The most important marketing trend in 2018

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Process and technology trends are important. For example, if a company uses only a fax today it will obviously be at a great technological disadvantage. Regularly adopting process and technology trends must be done, but it is not the most important thing to do. Or better said, it is important why it is done.

The most important trend a company must follow is to offer value to its customers. If customers require higher level of technology, companies must comply. If customers require more content to learn and understand the products, companies must comply. Therefore the process and technology trends are not set by the suppliers, but by the customers. Customers set these trends through their own experiences. If they use Uber or Google Maps they will expect your brand to offer an app of the same quality.

As an example, below is a customer point of view (POV) on Forbes 2018 online marketing trends written by Jayson DeMers:

1) Big data
Customer POV: I do not want them to bother me anymore with pitches and ads for products I do not need.

2) Non-visual experiences
Customer POV: I want to speak. Writing and touching is annoying, especially when driving, cooking, playing with kids…

3) App capitalization
Customer POV: Apps are free, easy, and work well. I do not want this to change towards paid, hard, and broken. I want even easier and better.

4) Native ads and smart content
Customer POV: Advertising has always annoyed me and i can never escape it, but at least now it seems like it tries to talk to me and understand me.

5) Micro-moments
Customer POV: I do not care for a big fake corporate event. I need help with my own daily problems and decisions.

6) Content and influencer networks
Customer POV: I do not have time to read and research. I need to trust someone, preferably someone who is like me or like someone I want to be.

7) Individual communications
Customer POV: The only thing more annoying than advertising is the customer service. I want to be helped the way I want when I want.

Processes and technologies become trends because they DO offer value to customers. Simply following them without connecting them to customer experience will not result in growth. The final 1% of magic that integrates them into the overall brand experience is the customer point of view. To do this visualize how the trend must offer value to someone like a busy mother and father, a student, a career person, etc. If big data and native ads do not add value to your customers or you do not see how they can do that, then they are not trends for your company to adopt.