2018 In Review

Some trends are a flash in the pan and some have a lot more staying power. (Who could forget the fidget spinner?) As much as we are marketers, we are also consumers, too. Thanks to platforms like Instagram, Amazon, and Netflix (to name a few), the way in which we communicate to consumers is always changing and improving. And the consumer expectation is, dare we say it, higher than ever. Personalization isn’t a surprise anymore, it’s expected.

We’ve shared a round-up of trends and strategies that popped up in 2018 that have the power to potentially change the landscape of digital marketing and audience development in 2019 and beyond.


  • Podcasts: The podcast is replacing the morning paper. The Daily podcast from The New York Times has more daily downloads than the print newspaper subscriptions. That means no matter your audience, audio should be on the table. Consumer habits are shifting...again.

  • Social media: Instagram as an e-commerce engine is no longer a coincidence. Between product tagging, stories, and shoppable video, buyers are getting accustomed to shopping on social. Plus, saving credit cards and buying options like Apple Pay and Paypal are everywhere you turn.

  • Commerce: Targeting and retargeting got a lot smarter in 2018. Gone are the days of the Warby Parker glasses you already purchased following you around the internet for weeks. Targeting is smarter and faster than ever if you’re doing it right. Conversion pixels for the win.



  • Personalized marketing: A study by Marketing Insider Group showed that 50 percent of customers were willing to pay more for products and services from brands that provide personally relevant content. Different profiles within the same Netflix account receive feature images based on their behavior and profile. On our account, my profile features women as the lead photo and my dad’s profile features males. It is worth asking, “What is the line between personalization and profiling?” Here’s a podcast to hear more.

  • Stand for Something: According to the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand Study, nearly 64% of consumers around the world now buy on belief, up 13 points since 2017. This mindset now spans generations and age groups, including 55+, who had the biggest increase (18 pts) YOY. Consumers are pushing brands to take stands for society, and 53% said brands are able to do more than government to solve social ills. Everlane's Black Friday promotion is a great example of a brand supporting a cause their audience stands behind.


  • UX: Your site’s UX should be paramount in 2019. With RankBrain’s evolution over the last few years, sites that show signals of providing users a great experience are continually rewarded with higher SERP rankings. We’re encouraging partners to focus on securing their sites, improving their CTR (click-through rate) by creating topic-clustered/guide pages which in turn reduces bounce rate and increases time on page – all major contributors to your site’s SERP rankings.