Making Sense of the 2018 Marketing Predictions and Trends


Marketers in 2018 will adopt more and more artificial intelligence tools; continue to invest in producing great content; and further seek strategies and tools that focus on the customer, according to an informal survey of 2018 marketing predictions and trends to watch.

Rather than have you surf the Internet for all the many 20a8 marketing predictions, we’ve boiled them down to bullet points on what the experts are saying from a dozen websites, including Act-On.

Why is this worthwhile? Predictions and trend pieces often are full of hot air. If we could predict the future, we’d all be buying lottery tickets. But they do have value in getting marketers to think about opportunities they can and should be considering as they attempt to accelerate their businesses.

In reviewing the many posts, several themes emerged: artificial intelligence and machine learning, investing in content creation, and focusing on the customer experience.

Nearly 80 percent of marketers either agree or strongly agree that AI will revolutionize marketing. “We’re still at the dawn of AI adoption,” Jean-Luc Chatelain, Accenture Analytics chief technology officer, told Adweek. “Brands have yet to fully understand all the ways in which AI will change the marketing game.”

Recently on the Rethink Marketing Podcast, Paul Roetzer from the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute outlined his five P’s framework for marketing artificial intelligence. It should give you insights into how you may incorporate machine learning and AI in your marketing in 2018.

The bullet points are my summaries of what the blog post authors were making, and were made for the sake of space. Consider them an entry point into learning more. Click the hyperlinks to read the original posts to learn more about a specific point or prognostication.


Let’s begin with our own B2B marketing trends for 2018,

  • Customer-centric marketing
  • Data-driven marketing
  • Mobile
  • Video
  • Interactive
  • Influencer

Social Media Today

Social Media Today offered up 12 trends to keep an eye on in 2018:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Live video
  • Mobile video
  • Customer experience
  • Content marketing
  • Voice search
  • Non-traditional TV advertising
  • Strategic social media
  • Generation Z
  • Transparency and trust
  • Hyperlocal

Content Marketing Institute

As the year ends, so does Joe Pulizzi’s run at CMI, which he sold to UBM in 2016. That means no more This Old Marketing podcast with his buddy Robert Rose, which was one of my favorites podcasts. In his final CMI contributions, Joe wrote on 2018 marketing trends and predictions. Among the top were:

  • Original content
  • More company acquisitions
  • Marketing shifting toward a profit center


We had MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley on the Rethink Marketing Podcast earlier this year. She suggested one thing marketers should be doing is building their personal brands. “If you have aspirations to write a book, to be a leader, start to improve those soft skills, start to tell your own story, poke your nose out, start telling that story in ways that have relevance for the people you are trying to reach,” she said.

Five Megatrends for 2018

  • Content replaces advertising
  • Purpose marketing
  • Participation PR
  • Automation 2.0
  • Chatbots

CMS Wire

CMS Wire offered its 7 Content Marketing Trends for 2018. Its predictions centered around new technologies and channels for your content marketing. The first, virtual and augmented reality, is an area being prioritized by 26 percent of marketers worldwide, according to a eMarketer report.

  • VR/AR
  • Personalization
  • Machine Learning/AI personalization
  • Machine Learning/AI content production
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Microinfluencers
  • Strategy

Convince and Convert

Convince and Convert’s Jay Baer will be on the Rethink Marketing Podcast early in 2018. His team offered up the 4 B2B Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018.

  • Content Marketing Budgets Increase
  • More customized content
  • More interesting content
  • New and improved funnels


The Huffington Post took a look at top trends in its 10 Marketing Trends to Think About for 2018:

  • Live video
  • Mobile video
  • Growth hacking
  • AI
  • Explainer videos
  • Chatbots
  • Viral content
  • Geofencing
  • Microinfluencers
  • Brand blog


The Business 2 Community website offers up all sorts of trends and prediction articles for 2018. We took a look at the 7 Mobile Marketing Trends For 2018:

  • Live video
  • Augmented Reality
  • Native ads
  • Faster loading
  • AI
  • Messaging apps
  • Internet of Things


One way to ensure you hit the mark in your predictions is to list out all the options. This article from Entrepreneur follows that tactic with its 18 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018:

  • Chatbots
  • Personalization
  • Data-driven marketing
  • Augmented reality
  • New ad channels
  • Voice search
  • Privacy
  • Instagram
  • Live events
  • Multichannel cold email marketing
  • Twitter dies
  • LinkedIn for B2B
  • Machine learning advertising
  • Predictive lead scoring
  • Virtual realty
  • Customer experience
  • Influencers
  • Ungating content

Neil Patel

Neil Patel has a team of marketers testing what’s hot and what’s not. They offered up 9 content marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2018:

  • Diverse talent skillsets
  • Internet of Things
  • Transparency
  • Content marketing
  • Blurred media lines
  • Strategy
  • Live video
  • Interactive
  • Distribution

MarTech Today

The folks over at MarTech Today took a different approach with its 5 B2B marketing non-predictions for 2018. The first three are acronyms that should be familiar to B2B marketers: AI, ABM, and GDPR. For companies that do business within the European Union, the GDPR is going to be a very big deal in 2018. Take a look at our GDPR hub for up-to-date info on what you need to know.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Account Based Marketing (ABM)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Growing MarTech landscape
  • Teamwork makes the dream work!