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Why 2018 is the Year of Change in Digital Marketing!

By Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

I know digital marketing hasn’t really changed that much over the last few years. For example, we changed our website, so it could be accessed via mobile.

We also needed to change some of our SEO and think about social media algorithm changes. Not really that thought provoking!

The problem is that 2018 is turning into a perfect storm that will disrupt the digital marketing plan and budgets will need to change. I’m not talking about moving it up or down, but moving money around. Let’s look at the lexicon of digital marketing and work on those challenges.

Marketing automation

Once the darling of digital marketing, things have changed significantly. As email open rates went down, marketers turned to manipulative measures to increase open rates. It worked and open rates went up. Only to annoy our prospects. Manipulation never works. Engagement must be organic or not at all.

Things have accelerated with GDPR legislation. As an aside, you have trained everybody in GDPR in the same way that you address health and safety, diversity, and others responsibly?  Data has grown up, and needs to be taken seriously.

I’m sure you have read the stories about Weatherspoon’s deleting its email database to save on the fines from the authorities. That said, we don’t see GDPR as negative. This is a great opportunity to clean up data. The wild west days of treating data like something we can throw around like confetti are over.

Alternatively, why not do what Weatherspoon’s are doing and drive conversations and campaigns with your clients on social media?

As for marketing automation, the thing about nurturing conversations via a machine, rather than one-to-one, is creepy. We both know it.  We need to stop!

So, here’s a challenge for 2018! Lead nurturing will be about having a human touch and will be undertaken by sales (or marketing) on social.  This includes nurturing prospects on LinkedIn.


I’m still amazed that people still see 1930’s interruptions as relevant in 2018, but ho hum.

Let’s be honest here, your advertising budget needs cutting and shifting. We (Digital Leadership Associates) don’t advertise, because we don’t need to. Why? well for one, it annoys people and I (as so many people do) live in an ad-free world. Seems a bit pointless to be spending money on something that people aren’t reading.

Pay Per Click (PPC)? Nobody clicks on links anymore! Come on, move on. Like a Nokia phone, put it in the marketing bin.

Content marketing

This is one area you need to dial up! We see our content, both written and video, being consumed by real people, real prospects who are genuinely interested in what we have to say. In fact, if we don’t put out content then our three daily pieces of inbound dry up.

In 2018, people won’t put up with interruption and brands talking about themselves. The B2B and B2C customer wants a conversation and a relationship. 2018 is the year to shift your marketing up a gear!

Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

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