Last updated: April 11, 2018

Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 (See Entire Presentation)

Growth Marketing

What are the top digital marketing trends for 2018?

Get the slides from our Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 Presentation at General Assembly Seattle.

This was the question General Assembly Seattle asked me last month when they asked us to do a presentation of the top digital marketing trends for 2018.  My mind went blank and then the random buzzwords filled my head: Augmented reality, Alexa, Google AMP, Live Video, Privacy, etc.

That was quickly followed by the feeling of . . . I am overwhelmed and I want a snack.

A few baby carrots and La Croix later, I decided to do my own research to see what digital marketing trends I am excited about in 2018. What are the things we’re trying to incorporate into the marketing plans for our clients?

To clarify, I only want to highlight the digital marketing trends that will be relevant and actionable in 2018.  Not the still-in-development platforms that we, as marketers, cannot act on.

I decided to distill it down to the key trends that will actually help me with my 2018 growth marketing plan.  Finally, I settled on these 6 digital marketing trends for 2018.

The Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2018

  1. The Big 3
  2. Personalization
  3. Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  4. Search Moving Toward Voice
  5. Augmented Reality
  6. Video is the New Normal

The slides from my digital marketing trends for 2018 presentation at General Assembly can be found below.

View on Slideshare

As a bonus, I highlighted my favorite marketing tools for 2018.  Below are the ones I am the most excited about:

  1. Email Capture: Convert Flow
  2. Chat: Drift
  3. Personalization: Right Message
  4. Video Tool: Vidyard
  5. Heatmap: Hotjar
  6. Analytics: Heap
  7. Email Service Provider: Drip

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Growth Marketers Playbook

Here’s the text from the 57 slides, if you’re into that sort of thing…

1. Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 by: Jim Huffman
2. Hi, my name is Jim • GrowthHit CEO, a growth marketing agency • Author of The Growth Marketer’s Playbook • Growth Mentor at Techstars • VC Advisor: Sephora Accelerate & Stratus VC • Growth Instructor for ANA & General Assembly • Grown two startups from $0 to $10M+ Companies I’ve Worked with: The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 2
3. Where Should You Focus in 2018? The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 3 • Podcasts • Snapchat • Facebook / Instagram • Google / YouTube • Forums / Communities • Vero • Quora • Webinars • Artificial Intelligence • Bots • Machine Learning • Mobile • Alexa Skills • Google AMP • Customer Service as Marketing • Live Video
4. Lots of Options = I’m Overwhelmed The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 4
5. How did we get here?
6. A History of Growth Channels The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 6
7. The Smartphone Happened The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 7
8. It’s Not Slowing Down (By 2020, 5B Smartphones) Source: A16z 8
9. What Marketing Strategies Have Worked? The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 9
10. Success Story: Referral Tools Source: Dropbox 10 • Turn customers into marketers
11. Success Story: Social Ads The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 11
12. Success Story: Community-Based Marketing The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 12 • STRIPE: Facilitated developer meetups, sponsored hackathons and other developer events.
13. Success Story: Engineering as Marketing Source: Hitlist 13 Make a free product to help acquire potential customers.
14. Where are we Going in 2018?
15. The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 15 Trends for 2018 1. The Big 3 2. Personalization 3. AI / Machine Learning 4. Search Moving Toward Voice 5. Augmented Reality 6. Video is the New Normal BONUS: How to win in B2B & B2C in 2018
16. I know who you are . . . I know what you’re looking for . . . I know what you bought and what you’ll buy next. (1) The Big 3
17. Expected Amazon Advertising Revenue in 2018: $5 BILLION Facebook and Google represent two-thirds of digital advertising revenue and almost 100% of the growth. Source: LUMA TREND: The Big 3 Aren’t Slowing Down
18. Source: FORBES YOUR MOVE: Watch for Updates in 2018 Facebook’s algorithm, Google AMP, Amazon acquisitions, etc.
19. Source: Milano (2) Personalization
20. Source: McKinsey & Company TREND: Personalization = Increased ROI It Works . . . • Personalization reduces acquisition costs by 50% and lifts sales by 15% Customers Like It . . . • 78% of U.S. users said personally relevant content from brands increases purchase intent.
21. Source: Convert Flow and Right Message Step 1: Collect the customer data (in a CRM or ESP) that will add value to them. Step 2: Premium personalization tools are getting better & more affordable! YOUR MOVE: Collect the Data & Start Testing
22. Source: LUMA (3) AI & Machine Learning
23. “We are now witnessing a new shift in computing: the move from a mobile-first to an AI-first world. And as before, it is forcing us to reimagine our products for a world that allows a more natural, seamless way of interacting with technology.” Sundar Pichai, Google CEO “These big trends are not that hard to spot (they get talked and written about a lot), but they can be strangely hard for large organizations to embrace. We’re in the middle of an obvious one right now: machine learning and artificial intelligence.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO $- $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $20,000 $25,000 $30,000 $35,000 $40,000 2016 2020 2025 AI Revenue (in millions) AI Revenue (in millions) Source: LUMA TRENDS: AI Projected Revenue
24. TRENDS: The Voice Assistant Land Rush 24 Alexa Skills = 266% Growth, Google App = 900% Growth Source: Voicebot
25. TRENDS: Machine Learning’s Impact of Marketing Source: Rachel Anna Adler 25 97% of CEOs feel the future of marketing will consist of marketers collaborating with machine learning- based entities. EX: Meet Connie, the World’s First Watson-Enabled Hotel Concierge by Hilton & IBM
26. TRENDS: Chatbots are Just the Start 26 • 100,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger take orders, give product guidance & gather information. • 80% of companies will have chatbots in their marketing strategy in 2020. Source:
27. Source: GrowthHackers Conf YOUR MOVE: Leverage Existing Platforms ALEXA: Create and submit your first Alexa Skill MESSENGER: Build a chatbot with no coding skills required.
28. (4) Search is Moving Towards Voice The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 28
29. TRENDS: Smart Assistants are Getting “Smarter” 29 • Voice assistants hit an error rate below 5%. • Google had it’s Home AI reading thousands of romance novels to improve it’s language skills. Source: Statista, OgilvyRed
30. TRENDS: How Are People Using It? 30 • 53% while driving • 21% while doing another activity • 22% of queries are for local content • 50% of searches will be by voice in 2020 Source: Higher Visibility, ComScore
31. YOUR MOVE: Voice SEO 31 • Optimize FAQ pages to get featured • Average word count of a Google voice search results page = 2,312 words. • Appearing in featured snippets gets you in voice results (Average 29 words) Source: BACKLINKO
32. (5) Augmented Reality 32Source: OgilvyRed
33. TRENDS: The Perfect Time for AR 33 Perfect Timing: • Good mobile tech! • Strong AR platforms! • User penetration on AR platforms! The technological breakthrough . . . Dancing wieners! Source: OgilvyRed
34. YOUR MOVE: Put AR In Your Marketing Plan 34 How can you . . . (1) Entertain Customers or (2) Add Value . . . with augmented reality? Leverage face filters on social channels and/or 3rd party technologies to do the heavy lifting. Source: Snapchat
35. (6) Video is the New Normal The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 35
36. TRENDS: Video has a Better ROI Source: Cisco, MistMedia 36 • 53% of marketers said that video has the best ROI • 88% more time spent on a website with video • 43% of consumers want more video from marketers By 2021, 82% of online traffic will be video
37. YOUR MOVE: Be a Video-First Company The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 37 Have a Video-First Marketing Campaign. Build video into every customer touch point: ads, website, pdp, customer service, product, etc. The ProductAds Website
38. The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 38 But, what about my B2C business or my B2B business in 2018? What should I do?
39. B2C: How to Beat Amazon in 2018
40. PROBLEM: Amazon is Getting Stronger The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 40 Amazon to have 50% of E-commerce market share by 2021
41. How Do You Beat Amazon in 2018? The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 41 1. A Unique Product / High Quality 2. A Superior Customer Experience 3. A Mission-Driven Brand 4. A Passionate Community
42. (1) A Unique Product The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 42 • New performance technology, premium materials, high quality, “most comfortable shoes in the world” • Not a commodity product (tube socks)
43. (2) A Superior Customer Experience The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 43 • Warby Parker: Changed how people shop for glasses online
44. (3) A Mission-Driven Brand The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 44 • Create brand loyalty because you stand for something! • An easy-to-remember value proposition: One for One
45. (4) A Passionate Community The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 45 • Parachute has a loyal following of influencers/fans that share/engage • 40% of purchases come from direct & referral traffic • Where to build a community? Social channels, Slack, Facebook Groups, Forums, Reddit, etc.
46. SUMMARY: How to Beat Amazon in 2018 The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 46 1. A Unique Product 2. A Superior Experience 3. A Mission-Driven Brand 4. A Passionate Community
47. B2B: How to Win in the B2B Space in 2018
48. PROBLEM: Too Many Options in B2B Source: 48
49. WARNING: You’ll Have 10 Competitors in Year 1 Source: Price Intelligently 49 • Went from 2.6 competitors (5 years ago) to 9.6 competitors in 2018
50. But, Customers are Still Unhappy Source: Price Intelligently 50 • Went from an average NPS of 33 (5 years ago) to 10 in 2018
51. WHY? We’re Not Talking to Customers Source: Price Intelligently 51 • 68% of companies speak to under 10 customers per month in a product development capacity
52. Your Advantage: ABCs The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 52 Always Be Customer Developing (Talk to Your Customers)
53. Your Advantage: Speak with Customers The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 53 How: • In their language (academic, casual, visual, emojis, etc.) When: • During product development • When they’re the most excited about your product Persona 1 Persona 2 Gender Age Region Academic Profile Career Sites they visit Influencers they like Hobbies Income Brands they Like
54. BONUS: A Marketing Tech Stack in 2018
55. Tech Stack in 2018 The Growth Marketer’s Playbook 55 1. Email Capture: Convert Flow 2. Chat: Drift 3. Personalization: Right Message 4. Video Tool: Vidyard 5. Heatmap: Hotjar 6. Analytics: Heap 7. Email Service Provider: Drip
56. Everything Our Agency Knows in One Book • $10 OFF The Growth Marketer’s Playbook, Use Promo code: ga10off • Website: marketers-playbook/ Where to find me: • Twitter: @jimwhuffman • Site: How Our Growth Agency Scales Startups
57. Thank you! Jim Huffman @jimwhuffman
Jim Huffman

Founder & CEO GrowthHit. Startup mentor at Techstars, General Assembly, and Sephora Accelerator. Author of The Growth Marketer’s Playbook #1

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