Capitol Communicator is running predictions from area communicators and here are 2018 predictions from Crosby Marketing Communications:

Building trust will be front and center. The public’s trust of brands and media outlets is waning to all-time lowsAs marketers vie for attention from skeptical consumers, user-generated content and influencers will play a more vital role. Marketers will focus on meaningful storytelling and sharing knowledge that supports a brand as a credible resource. Expect to see more testimonials, video demonstrations and overall transparency.

Social Media Top 3 in flux.  2018 will see Facebook and Twitter come under greater scrutiny from regulators as we enter another election season. Expect an overhaul at Twitter, or even a sale, as the platform continues to grapple with the problem of bots and negative perception among users. Instagram will hit the one billion user mark, coming into its own as an advertising platform. Social media will continue to garner larger and larger shares of digital advertising dollars.

Video takes center stage. Incorporating more video into your media mix is a must. Online consumption is off the charts with nearly two thirds of U.S. users watching mobile video daily. By 2020, 80% of global Internet traffic will be attributed to video. Live and streaming video continue to be the way of the future. Research shows the average reach of posts more than doubled for live videos on Facebook.

Use of filters and masks is simply a teaser to full-fledged Augmented Reality.  Communicators will need to get comfortable in the AR space.  Snapchat was the first to make it easy and accessible to everyone with a smartphone.  Consumer interest is growing and the opportunities for creating a rich brand experience is ripe for innovation.

Voice-enabled technology will be the new norm.  Devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home will become ubiquitous, and continually adapt to a user’s needs providing more than just information and shopping lists. Brands will look to voice technology to enhance experiences across all categories, including as powerful conduits to improve personal health and well-being.

Experiences are the future of marketing and automation is key. Many organizations are designating Chief Customer Experience Officers. Analyzing and enhancing every interaction between a customer and an organization means creating a shared language and KPIs across all departments. Marketing automation tools are now a requirement to effectively engage customers across multiple mediums, channels and touchpoints.

Making a human connection still matters most. While the mechanistic march of big data and technology advances, the power of creating real human-to-human connection finds its force, not in cold numbers, but in the fire of an honest story well told.  Data helps us mine many veins. But the human story, with all its unpredictable, random zigs, with its breakout ability to ignite passions, embolden movements, and touch deeper truths, will always count more than anything.

(Photo:  Crosby CEO Raymond Crosby flanked by members of the agency’s leadership team.)

 

 

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