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As another year draws to a close, businesses are reflecting on their marketing performance through the year and considering what strategies worked — and just as importantly, which didn’t. While Snapchat may not have exploded in quite the way advertisers anticipated, 2017 predictions did anticipate marketers who would strive to create new and improved ways to build an “experience” for customers and establish relationships with consumers. Big data had a big impact on the landscape, with the data revolution taking a stronghold in the marketing industry. While the data revolution has made it possible for marketers to more accurately target consumers and measure the value of advertising strategies, it has also resulted in an even higher demand for effective use of analytics tools and high ROI.

1. Establishing A Conversation

A SmartInsights survey reports that marketers around the world continue to anticipate content marketing to be the single most important commercial marketing trend in 2018, and it’s not without good reason. After all, content marketing is one of the most effective ways to establish a conversation and engage potential customers in relationships with your brand across time. In 2018, look for marketers who are doing more than ever before to generate high-quality, relevant content and optimize their sites to encourage users to participate in the content they share. Marketers will need to find ways to connect more authentically and leverage social listening to strategize successfully in the new year.

2. Short Planning Cycles

When it comes to marketing strategy, it’s important not to get too far ahead of yourself. Consumer tastes change frequently, so businesses can’t put all their advertising eggs in one basket. Kate Sayre, global head of consumer goods strategy at Facebook, explains that when it comes to marketing, the only real constant is change: “We do six-month planning cycles at Facebook because we don’t know the future. A lot of it is driven by the consumer. This is new consumer behavior in a lot of these environments and we can pretend we may know what the consumer is going to do, or we can actually do small-scale testing, figure out what they’re going to do, and expand and go from there.” Marketers will need to focus on adaptability as new technologies continue to advance and improve.