Brave’s predictions for 2018

It’s hard to tell what 2018 will bring but here at Brave, the team are excited to see how the year will develop. With a wide variety of expertise in the office, we thought we would share our predictions for the year ahead.

Tony, Founder and Owner

My top level predictions for 2018 are geared mostly towards social. Live video content should become even more popular this year, it’s on the up and there’s plenty of proof it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Brands should look towards messaging apps more too perhaps, customer service departments are starting to use the likes of WhatsApp now to improve speed of service and reduce the resource needed to set up a traditional call centre by integrating a one to one comms channel.

Social Media ecommerce? What more can I say on this, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are offering this and others are following fast. Consumers are all following brands they love, trust and admire and this will open yet another commerce channel I think.

Virtual Reality, I personally would like to see more of this working in marketing with product placement making a comeback again and interactions.

My gut feeling is that mobile advertising is also going to become really challenging from a competition point of view as more and more of us depend on this area and costs are potentially going to hike up, making it harder for smaller companies to enter this playground.

My personal goal for 2018 is to “obviously” get a work life balance, no matter how much I enjoy the challenge and drive of running an agency, it really doesn’t need to take over your life…totally… does it? 😉

Sian, Office Support / Administrator

After working in publishing for six years I will be using 2018 to increase my knowledge of all things digital. I am lucky to work with a highly experienced team that push me on a daily basis. I plan on starting my Google Squared Digital Marketing course so I can gain a qualification in a field that excites me. Hopefully, I will be able to throw in a trip to Hawaii as well, so I can get my hula on!

Raymond, Strategic Account Director

Multichannel Marketing such as Email, Push Notifications which are used to nurture customers through an engagement process and their path to purchase will be given more prevalence. I can see that full value will be given to these channels as the consumer demands constant communication updates from their supplier. As a consumer I love knowing where everything is that I have ordered. As a Marketeer I’m seeing engagement levels up and clients are able to support the customer service teams, focusing their resources on being proactive rather than reactive. There are already great adopters out there that are doing this well, so the idea of this being an afterthought will disappear if Marketing is going to be successful.

Gareth, SEO Lead

As I wrote in a previous post, Google Lens is now being released on the Google Pixel, and will be expanded to other Google Assistant enabled phones shortly. This is a huge change to the SEO landscape, putting Mobile users to the top of the priority list once again. Therefore, it’s time to get your Schema in check, your images optimised and your content up to scratch, ready to take full advantage of the rise of Visual Search. As we all know, Google likes to throw their spanners in the works, so I’ll be keeping up to date with any updates, to make sure clients are secure.

Rodrigo, Backend Developer

In 2017 Laravel was the most used framework and I believe this will continue into 2018. My role requires me to not only rely on frameworks but understand what is behind it. It is essential for me to continue developing my skill set which will help me build fast and clean code for our clients. On a personal level, being Brazilian, I am focused on showing off my football skills to others 😉

Steve, Graphic Designer

I believe that in 2018 web design trends will continue to lean towards the use of big, bold typography to make an impact. Also, I think that the use of dynamic gradients and colour and large images will help web designers achieve impactful, well-designed, modern, responsive websites. I’m stepping up my fitness regime this year so I can make it to the top of Snowdon.

Sian, Account Manager

The email marketing world is set for a huge shift this year as GDPR comes in to effect in April. Companies will no longer be able to spam old leads that no longer have any interest in their products; thus making email marketing more targeted. The power will be back in the consumers hands, as they are legally entitled to say no to email spam. Marketeers will in turn have to change their approach to email marketing, and strategically ensure that each communication can add value to the individual that receives it, as the consequences of sending an email ‘just because’ could lead to a vast decline in subscribers. Now my little girl is running around we aim on moving to a bigger home this year, with fully laminated, wipeable flooring 😉

Jonathan, Back End developer

I predict that backend PHP will continue to become a faster and better language and that the Laravel framework, which has been going from strength to strength, will continue to be the framework of choice. JavaScript will get more popular and Vue.js will be more widely used on the front end. From a personal point of view, I’m enjoying being a new Dad ;).

Sam, Front End Developer

I think in 2018 we’ll see the importance of websites created for large devices matter significantly less. This matters even more in websites that have to convey a lot of information in a small form factor, such as ecommerce. It’s already been heading that way for a long time, but I think 2018 might be the year where mobile finally sticks the knife in. Like Sian, we are hoping to move houses, as my little family is quickly outgrowing our shoebox.

Alex, PPC lead

Machine learning will ramp-up its momentum and dominate the Sponsored Ads Network, alongside a new ad blocking addition to the Chrome browser, which will insist on only showing adverts that provide the best possible experience and relevance. We might also see the unveiling of Google’s “Project Beacon”.

Ant, Back End Developer

2018 is going to be a massive year for the digital industry, as the economy ramps up we will see more user engagement in our websites and apps, users and customers alike will strive towards richer user experiences. Progressive Web apps are coming into the fold and will force to adopt new approaches to how we do things. I personally think JS frameworks are going to be a key feature in the industry going forward.

Rachael, Digital Project Coordinator

Glossier, Selfridges, Jack Wills & ASOS are some big names which waved goodbye to their homepage image carousels at the tail end of 2017 and it will be a continuous wave into 2018. The brands at the forefront of trends seem to be getting savvier with how they use images – think big blocks of colour to minimise on image size with much less detail, whilst still being bold and impactful for when a user first hits a website. But Why? Carousels are starting to feel like they’ve had their day – they’re a trend that’s stuck around a lot longer in the web world than most. The move to reduce the number of big bulky images loading (and the code that’s required for it) only has a positive effect on page load speed too.

Nick, Magento Developer

2018 will bring with it a wave of change, especially as we look to find the most robust ecommerce solutions. Fully hosted cloud solutions have increased their market share, which will continue throughout 2018. These solutions are perfect for the startups and small scale businesses. As big ecommerce players shift their focus to Enterprise solutions and high level development takes shape, a gap in the intermediary market is opening ever wider. The big question will be who is going to fill that gap? My personal take on 2018; Excitement for the latest addition to the clan and pushing the old cogs of knowledge even further

Matt, Front End Developer

I think web VR needs some more focus. I don’t think it’s being massively adopted yet or enough! Technology is moving so fast as we all know, and likely to see some dramatic shocks in the industry this year perhaps. Interactive content within website pages, perhaps more polls, quizzes and videos – should be fun to implement and as a web developer it will keep me busy! I’m also sat next to the creative team here, and simplicity seems to be the key – less is more? This doesn’t mean boring or bland, eye-catching fonts, strong vibrant colours, and creatively cropped photography we’ll see more of this year. Roll on 2018 – I’m on a health binge!

Gary, Project Manager

In 2018, I anticipate that blockchain technology and related companies will become far more widely understood, recognised, and will see enormous amounts of investment. 

Most people don’t realise that digital currency such as Bitcoin is merely one of the first but rather crude applications for blockchain technology, but the technology itself which underpins cryptocurrency is capable of far more technological sophistication than most people understand or realise.

This technology is very much still in its infancy but some of the best academics and tech engineers in the world are now flooding in to this space because of the vast number of real world problems that the technology is likely to fix the entire world over.

I believe the foundations of a new, better, more efficient, fairer, smarter, more secure Internet and Digital age will be born in 2018, the foundations of which will build upon blockchain technology.
 I will personally be investing in the following top 5 pick technologies which represent this new wave of innovation. I have noted their current ‘stock’ price, let’s check back in 2019 to see how much they’ve all grown in 2018.

Ethereum – ETH – £651.81
Stellar – XLM – £0.26
NEO – NEO – £86.18
Cardano – ADA – £0.37
Dragonchain – DRGN – £1.84

Being a Welsh man, I aim at visiting this beautiful place as much as I possibly can in 2018!