2018 Marketing Trends

As businesses prepare to enter their biggest quarter of the year, we look at how the big trends are faring so far. Where are brands putting their money? And more importantly, where should they be putting it?

Organic Social Media

The general view on organic social media is that it is on its’ way out. However, research by OneChocolate showed that 59% of marketers have increased their investment in this area over the past 12 months. Notably, a big area for investment is hiring talent in the form of skilled strategists and content creators. 

Social vs. traditional media

While social media platforms race to prove to users they can protect their data, there has been a resurgence of trust in newspapers and magazines (MediaCom, 2017). Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter all reported declining user numbers in their half-year results.

Brits’ concern over what’s fact and fiction is heightened. Only 4% of Brits can identify fake news stories correctly.

Podcasts: niche to mainstream

While podcasts have been around for over a decade, 2018 has seen the medium switch from niche to mainstream. 61% of UK adults now regularly listen to at least one podcast, with 21% listening once a week. 68% say that they were more likely to listen to a podcast today than three years ago (Spotify, 2017). 

This increased interest in podcasts is potentially lucrative for brands. 70% of listeners have heard podcast advertising, and a huge 76% of those took action afterwards, such as looking for more brand info online, visiting a brandʼs website or sharing brand information online (Acast, 2018).

Brands and broadcast

UK streaming subscriptions recently overtook pay-TV broadcasters for the first time. Ofcom’s latest report shows Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV reached 15.4m subscriptions, whereas pay-TV suppliers such as Sky, BT and Virgin Media logged 15.1m. People are watching less TV – down an average of nine minutes over the past year.

Influencers: is the market saturated?

Influencer marketing has been the hot trend for what feels like forever, but marketers have had to fight to stay ahead of rapidly increasing influencer costs and stricter advertising guidelines.

25% of consumers would consider buying a product endorsed by someone with over 1m followers. Meanwhile, 50% would be “likely” or “very likely” to purchase if promoted by an influencer with a smaller following but considered to be a specialist in that area (Zine, 2018).


Video continues to go from strength to strength as a key marketing tool for brands across all sectors and audiences. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they view a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text format (insivia, 2017). The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video than one without.

Voice search

Voice technologies are making their way from early adopter territory into the mainstream. 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last 12 months (BrightLocal, 2018), while one in five EU consumers have shopped using voice or text agents (Mastercard, 2018). 

Google data shows mobile searches for “should I” and “do I need” have each grown more than 65%, while those starting with “can I” have grown by more than 85%.

Download the full report here.

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