2018 Predictions: What B2C Marketers Need To Know

As the year draws to a close, everyone is looking toward 2018 and thinking hard about what’s coming next.

The B2C market moves fast — there are always new tactics and new channels marketers should keep an eye on. Adapting quickly to these trends is how brands stay ahead in today’s competitive market.

So what should you be thinking about as you move into 2018? As a B2C marketer, you should be asking yourself hard questions like:

  • What KPIs should we care about?
  • What KPIs are a waste of time?
  • How will your tech stack be changing?
  • How will you be analyzing customer data?
  • What is really your biggest market competition?

Here are my top 5 predictions for B2C marketing in 2018, tackling these questions to help you succeed in the coming year.

1. Repeat purchase rate will drive more and more revenue

In 2018, customer marketers will realize the one metric to measure is repeat purchase rate. Repeat purchase rate is the most important KPI because an average of 40% of a company’s revenue comes from just 8% of the customer base. In other words, a small group of loyal customers can drive nearly half of your overall revenue. However, many marketers today are still too focused on new customer acquisition. While acquisition is important, the easiest way for a B2C company to boost revenue is to increase second purchases, and third purchases, and so on. In 2018, B2C marketers will realize that repeat purchases drive real results and significantly increases company revenue. This is the KPI that more marketers will turn to.

2. B2C marketers will stop wasting time on vanity metrics

As repeat purchase rate is more respected, marketers will care less about activity-based metrics like opens, clicks, and views. Success is not about activity — it’s about what drives revenue. How much revenue can be attributed to a specific campaign? Or is this campaign increasing repeat purchase rate? The KPIs that matter are focused on revenue-based outcomes, not activity-based metrics.

3. It’s time for Martech consolidation

2018 is the year of consolidation. B2C marketers today have application fatigue. The average marketer uses 12.5 systems that all accomplish only one thing in a vacuum. They are completely siloed from one another. This creates a broken process for the marketer and a disjointed experience for the consumer. We can see the need for consolidation.

With smartphones, for example, most consumers use an average of just 5 apps on their phone, even though they’ve downloaded 40 or 50. Marketers are in the same boat. For all of those 12.5 marketing systems, each one takes time to learn to use, generates its own data, and doesn’t always play nicely with the other programs. We’ve all seen the map of the Martech space today — it’s clearly time for consolidation.

4. The B2C CRM will become central to ecommerce marketing

B2C marketers need to truly understand their customers and why they buy. That’s why 2018 will be the year of the B2C CRM. With this technology, all customer data is unified no matter what channel, device, or platform it’s collected from. By gathering the data in one place, marketers will actually be able to use the information effectively and understand the path buyers take to purchase.

A B2C CRM allows marketers to understand exactly where consumers are in their customer journey, personalize communications, and help build loyalty long-term. Ecommerce companies can’t just communicate with consumers across just one channel — email isn’t enough anymore. B2C CRM will help the leading brands actually understand their customers and how they behave. B2C CRM will also empower marketers to execute an omnichannel marketing strategy to emerge from the pack.

5. Forget Amazon — your biggest competition is buyer attention

Many B2C marketers are worried about Amazon. What is Amazon investing in? What verticals are they moving into? How will that affect my business? However, they’re not your biggest competition in 2018 — the biggest challenge is buyer attention. How will your brand stand out from the crowd?

The brands that control the narrative effectively are able to fight the commoditization of Amazon. Brands like Stio and Framebridge are doing this really well. They don’t need to be on Amazon because they’re premium brands and have something interesting to say. They earn buyers’ attention through their own channels with a strong brand voice and presence. Because your biggest challenge is really buyer attention, you need a plan to win and keep that attention in 2018.

There are many more predictions I could make, but these are the most important. As a B2C marketer, you need to keep on top of these trends and make the right decisions for your ecommerce brand. Hopefully, these predictions will help you get ahead of the game in 2018 and start your year off on the right foot.

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