To stay ahead of the proverbial curve with their consumers, marketers must consistently tweak and craft strategies to complement their evolving missions.
AListDaily polled a group of executives to learn about the marketing trends each is monitoring and exploring for their brands in 2018.
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“The beauty of being a marketer today is that you have to keep your finger on the pulse and be willing and ready to change. Trends are changing every day, as well as the way people are being touched. We’re seeing a shift from retail to online. For me, it’s always trying to be open and listen to what’s happening. I have to be a responsive marketer and move as the trends and times do.”
—Patrick Buchanan, global marketing director at K-Swiss
“Digital is changing every day, and it’s definitely the hardest part of the business to keep up with—how to most efficiently use all of the tools that should make it easier to develop one-to-one relationships with customers [with personalized advertising]. Consumers should not see the same ad in the digital space. Marketers know a lot about people, and we should be serving something that’s personal and important to consumers.
“That’s a huge challenge because that not only means tech for ‘how do we mine the information about consumers’ but also the tech that develops hundreds and thousands of iterations for those ads cost effectively. That space is evolving so quickly, and it’s happening so fast. For marketers, that’s the most interest thing to [look forward to.]”
—Brian Bolain, corporate manager for Lexus product marketing and marketing communications
“I’m focused on integrating customers into our brand experience at the most personal level. Media fragmentation is nothing new, but I think we’ll see brands continuing to prioritize personalization and curation at every touchpoint. For me, it’s about creating content and opportunities that really bring value to our audience. Expect to see a big push around publishing, cause-based partnerships and loyalty programs.
“Marketing automation is also top of mind. With an increased emphasis on long-term customer engagement tactics, brands have to concurrently work smarter and consolidate organizational resources, letting data and AI-technologies lead wherever possible.”
—Michael Cammarata, co-founder & CEO of Schmidt’s Naturals
“I’m excited to see how brands take experiential events to the next level in 2018 as millennials prioritize experiences over most everything else. We’ll be closely monitoring the marketing tactics that rise from focusing on the experiential aspects of marketing. Experiences are the priority for us and our target market. Pop-ups and events aren’t new, but brands seem to be integrating themselves in people’s environments in more focused, unique and snapable ways.
“We’re also excited to see what marketing tactics rise from VR and AR, specifically looking at what might develop that has more substance and utility than simply filters and animated characters on the street.
—Rip Pruisken, co-founder of Rip Van Wafels
“The role a brand plays in creating entertainment as a producer or film financier is going to be something to look for. Brands can have a role in creating what’s in culture, and not just being an advertiser of culture. As the studio model only continues to fund things with built-in audiences, established IP, sequels or superhero [films], there are still a lot of stories that need to be told. In many ways brands have an opportunity to step in and help to make sure stories are told in a current system and set-up that’s not designed to finance them.”
—Nathan Tan, associate director of brand partnerships and experiences for Cadillac
“The Asics brand still has a long way to go. We just launched our first major marketing campaign in the last two decades. First and foremost, my eye is on digital, and especially with what we can do that’s interesting and disruptive on social channels. Our focus and investment going into 2018 is really on unique and interactive content that begins to immerse our consumers.
“Everything around digital and interactivity will be key for us. We will continue to redefine what relevant partnerships and sponsorships look like for us as a brand in 2018. A lot of our competitors have previously done activations in the music space, so we really want to make sure what we’re doing in the space is very ownable for us, and comes back to who we are as a brand and resonates with what our ethos is.”
—Sarah Bishop, vice president of marketing for Asics
“The best thing about marketing is being able to track and analyze to see if we’re reaching the right consumer. A lot of the tactical and addressable, and having a better understanding of our approach, is something of a trend to test and follow to see how it helps us specifically reach consumers, versus just throwing a blanket approach.”
—Katie Inderelst, head of Alfa Romeo marketing and communications
“I cannot see what’s coming, because the rate of innovation is so fast that my best guess is we have no idea what we could potentially be exploring in just a few short months. Because of that, we try and keep a significant portion of our digital innovation budget unallocated to be able to respond to emerging technologies and trends and can move very quickly once we’ve found the right partners to help us implement our vision with excellence.”
—Lee Applbaum, Patrón’s global chief marketing officer