I’m a big fan of the good old trend article. Staying one step ahead is a game changer for any business, knowing how to bob and weave with the changing times ensures your great idea doesn’t become stale or static.
So what trends are going to hit big for entrepreneurs in 2018?
Remote working has been flying the flexible working flag for a while. And in 2018, it’s set to tip over the scales and become a business norm. Companies are now flocking towards flexible and remote working because of the positive effects it’s reaping for businesses worldwide.
When you look at some of the current opinion polls, it comes as no surprise that remote working creates a happier, more productive and loyal workforce:
- 77% of workers think working off-site is more productive
- 86% prefer to work alone
- 61% feel loud coworkers are the main reasons for disruptive work
- 32% are willing to work more hours when working remotely
- 52% of remote workers are less likely to take time off, even when sick.
Working at home eliminates very common office dilemmas. Who hasn’t nearly thrown their keyboard out of the window when there’s no meeting room available for a private business call, because of that colleague who wants to create a meeting out of every email they send, or noisy neighbours giving you a cosmic headache and 20 typos on a business brief.
Remote working is becoming part of standard care packages companies offer potential employees because it’s something that reflects the modern fast-pace global workforce. It’s also not exactly a kick in the teeth for employers when it helps improve productivity, loyalty and reduce sick leave.
The internet of things (IoT)
The internet of things may sound like a Black Mirror episode or a deep space mission, but what the internet of things means is connected objects that can exchange and collect information via the internet – think Amazon Echo, Apple’s Siri or your fridge that suggests you might want to make an omelette with the egg and cheddar combo on your shelf.
The movement is so huge and set to bleed into our every waking moment that in 30 years, we’ll look back at the likes of Amazon Echo and have a little giggle about how quaint our IoT systems were. A bit like how we look at the 80s bricks that were apparently mobile phones or existential life before Google.
IoT is basically going to create a completely connected world where all devices and products will form mass networks that communicate with each other and form integrated services and data troves. The internet of things will basically become the backbone for all our consumer goods and how society connects with each other. And experts are harking that IoT systems are going to be the business darlings of 2018.
Advertising and marketing has always been a cut-throat world. In the past, advertisers were in control and would dictate where the market was going. Each advert was thrown out to sea to hook the maximum number of consumers which would then start a campaign to reel in even more consumers.
Now though, the audience has the power, they are the ones that affect how a product, or a brand is marketed. Marketeers no longer pioneer an idea for the user to follow, a good marketeer listens to what is going on in the market and then creates a campaign around it.
The average person is also completely bombarded by information and is saturated by content. It’s much harder now to grab someone’ attention let alone create real, sustained engagement. Kind of like throwing a ball up in the air and hoping gravity isn’t a thing anymore.
Marketeers now earn that attention by creating sustained awareness and genuine interaction. Static information thrown at the audience doesn’t work, which is why the market had to find ways around our fickle attention spans. And so, in comes interactive marketing. Think websites that let you interact with the homepage, click on buttons, choose moving graphics, or even fun games and bitesize quizzes to guide you right down the call-to-action rabbit hole.
A great interactive marketing example that everyone has seen is Google’s homepage icon, which Google changes for important dates. They’ve created games, videos and even links to historical webpages to give you the context of the graphic and an interactive story to follow. It’s very clever because it’s genuinely engaging but keeps Google’s brand in your subconscious, which keeps you using the web search titan. Google knows the best way to keep users coming back is to make something fun, interesting, and useful because it’s interactive.
Interactive marketing is set to shake up 2018 because it creates a two-way conversation. The marketeer is no longer the trickster and the consumer no longer the pawn. Marketing is becoming an equal playing field where you speak to the audience and wait with baited breath to hear something back.
Just three of many trends to focus on in 2018. What do you think? What trends will be big? What are trends currently that will fall short of their hype? Comment below and make your prediction!