THE TOP BUSINESS AND PR TRENDS FOR 2018
By Kicki Pallin
What do you need to know as a business owner, to continue expanding in 2018? What pitfalls should you avoid, and which kind of knowledge is essential when growing your business?
We have asked four business owners in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Poland about the future in business and PR. By knowing this you will be more prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, when this year moves into its second half.
As an introduction to their predictions, we’ll give you some facts about these four business specialists, who are more than happy to share some of their entrepreneurial wisdom.
The Swedish entrepreneur Robert Dragovic from Gothenburg says that, to do business and build values is the best thing he knows. He is not specialised in one single business, instead he walks in where he sees possibilities. He is the founder and owner of KappaBar, a chain of eSport restaurants.
Oliver Meier is an entrepreneur in Frankfurt, Germany, who after 20 years in sales and training and coaching some of the top sales people in the world, created a new business method. It shows how to get new customers, grow existing clients – and keep them forever.
Victor Fasahati is a business owner from Copenhagen, Denmark, who has bought and sold products, clothes or anything that could turn into some kind of profit, since he was 11 years old. As he couldn’t find any good accountants or advisors, he turned himself into one, and now runs Dansk Selskab.
Dr Mateusz Grzesiak is a Polish entrepreneur and lecturer from Warsaw. He graduated from Law and Psychology, and holds a Doctoral Degree in Economics in the specialisation of Management Science. He is the author of 14 books and has been providing training internationally for the same amount of years.
Robert Dragovic (Founder and Owner of Kappa Bar in Sweden)
The Power of Online Influencers and Company Ambassadors
Traditional media is going to become less and less relevant. In a world where people distrust institutions and phenomenons such as fake news, this will also become more relevant to the world of traditional marketing. Customer segmentation is also becoming of greater value. It is not enough to separate your customers into a couple of groups, instead we need to create micro groups. This will give us the ability to reach out to the customers that actually care. Marketing through influencers will become a lot more common. In a recent inquiry we could see that 88 % of the people participating trusted online influencers recommendations as much as they trust recommendations from close friends.
Social media is the reason to all of this change. Ordinary people have simply taken over the job from the advertising companies. It’s the feed that decides if you should be shared or killed. Companies today needs to stop using only traditional media and start creating entirely new content. This content needs to be worthy of noting, reading and spreading. You simply have to be so good that people turn into personal ambassadors for you. Companies also need to start understanding their customers better and then apply this to their marketing. As there might be hundreds of different reasons to why each specific client wants to buy from you in particular.
Oliver Meier (Founder and Owner of Get More Academy in Germany)
Be Authentic and Join Forces to Succeed
In 2018 it is no longer just a matter of your product or service and the customer service you provide. Customers want an experience and a “wow“-feeling when buying from you. It is all about emotion, not only specs and hard facts. Another big trend is co-working. But this is not just sharing an office. It’s more about a lifestyle and collaboration. The elbow mentality is finally gone, join forces to succeed, especially if you have a small or medium sized company. PR trend 2018 is live streaming video content. Research shows that 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.
The CEO 2018 should see oneself as a Chief Experience Officer. No matter, if you are selling B2B or B2C. Good product/service + excellent customer service + best possible customer experience = Success in 2018. Live streaming is growing as it’s easier to watch a video than reading an article. If the video is live. Everybody also knows that it might be planned, but not edited until perfect. So the truth of the story is much closer. Another thing is that our mobile data volumes increased over the last years. You no longer have to read a text because of limited data, you can watch a video, wherever and whenever.
Victor Fasahati (Partner of Dansk Selskab in Denmark)
Adapt and Change with New Technology and Engagement
AI and machine learning is definitely some of many business trends, that are going to have a radical impact on many businesses. Why wouldn’t a business implement AI and machine learning, if it could eliminate manual mistakes, save time and capital and memorise every action it engages with? Also, the company will get better the next time it faces a challenge, and thereby replacing the manual processes. Our jobs are going from “manual” work into “human” work. Small and medium sized businesses have a big chance getting ahead because they can adapt and change fast, while big corporations have a hard time adapting, because procedures and lack of hunger and innovation.
PR has far too long only been about press releases and media coverage, but it’s changing in 2018. It’s now about engaging, connecting and relating to people. Social media, events animation, blogging and vlogging, it’s about being much more visual and consumer engagement. People should not be connected through a PR agency and have the information handed to them in a newsletter – where is the engaging in that? The third party does not have to be a journalist anymore, it could be the carpenter, the pilot, the hairdresser or your grandmother, since we are all “citizen journalists” today on social media. More empathy, pathos and storytelling through people – and not actors – will create the engagement.
Dr Mateusz Grzesiak (CEO of Starway in Warsaw, Poland)
Outsource and Build Relationships – Work Smarter Instead of Harder
This year looks very promising for small and medium businesses. It will offer them many modern solutions to minimize business expenses and maximize effectiveness of their employees work. Companies are suggested to outsource when needed, which means that some of the work will be distributed to other businesses. Although social media has already been exploited by many businesses in order to boost their marketing and sales, this year’s trends offer new ways of utilizing them to build stronger customer loyalty to a brand or product. On the rise this year will also be work from home, it’s an opportunity that minimizes office space while giving employees ability to cut their commute time and have work-life balance.
The main reason is that the global market as well as customers are emerging into new, more accessible and easy ways, of obtaining products. Clients have all the means necessary to evaluate a given product, company or brand before they even touch or see it at the retail store. Customer base their decisions on the opinions of others placed on social media, therefore a business should put a lot of attention on creating a strong relationship and loyalty bond with them through the use of new communication channels. The trends this year are followed by the doctrine that you should work smarter instead of harder. Listen to your client’s needs and focus on creating an emotion like experience that will be associated with your brand.