“Reach! Distribute! Acquire! E-blast! Impressions!” are just some of the words we’ve all seen on briefs, heard in meetings, and been tasked to achieve while working in digital media and marketing.

As far as conventional marketing goes: the jig is up. We, as consumers, know not to click on the banners, that if you’re looking at shoes on Amazon, they’re likely to show up somewhere else on another website, “cookies” are something that don’t come out of the oven, and that paying for an ad-free music experience on Spotify is worth it. Because of these changes in consumer behavior, brands have been forced to figure out a new way to storytell while also driving purchase intent.

Companies of all kinds have grown dependent on reaching and targeting mass audiences through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest because of their ability access consumers through shareable content and 1:1 engagement. Over the past couple of years, companies like BuzzFeed have encouraged brands to focus heavily on storytelling in an editorial fashion. Even ad agencies are now making commercials that could stand alone as their own TV episodes. With the nuanced addition of influencer marketing and brands developing their own identities, “successful marketing” as we know it has gone through yet another evolution.

Technology, and the way brands use it to market to consumers, is on a hamster wheel going full-speed because now, more than ever, individuals are not loyal to any brand or platform in particular. This is, in part, because millennials are curatorial when it comes to their daily lifestyles. The products in one’s purse are as aesthetically-in-line with the products they use in their kitchen as the clothes they wear and the people they follow on social media. Most importantly, these curated lifestyles are typically attached to some form of deeply-rooted mission. The age of conventional loyalty is over, making it more and more difficult for brands to maintain consistency and longevity with their target audiences unless they stand for something.

To make things even more complicated, millennials are getting tech fatigue, having to find ways (even apps!) to help them turn off and seek more authentic experiences. Given the state of the world, people want to get back to human connection and the causes they stand behind, which is creating yet another facet for brands to address when it comes to marketing. In this Forbes article, SEO Specialist, David Kley, says that “ads will become more singularly purposed in nature, with a very specific goal and goal conversion place in mind, whether it be a mobile or desktop experience,” insisting that brands will look to speak directly to the consumer rather than just reacting to tentpole events and old-school marketing calendars.

Marketing is no longer about selling something, but rather relating to consumers on an individual basis for who they are, where they are, and giving them what they want given what they stand for.

With that said, augmented reality, professionally-executed live video, and conversational engagement with one’s smart home devices like Alexa, Google Home, etc., will be a focus for making people feel like they’re getting that personal contact with their tech that knows them best. In the same Forbes article, digital marketing strategist Twila Grissom, suggests that “attention is a currency, and building a personalized connection with prospects will be critical for digital marketing in 2018.”

Curious about other up-and-coming marketing trends to look out for in 2018? Read more on Forbes.


Annie is a Creative Circle candidate and freelance creative strategist/copywriter working and living in Los Angeles. She knows digital media as well as she knows her own horoscope (she’s a Virgo), having worked at the likes of BuzzFeed and Mashable. She has created branded content strategies for the top Fortune 500 brands, which means she knows the true meaning of “going native.” If you want to work with Annie, contact Creative Circle Los Angeles.

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