July 19, 2018

The Year Ahead in Marketing: 3 Trends to Watch this Coming Year

Cari Baldwin | General Manager, GreenFig
Written by:

Cari Baldwin | General Manager, GreenFig

A New Year brings new trends.  Lifelong learning is core to our mission here at GreenFig and we monitor developments to make sure our curriculum stays relevant and delivers the skills our students need to get jobs in this ever-changing world.  Here are three notable marketing trends you can expect to hear more about in 2018.

1. Customer Experience and Engagement

Traditionally, marketers have been focused on net-new logos. More recently they have been adopting advocacy programs in the marketing mix. GreenFig instructor Tracy Eiler, CMO at InsideView, teaches students how customer churn is a significant challenge. To overcome this, marketers need to put more effort and energy into helping customers onboard, adapt products, and create opportunities for deeper engagement between the brand and the customer. Highly engaged customers buy more, promote more, and are more loyal. We will see a shift in the budget to support building better customer experiences including leveraging data and creating content to enable more intelligent and tailored interactions reflecting the customer’s needs. Customer review platforms such as G2Crowd and TrustRadius will continue to be an area of opportunity for technology marketers while Facebook and Google reviews will continue to grow for consumer brands.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Not a new trend, but a fast-growing one. The growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in marketing has been made possible by the adoption of advanced data analytics tools based on machine learning.  According to Forrester Research[1], the promise of AI in marketing will help to cultivate efficiency in manual tasks; help with smarter decision making; increase the speed in which marketing data can be analyzed and self-learning can be applied to increase efficiency; offer continuous performance improvement; and help marketers to optimize the customer journey. GreenFig students learned about AI and the impact on marketing this semester, taught by Matt Abrams, General Partner at Seven Peaks Ventures. Students were especially intrigued by two points, which led to a lively discussion during class:

  1. The impact of bias – For any system that learns, the output is determined by the data it receives. In the perfect world, the algorithms of the systems would be objective, but they are built by humans and reflect human biases. We need to understand the source of the bias to be able to design systems that are not made up of them.
  2. Prescriptive AI – the ability for AI tools to make recommendations and take action as opposed to describing the past or predicting the future.

You probably already interact with marketing AI on a regular basis when you see ads in search results and on social media. We will see things like AI chats become more commonplace when interacting with brands via their website and the use of AI for marketing is only going to grow as the technology improves. Read more insights from Matt Abrams.

3. Privacy Protection

With new privacy regulations across the globe, brands selling to customers in Europe must be prepared. The new European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires companies collecting data on citizens in European Union (EU) countries to protect customer data with vigor in 2018.  Learn more at https://www.eugdpr.org/.

Smart marketers will realize, after the onslaught of massive data breaches seen in 2017, consumers will prioritize companies and products by putting their information security first.  This is an opportunity for marketers to use privacy protection and data security as a unique selling proposition (USP is something we learned about this semester in our strategy module). Privacy regulations are constantly changing and marketers will need to stay on top of current rules within all the markets they serve.

2018 will certainly be a year of growth, change, and opportunity.  We at GreenFig wish you a year of happiness and personal and professional success.

Cheers to a new year!

By Cari Baldwin

[1] AI Must Learn the Basics Before It Can Transform Marketing, Forrester Research.  June 1, 2017, by Joe Stanhope

LATEST FROM BLOG

Related Posts.

Why GreenFig? The Value of a Microdegree in Applied Business Science

The World Economic Forum cites, “[the digital economy] is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And, these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.” Where land, oil, and capital drove the past three Industrial Ages, this new “4th Industrial Age” is powered by “digital oil” – data. Companies are building and deploying systems of intelligence to prospect, discover, and refine the digital oil of the digital economy. And, the miners of this digital oil are “business scientists”. Business scientists must understand how to capture, observe, and utilize customer, financial, market, and product data. They do not necessarily have to be technical – as in know how to code – instead, they must learn how to generate and review business data and use their creative skills to operate business application software. In the US, politicians, academia, and industry leaders are currently placing a tremendous focus on technical training, coding, and other STEM programs. However, the unspoken truth is that many of these positions will eventually be eliminated through advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Additionally, many people are simply not interested or well-suited for these technical programs, degrees, and jobs. However, people who are creative and critical thinkers – products of liberal arts programs – are ideally suited to fill the positions of the digital economy. All they need is some additional specialized training and knowledge. Micro Education companies and microdegrees are well-designed to provide such training.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Has Marketing Become a Trade?

You used to have to go to four years of university to come out with a degree that would get you a white-collar job. Hours in computer or chemistry labs, all-nighters studying for final exams, group projects, --these were the necessary evils and rites of passage to get a good paying job in the modern world. However, the times are changing, and we have seen the rise of programs like Code Fellows, Coding Dojo, and others to turn the white-collar job of computer programming into a trade. You can learn in a few months what used to take your four years to learn because to do the vast majority of coding jobs need you to code, and they don't need all the extra stuff one learned in college. The same is starting to be true with a career in marketing. The majority of university-trained marketers I run across at best know the four P's (Product, Price, Place, & Promotion) and the four C's (Customer, Cost, Convenience, & Communication) with a sprinkle of strategy on top. The unfortunate reality for many students is that modern marketing requires a broad understanding of digital channels, technical and analytical know how, and tools that they were never exposed to in school. Many of the marketers coming out of college never have setup and run a social campaign, do not understand the ins and outs of a marketing automation platform, and heaven help them if you ask for a modern account-based marketing campaign plan. Add on top of that the jargon and acronyms, marketing can appear to have its own foreign language that is difficult for outsiders to understand. Today, most of the modern marketing education is done through reading great books, educational content marketing provided by the MarTech vendors like Marketo and Moz, analyst firms like Sirius Decisions, and a few rising marketing focused applied learning programs like GreenFig. For someone who is looking to learn and become an effective marketer, you cannot stop learning given the pace of change in the tools and technologies available. So, the question comes in, how can one build a fundamental foundation involving the tools, strategies, and hands-on experience to be valuable to any business on day 1? Where can someone learn the key tools and modern marketing strategies like:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Contact us

Need a quote.