transparency, and personalization as consumerism empowers them to ask for more and play a much more engaged role in everything they consume.  In 2018, brands will find it even more difficult to find a truly unique differentiator. The true differentiator may become finding one’s brand experience and consistently delivering that experience EVERY time.

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