2017 is done and dusted. Many will recall it for globally significant events that took place, perhaps making them remember the year for the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, from a marketing psychology perspective, it has been pivotal in shaping people’s attitudes and behaviours.

So, what will 2018 bring?

As the world keeps moving forward at a fast pace, it can be a struggle to keep up with each new development when everything is tipped as the next big thing. Working with a brilliant team that is curious about the current trends in marketing, advertising, digital and consumer behaviour has its benefits – it makes it much easier to keep on top of the latest trends.

Below is a list of eight significant trends we think marketers should watch out for in 2018.

  1. Broadcasting brands

2017 demonstrated the potential of disruptive Live content for publishers and brands. In 2018 we will fully experience the reality of Live content with social broadcasting becoming more popular and widely used. Broadcasting Live content will transform how we create, use and absorb digital content this year. With the channel becoming more widespread, there will also be a rise in new ideas, products, and services being developed in 2018, following the launch of HQ, the Live trivia app, which is changing the gaming market.

  1. Bring back the good old timesTop Cat Halifax

Nostalgia will hit people hard. Vinyl sales are steadily rising, beloved cartoon characters like Top Cat and Scooby-Doo flood mortgage ads, and 80’s fictional characters like Skeletor and He-Man help sell insurance. While this growing trend also brings a risk of overcrowding the creative space and diverging consumer attitudes towards nostalgic popular culture memories, it’s going to get bigger before it bursts.

  1. Transparency and authenticity

In 2018, many companies will strive to truly embed transparency and authenticity in their brand identities and marketing communications. Marketers will hopefully learn their lesson, having witnessed plenty of examples of brands being burned by the public’s scrutiny like the notorious Kendall Jenner Pepsi advert disaster. Many marketers will focus on an honest approach to an audience that values altruism, and will aim to illustrate what their brands stand for, reflecting their purpose through more consumer touchpoints.

  1. Diversity and inclusion in action

With Gender Pay Gap Reporting coming into effect in April 2018, diversity and inclusion will be a key focus for marketers’ agendas. Having been a popular topic for a while now, companies must now meet consumers’ expectations and demands. 2018 will see firms taking practical internal and external steps to reconcile this. It will be the year when diversity and inclusion initiatives spring into action.

  1. The customer comes first

While User-Experience is and will remain, important, Customer-Experience will take centre stage this year. Customers will be at the core of organisational restructuring, with companies developing multi-specialist roles, embarking on cultural change and investing in innovation, technology and new platforms.

The worlds of AR and VR will continue to infiltrate the physical world, however, we think that the technology will mature in 2018 and become more popular in terms of usefulness, as well as entertainment.

As behaviours and expectations shift, retail and e-commerce will converge even more, and people will become more reliant on automated services. Whether for the benefit of saving time or money, customers will become keener on outsourcing a lot of their decisions to trusted providers.

  1. “Alexa, louder!”Alexa

In 2017, we witnessed Voice technology’s use on a bigger scale. We can expect brands to utilise the maturity curve in 2018 and to get to know their customers even better through voice platforms, tailoring their offering and positioning to consumers’ daily lives.

Often going hand in hand with Voice, IoT will become more democratised and its adoption by brands will grow for the benefit of their services or products.

  1. Data will further empower creative

Marketers have been developing tailored offerings to individuals based on Big Data, from sportswear to insurance policies, for some time. This has levelled a new creative playing field, where, with the use of data, brands got to know their target audiences better. This means they have then crafted captivating creative stories and adverts, opposing many people’s belief that data is killing creativity.

This trend will expand into people’s careers too. Everyone’s work is affected by the growth of digital in one way or another. The type of work we do will change, allowing us to tailor our careers and services at a lower cost, thanks to remote working and accessible technologies.

  1. GDPR will change consumers’ attitudes

2018 will also see a huge shift in how marketers collect and use their customers’ data due to GDPR’s launch in the spring. This legislation will also be important for consumers. There will be greater mass understanding of how brands use people’s personal information, and they will realise just how empowering it can be.

Watch this space. 2018 will be even more exciting than last year!

Dan Marsh

Dan Marsh


Dan Marsh, Digital Director, bigdog