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Trends to watch in 2018

Trends to watch in 2018

From technological to social change, it is essential for every business to keep up with the evolving consumer landscape. Otherwise, the customer will leave you behind! Here are the top 5 trends Marketing Mechanics advice you prepare for in 2018:

1)    Technology is redefining consumer expectations.

A recent study by Accenture found that 78% of consumers say they retract their loyalty faster today than just three years ago. With such a fast rate of technological change consumers are becoming used to instant gratification and are quick to switch to competitors if they do not receive it. They are looking for easy access to fast services and high-quality products, with 24hr customer support.

Advancements in Automated Commerce is making all of this possible. For example, China’s JD.com is making huge efficiency gains by using automated warehouses, drone technology and AI route planning to deliver 92% of purchases same or next day throughout China.

What has this taught us? We have to use technology to provide the best service and must be quick to provide support when this goes wrong. In today’s competitive market it is way too easy for our customers to switch to our competitors, so we must stay ahead of the technological trends to provide the best service.

Companies now need to personalise products and be flexible. Same-day delivery, instant customer service, and refund guarantees can all be very useful tools to do this.

2)   Increasing Importance of Mobile Devices

Today, people have twice as many interactions with brands on their mobile devices than any other channel, including in-store (Google, 2018). In 2016, there were nearly 150 billion mobile app downloads worldwide; this has been growing every year and is expected to reach a whopping 350 billion by 2021. As consumers are turning more and more to their mobile devices (as many as 150x a day!), the importance of providing quality mobile services has never been more critical!

We recommend producing websites specifically for mobile devices, instead of just making your desktop website available on mobile. This will make your site easier to navigate and make the design suitable for a smaller screen. It will also allow you to cater to different needs, for example, include a ‘get directions’ button which will help customers navigate straight to your door.  With companies such as BrightEdge reporting over half of all website visits coming from mobile devices, it would be a huge mistake to overlook the importance of your mobile presence. Additionally, advertising on mobile devices is becoming increasingly relevant, $7.6 billion was spent on digital media in Australia last year, here is how it was spent on mobile devices.

2)   Transparency

2017 saw a wave of public discontent around how corporate Australia reports executive pay with Plutus Payroll and the CPA both being heavily criticised. The Harvey Weinstein and United Airlines scandals both went viral and have made consumers much more aware of company ethics and standards. The rise of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin can also be partly attributed to a movement away from the establishment and towards a more open and transparent world. As consumers are becoming more and more aware of corporate social responsibility, they are beginning to think twice about which brands they want to support.

Therefore, we recommend that you take some time to reflect on what values your organisation wants to promote. 2018 is the perfect opportunity to start promoting these values through marketing and tangible business actions. For example, if you want to offer superior customer value, provide an impressive guarantee scheme, or if you want to promote your business as a trusted brand in your community, perhaps sponsor your local children’s soccer team. Becoming a brand customers want to support will earn you brand loyalty for life and is a crucial way to outperform competitors, plus it feels good to do good.

4)    The “Speed Update” from Google – using page speed in mobile search rankings

Google has just announced that, as of July 2018, the speed at which your page loads and operates will be a factor in determining search engine ranking on mobile devices.

This is a consequence of trends 1 and 2 and Google’s way of limiting the number of slow experiences affecting customers. Use the PageSpeed Insights tool to test your page’s performance!

The “Speed Update,” will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. Google will apply the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has excellent, relevant content.

If you have any queries or concerns about how this could affect your business, Marketing Mechanics can review your platforms and create a report outlining possible improvements to your sites. Simple contact us here, or call us on:

02 9565 2120

5)    Facebook is Reducing the Number of Ads in its Newsfeed

At the start of 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he wanted to re-emphasise Facebook’s vision of connectivity. He felt that advertising on the platform “is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”. Facebook has been carrying out a lot of research around the psychology of its users and feels that people are happier when they are using the platform to connect “with people we care about”. Therefore, to promote better “well-being” Facebook is changing its ad algorithms to reduce the amount of advertising on newsfeeds.

This is rendering organic reach of advertising almost impossible and means the content created for businesses must be of the highest spec to reach a large enough audience to be profitable. The idea is that only the best content will be displayed on the platform, so it is imperative that content created meets Facebook’s specifications. This means, using the best imagery, no ‘click-bait’ or sensationalist headlines and whenever possible creating original content. Stay tuned for a more in-depth breakdown of how to use Facebook on our blog ‘Everything you need to know to put your business on Facebook’ which will be published right here later this month.

 

2018 is set to be another exciting year of change, and Marketing Mechanic’s wants to be at the front line of marketing evolution. We look forward to working with you all to make this happen!