New Year, New Rules: Top Marketing Trends to Follow in 2018

(Belated) ad-vice for a new year and new spend.


The world of online marketing is in constant flux. Technology changes accelerate the nature of an already fast-paced, cutthroat industry; trends in social media, digital advertising and more that used to apply 12 months ago suddenly seem irrelevant. For instance: 

  • Old Rule: My customers will find me. Being on social media and posting original content regularly is enough.
  • New Rule: 96% of the people who discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles. I must monitor and respond on and off my channel; paying for social media may be necessary to get people to see my brand.


Identifying and applying the new rules of social media is critical because:

  • 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others


Knowing the new rules and how to apply them helps ensure you don’t waste your marketing dollars. To help you get the most from your advertising budget this year, we’re going to be serving up content each quarter around the new rules you need to pay attention to.

Come back often for fresh articles, tools, lists, infographics and templates to help you make well informed marketing decisions.

Here’s a preview of what you can expect from OBI Creative in 2018:


Getting it Right With Research and Strategy

We start our content journey this year where every marketing, sales and operations effort should begin — with research and strategy. Understanding the journey your customers take from the moment they meet your brand to the day they become one of your loyal advocates is critical for the long-term vitality of your business. Research into who your customers are and what they want is the cornerstone of every successful marketing campaign.

Here’s a few of the topics we’ll mine for relevant and actionable insights that you can apply at your company:

  • Branding. Brand loyalty is out. The law of attraction is in. OBI Creative Founder and CEO, Mary Ann O’Brien, defines it this way: “the Marketing Law of Attraction is the ability to attract consumers by understanding their values, preferences and needs and leveraging your organization’s values, customer experience and products or services to pull in like-minded buyers.” Brand loyalty may not be dead but you can’t count on it alone to drive customer experience.
  • Buyer Personas. You’ve probably heard of them but do you know how to create them and use them, or why you should? We’ll go behind the scenes to show you how the buyer personas we developed help direct our marketing efforts and our content creation.


Seeing the Value of Strategic Communications

After research and strategy, sending the right message to the right people at the right time is the core of profitable marketing activities. If you want your marketing dollars to return a satisfying ROI, you’ll want to check back in with OBI Creative later this year for insight into relevant topics, like these:

  • Public Relations. The old way of doing PR is out. The PESO Model is in. The old rule of figuring out how to write a press release and then blanketing reporters and publishers with it alone isn’t enough. The new complete PR plan follows the PESO Model (paid, earned, shared, owned), which advocates where and when to use press releases (as well as other forms of communication) to drive awareness.
  • Social Media. Creating a social media account and posting is out. Paying to play is in. Brands are spending tons of money and time creating original content on social media because that used to be the only way to grow a following. Today, high quality, relevant and consistent content is still required, but it alone isn’t enough. Social advertising is the new rule. If you want to grow a following on social today, your organic content has to support a paid social media strategy.


Diving in to Digital Advertising and Online Marketing

SEO, SEM, HTML…the ever-growing list of acronyms filling the digital marketing space is long enough to make you give up before you start. We’re here to help you demystify digital marketing and website design with insight into how to design and develop websites and online content strategies that put your brand where it belongs — in touch with your ideal customers wherever they are online.

Here are a few topics we’ll cover in the digital marketing and web arena:

  • Website Best Practices. One size fits all web design, marketing automation and web app software is out. Customized content, marketing automation and tailored web apps are in. Using boring, templated, forgettable web design doesn’t delight users. Technology has put tailored content, apps and tools within reach for every brand.
  •  Marketing Technology. Setting it and forgetting it when it comes to campaign execution is out. Twenty-four-hour real time monitoring and optimization is in. Digitization of marketing technology has changed the way we should create and execute campaigns. Not only do the campaigns have to be integrated, the way they are monitored and tweaked must be smart, savvy and continual. We’ll examine tools that help accomplish this and the difference this approach can make.


Coming up With Killer Creative

We’ll end our content journey at the place that many marketers begin. Call us rebels but we believe that when research and strategy informs creative development, the result is memorable, fruitful and when applicable, even funny. We’ll wrap up the year talking about topics like the following:

  • Rocking it on Omnichannel. Analog advertising is out. Integrated campaigns are in. The old rule was to advertise on TV, radio and billboard (outdoor), with digital ads as an afterthought. The new rule is to incorporate digital advertising into your campaigns where and when it makes sense to do so.
  • Holistic Brand Identity. Have you ever wondered why Zappos wins at customer service in every survey mentioned? Or why companies pay Disney to teach their managers how to please customers? Chances are good that these companies have figured out that while brand values are nice to look at on a website or employees’ cube walls, they can also actually drive value when they are incorporated into operations, culture, and sales and marketing activities. We’ll consider who’s rocking it when it comes to brand identity.


This is just a sampling of the content that OBI Creative will be delivering this year to help you advance your marketing and business goals and objectives.

Need help now? Connect with us today to see how our full-service advertising agency can help you with a social media audit, integrated campaign or other marketing services.


New year, new spend, new rules. Get exclusive, free content that will supercharge your marketing results, all year long: