2018 Business Marketing and Retail Predictions

Valassis, a leader in intelligent media delivery, has shared their 2018 Business Marketing Predictions, including some interesting retail trends that will become predominant in the coming year, such as:

  • The borderless shopping experience
  • Continued growth in big data
  • Emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) across the marketing and retail landscapes.

According to the release “The marketing and retail landscapes experienced immense disruption throughout 2017.”

This is in reference to several announcements and acquisitions from Amazon that have begun to change the way marketers and brands view the connectivity between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses. The also call out the growing adoption in AI (Artificial Intelligence) in both the marketing (through the use of chatbots, assisted phone sales, and in-store shopping assistants) and consumer landscapes (via smart home speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home).

Amazon Echo AI Interface Google Home AI Interface

With these recent trends in mind, what will 2018 hold for marketers and retailers? Valassis’ leaders weigh in:

Consumer experience will be paramount as their borderless shopping journey continues.

“Consumers will expect even more value from brands, restaurants and retailers – getting access to relevant savings, convenience and an easy shopping experience. It will be critical that marketers improve consumers’ shopping experiences – online and in-store. This also means they need to have a consumer-centric approach to marketing – blending first-party and third-party data to reach, engage, influence and activate consumers.”  – Curtis TingleChief Marketing Officer, Valassis

The abundance of data challenges marketers to drive relevancy in a fast-paced, disruptive industry.

“We’ll see the continued growth of data, stemming from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, expanding media options and the low cost of storage to the point where marketers may feel overwhelmed. As innovation continues, change will be constant, markets will be disrupted and consumers will have more options and want more control. Marketers and advertisers may face an additional challenge as consumers become more hesitant to share PII data.”  – Greg Green, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Harland Clarke Holdings

AI and chatbots evolve, continuing to grab headlines in 2018.

“We expect the AI market will continue to evolve as advertisers increasingly understand how the technology can fit into their customer engagement plans and consumers seek more engaging and convenient brand interactions. The key is to deliver relevant messages and engagement through this new media. Next year, marketers will test and learn even more in order to integrate these programs naturally and effectively into their omni-channel initiatives.”  – Pehr Luedtke, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Valassis Digital

Looks like it’s going to be an interesting year ahead!!!

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