Published by:

Amy Cook, Entrepreneur

January 18, 2018

Looking back over the past decade, it’s fair to say that Jan. 9, 2007, marked the dawn of a new marketing era. It was on that day that a very proud Steve Jobs introduced his paradigm-shifting brainchild, the iPhone, to a world that couldn’t possibly have imagined how drastically this handheld computer would alter communication.

Today, statistics show that 25 percent of smartphone owners ages 18–44 “can’t remember not having their phone with them.” These devices are, after all, a primary source of information, providing real-time content that drives decision making. Brands now think in “mobile-first” terms when building websites and related apps. And social media is eclipsing traditional news outlets in the dissemination of current affairs. The latest Pew Research study found that at least two-thirds of Americans get their news from social media platforms.

Consequently, marketing has become a race between two types of runners — those who smoke the competition in raising the bar to change with the times, and those who trail behind, always in pursuit. For the latter group, things are about to get a whole lot harder, as the pace of change is accelerating.

In a recent webinar, Gerry Murray, director of marketing and sales technology research for the International Data Corporation (IDC), said, “Companies that make investments in organizational change, new philosophies, and practices, as well as technology enablement, are going to accelerate away from those who don’t.” Here are three marketing trends he says are in the forecast for 2018 — and the sooner you start planning for these, the better your chances are in breaking away from the pack.

1. Consumer-controlled privacy.

B2B or B2C? That is the only question at play here, especially in light of the Equifax data breaches that left millions of people scrambling to lock down their information. The truth of the matter is that most consumers’ information is out there, and at the end of the day, what really matters is whether brands are using that information to better consumers’ lives well before a prospect even becomes a customer, or if they’re simply using that data as the next oil reserve for drilling cash.

Read the full article in ENTREPRENEUR.