From AI to ABM: 2018 Trends Every Marketer Should Know


1. Video Domination

In a world where we spend a billion hours on YouTube every single day, video content isn’t going anywhere and will only continue to grow. This is especially true when it comes to explainer videos and tutorial content. We’re also seeing an increased shift towards mobile content.

For years non-mobile dominated the video ad market, but it looks like 2017 may be the final year of that being a reality. Zenith says that 2018 will be the first year in which mobile ad spending finally outpaces its non-mobile counterpart. According to Recode 25% more video will be watched by people on mobile in 2018, and in the coming year spending on mobile advertising is expected to increase by almost 50% to $18 billion.

Due to all these factors, it will be effective for companies to find new ways to incorporate video into their advertising. In social media, for example, big platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn often charge less on a CPM basis for video views. Also, think about places to use video that aren’t that traditional, in the example being Video Brochures created by Viewstream, which deliver HD-quality sound and video in the form of a paper brochure.


2. Artificial Intelligence Buzz

As Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and customer data become more advanced and user-friendly, we are seeing them become much more a part of the successful marketers toolbox. A report from Salesforce shows that the most successful marketing teams are 2x more likely to include AI in their campaigns, so marketers expect more growth in this area than any other over the next two years.

Effective use of consumer data will be just important as AI over the same time period. Consumers prefer to be engaged in ways that feel personalized for them, and their data will play a critical role in creating content that has a genuine human touch. That extra spice that makes the difference.


3. Chatbots: The Voice of the Future

One specific aspect of artificial intelligence worth talking about on its own is the rise of chatbots as consumer agents. Moving forward you will continue to see an increase in companies large and small using chatbots to improve their customer service experience and, according to Gartner, the majority of buyer-business interactions will be facilitated by chatbots.

While chatbots may not be everyone’s vision of the future companies may be warming up to the idea of them. In a recent article, Forrester Research predicted that 70% of companies will expect to implement some kind of artificial intelligence in the next 12 months. Forrester claims this increase in AI-adoption can be attributed to improved user interfaces and analytics solutions for these AIs.

Chatbots are something that most people are already familiar with, but advancements in technology and chatbot personalization means that they will only become more widely used as we enter into 2018 and the years beyond.


4. Personalization Creates Engagement

It is really not possible to understate the effect that personalized communications can have on your marketing. Consumers are much more likely to be engaged and responsive to a message that is personalized in some way for them, making it critical that companies know what each individual needs. Even something as little as industry personalization of your campaigns will show an improvement in conversions.

Personalization is such a big influencer for buyers that a lack of it can affect their purchases going forward. Salesforce found that 65% of B2B consumers and 52% of B2C were likely to switch brands if the company in question did not personalize messages to their consumers. This is even true of traditional email marketing, Maven Commerce showed that personalizing emails can increase open rate from 15.03% to 56.43%, and CTR from 1.13% to 31.13%.


5. ABM Goes Beyond Hype to More Content Tailoring

Account Based Marketing has become one of those buzz words that means anything to anyone. ABM is essentially a strategy to focus on prospects that truly fit your ideal customer profile. Using a targeted account list (think the exact customer profile that buys your stuff) makes the whole marketing process, from strategy to creative to media, more focused on those likely to buy. It’s like a billboard that only your target customers can see.

Most companies have some ABM initiative in place for the last twelve months and will expand in 2018. We recommend really focusing on the target account list and keeping that constantly updated. This allows you to do more targeted content tailoring to specific industries, roles and account names. The more tailored the better the results. Due to ABM’s hyper-focused human strategy, be strategic when compiling “the list” and give more weight to warm leads with whom you’ve already established some type of relationship. Finally, stop doing billboard marketing, and use your Account Based Marketing list in your actual media spend, with such tools as Google AdWords Match, Facebook custom audiences, and your DMP custom segments.


6. Marketing in the Decentralized Era

Blockchain begins to mature in 2018 and is a megatrend that will change most aspects of computing as we know it. We are really in the infrastructure building stage of blockchain, so the tools for marketers don’t yet exist. With that said, there is a lot to learn for all marketers on the overall ecosystem for the decentralized era. To do so, check out this article “The Two Spheres of Blockchain Marketing” by Joshua Shane, Managing Director at Viewstream.