In our view, 2018 is about companies getting to grips with the technology and media options that they already have, using them more effectively and efficiently, and adapting their teams and budgets to make the most of the new realities.

Catching up with the promise: Smart CMOs will focus on making the most of existing marketing technology investments and demonstrating ROI. According to a recent Gartner report, marketers have some catching up to do to justify past expenditures and reassure the C-Suite of their value. In 2018, they’ll look for ways to use already installed technologies and existing platforms better, in new, smart and value-adding ways.

Test and learn content marketing: Marketers under pressure from their management to deliver ROI will shy away from large one-off budget commitments. Increasingly at Current Asia we’re seeing clients test all aspects of every campaign, from paid, owned and earned media choices, to content options, data collection methods and calls to action. 2018 will be the year of the ’test and learn’ pilot, rather than the big idea.

Signals in the noise: The much-touted Internet of Things is not here yet for many marketers. However, there are certainly plenty of underutilised data inputs to help marketers reach and satisfy customers. For example, search keyword performance data can improve marketing content relevance and SEO, and analytics from marketing automation platforms such as Marketo drive campaign optimization.

B2B is now officially B2B2C: The consumerization of B2B continues. B2B customers demand more mobile, nimble and real-time ways to do business with their vendors, and are looking for solutions that meet their own customers’ and audience needs. Digital and social marketing that connects directly with the end user pulls-through to reach and convince multiple B2B decision makers.

Programmatic breaks the branding barrier: Programmatic advertising is increasingly useful to discover audiences online and draw them to valuable and engaging content. Google Search and Display and Facebook continue to grow but other platforms and publishers, such as the AMP PMP from Ctrl Shift (a Current Asia client), serve specific regional and specialist targeting needs.

Goodbye mutts: Some marketing approaches that have outlived their usefulness will finally head for the doghouse. Let’s say goodbye to spam e-mails requesting sales appointments. And companies need to get better at using the power of LinkedIn properly. Online ad fraud won’t disappear, but marketers will be increasingly alert and less gullible.

And last but not least, we hope old school sales leaders will finally realise the importance of data-driven content marketing to generate and nurture leads.