Our 2018 email marketing predictions

Each year brands give the world their searing insights by way of predictions. It’s a way to establish market authority so others think “That’s a really switched on company. Take my money.”

Okay results can vary, but Predictions do reveal the character of an organisation – whether intended or not.

In that spirit, Traction Digital presents its 2018 email marketing predictions, with an added behind the scenes look at how predictions are done.

The content director (Typing Person) puts out an impassioned plea to all staff members “heya, I want to showcase your amazing industry expertise so everyone can see how brilliant we are.”

Crickets chirp, tumbleweeds roll. Finally, the managing director (Payrise Person) fires up and leads by example. His CC’d response puts pressure on everyone.

It works though. Promises flood in because everyone wants to impress the Payrise Person – almost enough to do the actual work.

Those who did contribute are now called “key members of our expert team”.

The Typing Person then pools their collective experience and industry knowledge to declare “this is what will happen”.

Pay particular attention to how the responses reflect each personality: the clipped tone of a time poor managing director; the earnest insight of a senior producer; the enthusiasm of a technical account manager; the wordy words of a content director; something from a developer, which no one ever expects.

So without any further ambiguity, here’s our punt for what 2018 might definitely bring.

What marketing technologies finally become a reality in 2018?

Adam Quirk – Global Managing Director

  • Microsoft Outlook will render HTML email correctly
  • My voice assistant will understand a conversational session rather than a command
  • Magic Leap will release consumer hardware or pivot – late in the year
  • Most GDPR compliant marketers will lose 35-40% of their database due to compliance requirements for opt-in sourcing or confirmation

Narcis Radoi  Senior Producer – UK

Predictive Profiling is where machine learning and data science come together to predict what kind of content is best for a customer. The content will consider the person’s past behaviours and use these insights to create more personalised email campaigns and competitions.

A lot of e-commerce sites are already using this and currently, we are migrating large global conglomerates to cloud platforms for them to get better results from marketing and advertising in general.

Kimalee Reid – Technical Account Manager

A single digital customer view will become commonplace. The convergence of Adtech and Martech has started, but it will be a while before they are truly married. Different data sets and systems will take time to converge.

Sly Yuen – Regional Director

UK marketers will become more data and compliance conscious with how they collect, store and use their data due to GDPR.  We will expect to see smarter use of how data will be used for marketing purposes.

This will result in more targeted emails based on customer preferences and an increased sophistication with the marketing triggers.

We will also likely see marketers cull their database so that only relevant customers are kept in the marketing database.

Alex Catalan – Digital Communications Director

A greater focus on data quality.

Our clients have a huge amount of data available today and I see this as a challenge as well as an opportunity. The key issue is defining which data NOT to use. Defining clear goals and target audiences that are aligned with business objectives will keep marketing teams strong.

Garth Montgomery – Content Director

Emotion Mining replaces Data Driven.

The obsession with data in directing marketing campaigns will be met with a new-found respect for human creativity, which focuses on stimulating an emotional response from customers.

Predicting customer behaviours via data becomes recognised as just a piece of the puzzle. Crafting the creative campaigns that hits customers on an emotional level – connecting to their needs, wants and desires – that’s the whole picture. And it will dominate customer engagement strategies.

What martech will be developed and show early signs of promise in 2018?

Adam Quirk – Global Managing Director

  • Email will begin truly embracing AI and machine learning – late in the year
  • Consumer promotions will become more personal through automation and channel blending

Kimalee Reid – Technical Account Manager

The marriage of automation and machine learning will continue to increase productivity.

Alex Catalan – Digital Communications Director

Integrate new data into existing data streams. New wearables and voice recognition devices provide new types of data that can give us insights that didn’t exists before. It will be good to see how insurance/health companies will be using this information to provide better plans and also to rewards customers based on healthy behaviour.

New analytical tools and techniques are emerging every day that help marketers to understand their business, consumers and competitors. Marketers who can harness emerging tech such as Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence will help their business achieve a competitive advantage.

Garth Montgomery – Content Director

Facebook and Google analytics will offer more transparency around their traffic and lead generation.

To put it in charitable terms, businesses are perplexed at times regarding the correlation between spend, traffic and conversion rates.

Customer targeting on these digital platforms will receive greater scrutiny, leading to calls for more proof that the target market set is the target market reached.

An ACCC spotlight on their practises will drive “innovation” from the tech giants in how they deliver traffic and leads from their ad platforms.

Conversion Rate metrics should be the natural consequence of this spotlight as businesses demand hard results for their investment beyond Reach/Engagement/Influence.

What’s a pipe dream that you’d love to see happen in 2018?

Adam Quirk – Global Managing Director

  • Open source medicines and vaccinations which have passed reasonable rates of return allowing for cheap distribution into developing economies.
  • Australia’s National Broadband Network (the NBN) gets rolled out and is faster than the cable connection I’ve had for 5 years
  • Microsoft Outlook will render HTML email correctly
  • Non-Experimental self-driving cars on Australian or UK roads

Kimalee Reid – Technical Account Manager

A more strategic approach to digital marketing rather than a tactical approach.

At the moment marketers are still grappling with the tools and the ever-changing digital landscape, which has led a short-term focus on campaigns rather than long-term focus on customer experience.

For example, shopping cart abandon rates are still very high.

Garth Montgomery – Content Director

It would be good to see Thought Leadership used as a guiding tool for internal processes and the strategic positioning of an organisation.

The words “Thought Leadership” have become very popular over the past few years. The appearance of credibility and authority in the marketplace is alluring. But doing anything different stills plagues businesses and most Unique Selling Propositions are really Generic Selling Propositions.

Leading in thought and process involves a great many things, including measured assessments, embracing risk, and potential rejection. These factors are built into a sense of confidence and fearlessness so that a Unique Selling Proposition becomes inimitable.

Alex Catalan – Digital Communications Director

Brand purpose being at the centre of the marketing strategy. This would help create experiences around the concept of “making tomorrow better than today” for customers. Successful organisations would place brand purpose at the core of their business strategy and use it to measure growth with internal and external audiences.

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