2018 Mobile
2018 Forecast Forecast #1 Forecast #2 Forecast #3 Forecast #4 Forecast #5 Put it All Together Download PDF

Maropost 2018 Forecast:

Five Changes in Sales and Marketing That Will Transform Your Business in 2018 and Beyond.

Chances are you're already familiar with the typical forecast report content-no matter how industries change, the trends always seem to stay the same. Things like live video's takeover and big data's infiltration into sales and marketing have been forecast mainstays for a few years now.

And while these perennial predictions are interesting, there are more important issues at hand. After all, it's one thing to keep an eye on live video-it's another thing entirely to look into the larger factors driving its growth. With that thought in mind, we reached out to the world's leading sales, marketing, and innovation experts, asking them for a forecast of what businesses can expect to see in 2018. Here's what they had to say.

Ross Andrew Paquette, CEO of Maropost - 2018 Forecast

Ross Paquette

Founder & Chief Executive Officer,

2018 Forecast Speaker - Lon Safko

Lon Safko

Chief Executive Officer,
Innovative Thinking

2018 Forecast Speaker Chuck Moxley

Chuck Moxley

Chief Marketing Officer,

2018 Forecast Speaker Brandi Smith

Brandi Smith

Vice President of Marketing,

2018 Forecast Speaker Mary Beth Mccabe

Mary Beth Mccabe

Chief Executive Officer,
Sun Marketing

2018 Forecast Speaker - Cloud Conrad

Cloud Conrad

Vice President of Brand Strategies,
Maid Brigade, INC.

2018 Forecast Speaker - Dana Barrett

Dana Barrett

TV & Radio Host,
The Dana Barrett Show

2018 Forecast Speaker Philip Cheves

Philip Cheves

Director of Marketing,
Carolina One

Forecast #1

Forecast #1:

Businesses will Find New Ways to Leverage Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has been surrounded by media attention for a while now, but there’s more to this emerging technology than just what makes the news.

As executives become more comfortable with AI doing some of the thinking for them, they’ll start running smarter, smaller marketing departments-departments where AI can augment (or even replace) roles. But before we get too deep into the future possibilities of AI, let’s talk a little more about what it actually is.

Ross Andrew Paquette Thumbnail

Ross Andrew Paquette


Broadly speaking, AI focuses on the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Machine learning, on the other hand, is a subset of AI, which allows computers to handle new situations via analysis, self-training, observation and experience.

AI’s ability to analyze and recognize patterns is becoming increasingly essential in social media marketing-sorting the signal from the noise. Using sentiment analysis, social media management tools can determine whether or not consumers are speaking favorably about a brand (or their new campaign). Brand managers can then concretely prove whether customers are responding positively to their messaging.

At its heart, marketing AI comes down to customer behavior. While marketing has been slowly shifting from gut-driven to data-driven for years, AI is accelerating that transition. With content and product recommendations engines capable of tailoring messages to individual customer interests and interactions, we’re already seeing AI exceed its human counterparts in creating personalized campaigns. As these abilities advance, fully individualized messaging will become possible-elevating customer experiences (and expectations).

Ross Paquette, CEO of Maropost

The main issue that most organizations have is that they are leveraging too many solutions.

Ross Paquette Chairman and CEO
of Maropost
2018 Forecast Forecast #2

Forecast #2:

The Ability to Track and Target Consumers Using Cross-Channel Technologies will go Mainstream

Speaking of personalized campaigns, AI isn’t the only relevant forecast for their evolution. While sending personalized ads based on browsing history is nothing new, cross-channel marketing is taking this capability to the next level.

We’ve all been in the position of searching for something online, and almost immediately receiving ads for related products. What marketers have been waiting for is the ability to serve those same ads on a desktop, in an email, and on a smartphone-and then to track whether and where a purchase was made.

Lon Safko

Lon Safko


But campaigns that simply span channels isn’t enough-those channels need to come together to create a cohesive experience-an experience greater than the sum of its parts.

By analyzing and optimizing campaigns as they run, marketers can adapt to their customers-which channels they’re on and what messaging they respond to-to give them the exact experience that leads to purchase.

Brandi Smith

Brandi Smith


Lon Safko - CEO - Innovative Thinking

What’s going to set companies aside in 2018 are the ones that are more creative.

Lon Safko Bestselling author
& innovation expert
Forecast #1 Forecast #3

Forecast #3:

Sales and Marketing Teams will Begin to Merge into a Single, Unified Revenue Optimization Machine

Departmental rivalries aside, sales and marketing are both working toward the same goal-revenue generation. In 2018, that shared goal is going to result in more shared space, with companies restructuring sales and marketing departments into a single team.

And what’s making this move possible? Technology.

Brandi Smith

Brandi Smith


Unified sales and marketing dashboards are bringing together once disparate data-and once disparate departments. Collecting everything from outbound sales calls, to inbound web traffic in one place, these integrated dashboards show the complete history of any given customer-at a glance. This technological collaboration is only the start, with companies now seeking more opportunities for collaboration between the two departments.

And that’s a good thing. After all, how often do you hear stories of sales and marketing at odds? By giving both the same goals and metrics, rivalries can fade and communication can improve. To explore this forecast at length, explore some of the strategies outlined in Marketing and Sales: The Ultimate B2C Revenue Optimization Engine.

Brandi Smith - VP of Marketing

Forward thinking organizations will be re-structuring their sales and marketing into a single, unified revenue optimization machine.

Brandi Smith Vice President of
Marketing for Maropost
Forecast #2 Forecast #4

Forecast #4:

Predictive Analytics will Help Improve Marketing ROI

Predictive analytics may sound more science fiction than strategic marketing, but the truth is somewhere in between.

To start with a formal definition, predictive analytics is the practice of extracting information from existing data sets and using that information in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. While it can’t predict what will happen, it can predict what might happen-including the likelihood of specific events, alternative scenarios, and risk assessment.

Dana Barrett

Dana Barrett


As organizations learn to better leverage data mining, statistical modeling, and machine learning, predictive analytics will play a larger role in forming business forecasts.

For marketers, this means more opportunities to optimize campaign performance. Using predictive analytics to determine probable customer responses based on past behavior, companies can do a better job of attracting, retaining, and growing their customer base.

On the sales side, predictive analytics is being applied in the price-setting process. Based on purchase patterns and available inventory, companies can set their prices according to what will drive revenue, without driving customers away.

Chuck Moxley

Chuck Moxley


Dana Barrett - TV & Radio Host

There’s a lot of data collection going on and ‘analysis’, but I’m not sure they’re getting the right stuff to really engage people.

Dana Barrett TV & Radio Host of
The Dana Barrett Show
Forecast #3 Forecast #5

Forecast #5:

Prescriptive Analytics will Help Businesses Make Better Decisions

Not to be confused with the previous forecast, prescriptive analytics uses simulations and algorithms to advise on possible outcomes. If predictive analytics answers the question “What could happen?”, prescriptive analytics answers the question “What should we do?”

Prescriptive analytics attempts to determine the effect of future decisions, so as to direct the best possible decision. Prescriptive analytics can inform organizations on what will likely occur; why it will occur; and how to react.

While this emerging technology is still too complicated to implement at scale, some specific applications are already widespread. For production, scheduling, and inventory supply chain management, prescriptive analytics ensures the delivery of the right products, at the right time, to the right customer. As implementation simplifies, prescriptive analytics is slated to become an important part of the decision-making process, in every area of business.

Philip Cheves

Philip Cheves


Philip Cheves - Director of Marketing, Carolina One

You put the time into the social media, but you can’t see instant results.

Philip Cheves Director of Marketing
of Carolina One
Forecast #4 Put it Together

Putting it All Together

We’ve covered a lot of ground over the previous pages and in our video interviews, but there’s one piece of advice that stands out. Philip Cheves, the Director of Marketing for Carolina One Real Estate Services summed it up perfectly when he said:

“We’re really interested in not chasing the bright, new, shiny object. We’re trying to stay focused on the fundamentals and on keeping our customers front-and-center. By doing so, we ensure that our future will be every bit as successful as our past.”

As Philip pointed out, as sexy as AI, predictive analytics, and other emerging technologies are, it’s a good idea to stay grounded. Focusing not on the technology itself, but how it can improve customer experience and company revenue-the core goals of marketing and sales-that’s how your business can thrive in 2018 and beyond.

Jamie Turner

In partnership with Jamie Turner.

Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, speaker and TV news contributor who has helped The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, CNN, and other global brands solve complex business problems. He is the founder of 60SecondMarketer.com, a business blog read by hundreds of thousands of executives around the globe. And he is a regular guest on CNN and HLN where he provides insights on business, digital media, and leadership.

Forecast #5