As the year is drawing close, your business should begin to plan and prepare goals for next year. In that preparation, marketing is of utmost importance since it will be the driving force behind how you get and keep all your customers. Here are the top 10 marketing predictions to consider when deciding what to put in your goals for 2018.

  1. Get on board with Artificial Intelligence

A huge trend in marketing is artificial intelligence. The technology has improved drastically over the last couple of years. And while it is still continuing to improve, we are seeing more and more use in the marketing sector. With artificial intelligence, you can focus marketing efforts on each customer individually to give them exactly what they want and improve your chances of getting a sale. Speak with an artificial intelligence company to get everything set up in the most efficient way possible.

  1. Start of focus on Gen Z

2018 will be the year that marketers really need to start focusing on marketing to Generation Z. While the last few years have been really focused on trying to understand and market to Millennials, it is time to consider the needs of Generation Z. The group of young people are starting to make their way in the world and are becoming the next big spenders. Gen Z is extremely focused on providing for the community rather than just themselves, so marketing trends will change to be more charitable and value-oriented.

  1. Actually using analytics

While a lot of companies have analytics set up, few of them are actually using that data to determine their marketing methods. In 2018, you can expect more businesses to actually start making use of that data as part of the decision-making process. Knowing what is or is not working is a huge part of determining strategy.

  1. Focus on relationships

Building relationships with customers is a sure fire way of ensuring a lifelong customer who will forgive small mistakes and keep coming back. While some brands may focus more on creating a brand, most will start shifting to building relationships with customers in 2018.

  1. Focus on VR

The future is here, and it is leaning more heavily towards virtual reality. While this may still seem too futuristic, the truth is that 2018 is the year of VR, especially now that it is available on iPhones. It is time to start focusing marketing efforts towards the VR market.

  1. Personalization

While personalization has been an important part of marketing this year, in 2018, it will continue to be more important. Personalization to each of your customers is easier with machine learning capabilities. It is what your customers expect and what your business should begin to focus on in the new year.

  1. Focus on the social issues

Customers are starting to want answers on how a company feels or thinks about specific social issues. And while many companies will be starting to state their opinions clearly in the new year, be careful about doing this. Some companies had found success with messages of inclusion in love while those who have made clear statements about their preference on specific issues, such as Target, have seen a loss of customers and income. While customers want to see a loving inclusive side of your business, they don’t really want to know all the particulars on every big issue.

  1. Focus on security improvements

The biggest vulnerability in security with most companies is through marketing on the website. That is why many marketing teams will be focusing more heavily on cyber-security and protecting customer information in the new year. Cyber-security will continue to be a hot topic that will continually need to get addressed.

  1. Social Media utilization

Most businesses already have social media accounts, but 2018 is the year we will start seeing a huge shift in how those sites are used by businesses to get the most out of it. Those who aren’t using it yet will get on board while those who are using will find more creating ways of using social media including using chatbots, placing location-based ads, and running charitable campaigns through it.

  1. Use of Influencers

More businesses plan to focus on using influencers in the new year. It is an extremely effective way to focus on pocket groups of your audience. You can easily build your reputation and get new customers by using influencers on social media, as long as you do it properly.