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RNN Comms: Eight Trends to watch out for in 2018 


Trend predictions are nothing new, but often they’re bang on and follow on from consumer sentiment, technology advances and progress from the previous year/s.
For 2018, we’ve checked out the major marketing predictions for the year ahead to see what your company or brand should be focusing your marketing energy and budget on.

1. Personalisation: from technology companies to clothing brands, personalisation is a major driver for consumer engagement. Shoppers increasingly want experiences that are tailored for them. Ask yourself how can you deliver a personalised brand experience for your audience? Investigate emerging technologies and ensure brand relevancy.


2. High-quality experiences: with technology playing such a vital role in many of our audiences’ lives, truly authentic brand experiences have grown in power. We’re huge fans of sponsorships at RNN, and sponsorship offers multiple touchpoints for your brand to reach its audience. From face-to-face engagement at events, to online, through social, direct mailing, celebrity endorsement etc - the more multi-faceted your campaign, the increasing likelihood of cut-through for your brand / message


3. Influencers: they’re here to stay. Whether you buy into influencer marketing or not, the realisation of the power of influencers is crucial, with many having larger audiences than national media outlets. The importance of influencer marketing is often sector dependent (fashion, fitness, health, hospitality, parenting etc), and savvy brands work hand-in-hand with digital / PR specialists to create an influencer strategy that has longevity – one-off wonders are just that! Consistency is key.

4. Authenticity: With the rise of Fake News, consumers are even more wary of news that they are exposed to online. Similarly, users now expect, and it’s expected from a regulatory standpoint, , that there’s full disclosure from media and influencers when paid partnerships are being promoted. From a brand point-of-view, ensuring your influencers have real, authentic and loyal followings, rather than just numbers, should be a consideration for your influencer strategy from the outset.


5. Long term budgets / short term planning: Increasingly clients are budgeting in the long-term, but with short term strategies. Testing of platforms and creative are informing decisions later in the year, therefore long-term commitments, but with short term specifics are becoming the norm, and for flexible agencies, such as RNN, we’re aligned to this less prescriptive, nimbler working practice.

6. Evolution of news: Digital first is now an embedded term in most publishers’ psyche with traditional PR practices now irrelevant. The broad brushstroke of securing coverage in as many media outlets as possible has been side-lined for more niche media strategies where a smart agency works back from the audience and connects the dots in terms of powerful content delivery and communication channels.


7. VA, AR & VR: Voice activation, augmented reality and virtual reality are now a reality! Early adopters are already embracing this new technology however 2018 will see both AR & VR become more mainstream as the big players, including Apple and Facebook, release new development kits. Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and other voice-controlled devices continue to make major inroads into how consumers search for information. When developing new ‘owned’ online platforms, ensure they’re AR ready and are / will be compatible with voice activation. Online ordering via voice activation is coming…maybe not in 2018 but be prepared for this to be the next holy grail!


8. On Your Marks, Get Ready, Market! Those who shout loudest (or smartest) get heard! This is not the time to stay quiet in the hope that consumers ‘discover’ your product / service. It’s an exciting time for marketing, with its evolution occurring at a greater speed than ever before. It’s time to focus on your marketing efforts - either in-house, out-sourced or both - to ensure you’ve the right team, which should be more diverse than ever before, and the right marketing strategy for your brand.