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Distracted by 2018 digital marketing trends? Research finds that customers want improvement over innovation

If your business is worried about whether you’re falling behind on the latest trends in social media and digital marketing, a new piece of research could help to alleviate your fears. A survey conducted by Code Computerlove has found that not all customers are looking for innovation in their digital experiences.

Integration and improvement most important to users

According to, just 17.7% of survey respondents said they were looking for “something they haven’t experienced before”. In comparison, 38% of consumers wanted brands to improve the customer experience and ensure better integration across a range of different devices.

The message is clear – consumers want websites and digital experiences that work, and in a way that fits with their lives, work and use of different devices, before they want a flashy new device or ground-breaking app. Without functionality that makes everyday tasks, searches and shopping easier, some of these trends can be seen simply as toys with limited novelty value.

2018 digital trends under the microscope

The survey also looked at what experts – particularly the key speakers and influencers at CES 2018 – are predicting will be the biggest digital marketing trends of the year. Researchers explored the consumer appetite for:

  • Voice assistants

35% of those surveyed said they had encountered voice-activated assistants before, including Google Home and Alexa.

  • AI and chatbots

Only 20% of people had encountered a chatbot, and just 9% were interested in seeing more of the technology in 2018. Louis Georgiou from Code Computerlove said of this interesting finding: “This disconnect perhaps suggests that either customers don’t know they’re speaking to chatbots or the ones already in the market are not being met.”

  • Virtual Reality (VR)

VR has been on the top trends list for a year or two without really taking off. The number of people expressing an interest in this technology has dropped to just 15% from 24% in last year’s survey. This could suggest that the realities of the technology just don’t live up to sky high consumer expectations, or that brands haven’t found the right way to implement VR in their campaigns.

  • Mobile payments

23% named this as the technology they would like to use more of in 2018. 26% of respondents used it in 2017 and three-quarters of this group reported having a good or very good experience.

So, what’s the message for brands? Focus on getting the essentials right first, before dabbling in the latest digital marketing innovations. As Louis Georgiou explains:

“Brands and businesses looking to develop voice skills and search have the most receptive audience it seems, and conversational UI is undoubtedly an exciting space, but the technology and application needs to be right for the service and brand – and not something that is undertaken at the expense of getting existing digital services and experiences right.”

For more advice on planning your digital marketing campaigns and strategy in 2018, contact the digital and social media experts here at Ambos Digital.

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