So many reports for 2018 predictions remain unopened in our inboxes, and as the reams of in-flight reading stare up at us from our ‘Unread’ folders, it got us two grouches discussing how much of the prophecies in those PDFs will actually be of use to us in the coming 11 months, if growth is our ultimate goal for brands.
After all, what from last year’s predictions helped us sell more stuff in 2017? How much should we and our clients care about blockchain, bots, VR, AR, IoT and machine learning, before the next tidal wave of futurism hits us in December?
The conclusion of our mildly intellectual chinwag yielded this list of perhaps more useful, more predictable predictions that will actually help our clients fuel growth over the next few years as we wait for all of the sexy tech to be widely adopted (or not).
Spoiler: It’s nothing new and it’s definitely not as cool. More evergreen proof than prediction, based on good ole empirical evidence that helps us understand how most brands grow in the real world.
1. Brand loyalty will still be a thing but it’ll be similarly small like everyone else’s brand.
2. Brands that grow will be the ones who acquire more new customers, not loyal ones.
3. Differentiation won’t be as important for brands as just being top of mind.
4. Over-investing in short-term goals will put long-term brand growth at risk.
5. Not enough media will be committed to sustain the impact of many campaigns.
On average, uplifts in consideration following a campaign decline at 15% a week, meaning the uplift will have decreased 50% in 5 weeks, returning to pre-campaign levels in under 4 months.   
6. Video advertising will continue to be the most effective media choice for for most categories.
7. Creativity will continue to be the biggest driver of effectiveness
8. Emotional advertising will work much harder than rational advertising.
9. Fame will be the ultimate objective to the most effective campaigns in the world.
10. Budgets will still matter for growth. There’s no free lunch.
That’s it; ten somewhat ‘anti-predictions’ for 2018 that we are more than happy to stick our necks out for. After all, it’s marketing science, not science-fiction. No voice-enabled crystal balls required.
Les Binet & Peter Field, Marketing in the Era of Accountability, 2007
Les Binet & Peter Field, The Link Between Creativity and Effectiveness, 2011
Les Binet & Peter Field, The Long and Short of It, 2013
Watch a short video on the power of Fame
Les Binet & Peter Field, Selling Creativity Short, 2016
Les Binet & Peter Field, Media in Focus - Marketing Effectiveness in the Digital Era, 2017
Nielsen, Budgeting for the upturn - Does Share of Voice really matter?, 2009.
Byron Sharp, How Brands Grow - What marketers don't know, 2010
Jenni Romaniuk, Byron Sharp, How Brands Grow: Part 2: Emerging Markets, Services, Durables, New and Luxury Brands, 2016
If you don’t have time for the books:
Thinkbox, Profit-Ability - The business case for advertising, 2017.