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TMI: See Ya 2017, Hello Tech-Buoyant 2018!

2017 has nearly come and gone, and all we can say is: bring it on, 2018! From recent security scares to the progression of AI and workspace ethics, we’re looking forward to 2018 with optimistic, ebullient, fresh eyes. Our last TMI post of the year includes a summary of what we found to be most motivating and interesting in the everchanging world of tech marketing in 2017. We hope you enjoy these articles as much as we did and wish you a very Happy New Year!

  1. If you’re not prepared for ransomware, you’re in trouble.

With 2017’s ransomware attacks such as WannaCry, which hit 75,000 in 99 countries, and Equifax which affected 143 million consumers, we don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon. Especially because ransomware is the first malware where its makers can actually make money, and it’s become a multi-billion-dollar industry.

With ransomware expected to explode in 2018, it’s time to update your security software, get your people trained and subscribe to an online backup service. Or, do as the U.S. military does and hire hackers to hack your own system to witness first hand and on your own dollar what your weak spots are within your organization. Times they are a changin’, and we need to protect ourselves and the consumers.

  1. For those who still complain about Millennials… you are uninformed.

We’ve all heard about the struggle of being a Millennial and/or working with a Millennial, but let’s get something straight: they are not the problem. The Millennial generation now makes up about half of the working population. And while it may seem that they have different priorities about work-life balance, we found out that Millennial and Gen X decision-makers are more aligned than ever.

This year, LinkedIn took the time to dig into key insights that impact technology marketers who want to win over the future tech buying committee through content marketing, and found generational differences weren’t so different. And yes, you might not be a fan of the new “flexible work schedule” they crave, but Millennials are always connected (84%) and continue to check their email and work after hours, killing the 9-to-5 work day. In the end, if you want to attract the best talent for your company, know it has nothing to do with age and more to do with a culture of understanding and trust.

  1. Bots are no longer a Jetsons flashback, they’re here to stay.

Robots, artificial intelligence, software bots – though it’s hard to wrap your head around it sometimes, this is all real and it’s all happening now. The cloud battle between Amazon, Microsoft and Google is bringing AI to all businesses. And even Facebook Messenger, with 300+ million business exchanges last year, wants a piece of that pie by giving its business customers an easy way to automate their actions and improve customer service using bots.

Amazon is adding robots to warehouses every day, Google is creating @meet bots to save time and Uber is testing driverless cars on city streets. It’s safe to say that these new technologies are definitely going to be impacting your business in some way come 2018!

  1. The Cloud is making data access rain.

Because of the cloud, businesses can now get their data anywhere, anytime and integrate it with just about anything, on any device. You no longer need a desktop computer or to constantly worry about memory and the size of your hard drive.

In 2017, organizations were still trying to determine which cloud environment makes the most sense for their applications, but in 2018 we’ll see these orgs start making the official move. Data center experts believe in 2018, we’ll begin to see less of a reactive approach within the data center and move to one that is much more proactive.

  1. Social media is no longer free, and content creation is harder than ever.

Think back to ten years ago, when Facebook was three years old. You made your page, posted a few thoughts and feelings about your day, created a meaningful (??) conversation, grew your followers and maybe sold some products. That is not the case anymore. There are billions of people using these services (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.) and if you want any attention at all, you’ll have to be more creative than ever.

As it gets harder to stand out from the crowd, brands are finding themselves paying a lot more to create even better content. Web economics is now driven by social sharing, not by content or publishing. Time to step up your content game in 2018!

  1. Wide open spaces could be a problem – sorry, Dixie Chicks.

In light of all the Millennial hype, many businesses have tried to switch up their office structure to fit changing expectations. Problem is… this “office of the future” could be failing you and your employees. Recent research by Fuze found 83% of workers don’t think they need to be in an office to be productive, and 38% said they would enjoy their job more if they were allowed to work remotely.

A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology also found that open-plan offices don’t work (at least that’s what 40,000+ workers in 300+ companies say). Want to understand more about why? Read this honest essay by Lindsey Kaufman in the Washington Post.

  1. Nostalgia: your newest marketing best friend.

In 2017, we learned that it’s time to get back to basics – we’re all fighting for consumer attention, but remind yourself now and then that the Holy Grail of content marketing is about creating value for your audience. Because the online market is so loud, consistency in tone pays off.

Consumers trust consistency, and once you build on that consistency you become a part of your consumers’ past, present and future. Just like Chuck E. Cheese. An inconsistent tone across your channels will fracture your brand message and confuse your audience, especially moving into 2018.

  1. AR and VR content is Moving On Up…fast.

Who could possibly forget the phenomenon and success of Pokémon Go? No matter if you loved it or hated it, the impact this game had on society was astounding. It showed us that augmented and virtual reality can generate enormous levels of widespread user engagement, and it’s only a matter of time before they become staple components in marketing.

With developers using AR technology in a variety of ways, from the practical to games, Apple says it was one of 2017’s top app trends on iOS. Looking ahead to 2018, it’s time to act now and stay ahead of new developments. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing more of VR in 2018, especially when it comes to healthcare! (And hey, Harry Potter fans, you are next to indulge in the madness.)

Learn anything new? As excited to see what 2018 holds as we are? Feel free to reach out to us with any comments, questions or just to say HI! We’re always on the lookout for great marketing articles to include in our next TMI list. Drop us a comment below or tweet us @OutlookMktg!

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Author: Victoria Walden, Account Manager, Outlook Marketing Services

 

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