To be successful in retail, not only do business owners need to make their own marketing plans, they need to keep an eye on what the competition is doing. There are many different types of advertising and marketing that a business can use. Knowing how other businesses in an industry plan to spend their advertising budgets can provide useful insights into the best marketing tactic and the trends to watch for the rest of 2018.

RetailMeNot recently release of results from a new study conducted by Kelton Global titled, "Nine Retail Marketing Trends in 2018." The research shows how dynamic the retail environment has become. The study also illustrates the ways in which retail marketers will try to expand their content to reach new audiences.

To get a better understanding of what business owners will do for marketing in 2018, RetailMeNot interviewed hundreds of decision makers. Based on the research results, it's estimated that nine in 10 retailers will increase marketing spend this year, and marketers will spread their increased budget almost evenly among marketing channels such as social, mobile, brand and display.

Branching out to an omni-channel strategy is necessary to reach the growing number of people who don't use traditional media. It's no longer safe to assume that everyone sees commercials on television or listen to ads on the radio. Using more marketing channels makes it easier to reach people wherever they are.

"Retail marketers are no longer thinking in channel silos. They are approaching commerce holistically with an understanding that consumers are channel-agnostic," said Marissa Tarleton, the CMO of RetailMeNot. "Delivering an experience that meets the consumer in the moment across the shopping journey will be the pathway to success for brands."

Besides increasing the number of marketing channels they use, many business owner and marketers are planning on integrating new trends into their website and other marketing tools. According to RetailMeNot, more than half of retail marketers surveyed believe improving mobile web checkout capabilities (52 percent) and offering exclusive promotions for mobile app users (51 percent) will positively affect sales growth in 2018.

A particular point of interest is the growing trend of tailor sites and content so they can be utilized by systems like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Voice-assisted shopping is an area that 39 percent of retail marketers plan to implement, with many retailers hoping to capitalize on increased use of smart home systems and smart speakers.

Mobile marketing is another area that will probably see significant increases in 2018. According to the survey, nearly three out of four (72 percent) retail marketers  will use mobile marketing to drive in-store sales. Furthermore, four out of five (82 percent) plan to rely on mobile marketing to drive in-app sales.

And even with all this new technology, some tried-and-true methods of marketing will be used by businesses, such as coupons, cross promotions and loyalty programs. The RetailMeNot data found that most retailers (76 percent) plan to increase the amount of promotions they are offering in 2018, and 86 percent will partner with websites and apps that focus on deals, cash back and loyalty programs.

This new research shows the benefits of diversifying a marketing campaign to include new methods of reaching audiences. It also shows why business owners should periodically review their marketing tactics and website to ensure they are making the best use of available technology and trends.

For more research that can help business owners improve their marketing, read this article on the secret to getting better online reviews.

Published on: Mar 5, 2018