There are a lot of marketing speakers already predicting the trends for 2019. It’s still only summer, but people are already trying to look ahead and see what’s around the curve. The world is changing very quickly, and it’s hard to differentiate yourself, and maintain trust in the ever-changing marketing world. The more you can plan ahead, the better equipped you feel to manage those changes when they happen.
I would like to share some of the experts’ thoughts about what you need to keep an eye out for in 2019:
1. People are putting more trust in others they know and reputable content, not ads.
We knew years ago that people were running away from traditional ads. A Nielsen study from 2015 showed that the top four most-trusted sources of advertising were: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites, and reviews. Ads are near the bottom of that list, and that fact hasn’t really changed.
In fact, 30 percent of all internet users are expected to be using ad blockers by the end of this year, reducing the number of possible target audience members.
There’s still a place for some ads, but they have to be more relevant and valuable to the consumer. This is why we see more money going to content marketing, influencer marketing, referral partnerships, and other methods that are designed to deliver actual value to audiences.
2. Creativity, not conformity, will set successful marketers apart.
People have been saying for a long time that print is dead, but companies can use software to obtain physical addresses for clients and start sending printed newsletters. It works. Imagine that. In the age of MailChimp and HubSpot, companies going against the grain to do it the old-fashioned way. Why are these campaigns successful?
Simply put, many companies have gone digital, and print provides an opportunity to do something different. Now, I’m not advocating that businesses should try to resurrect print marketing or do something only because it’s uncommon but rather because it resonates with their audiences. But they should consider integrated campaigns and creative distribution tactics that focus on ways to engage audience members that their industry competitors might not be considering.
3. Winners won’t be concerned with internal barriers.
You need to create engaging content rather than just advertisements. This engaging content doesn’t just help marketing. It can enable your sales team and be beneficial to recruiting, investor communications, internal training, and just about every other area of your business, too.
Companies that put up barriers between departments will fail in the long run. Leading companies are built on departments that work together. Creating engaging content isn’t just a marketing concern. Great content can fuel other parts of the company, resulting in better talent, lower costs, and improved relationships with investors.
4. Understanding how your customers communicate is vital.
Technology has evolved tremendously over the last several years. Customers expect that companies will communicate with them in the ways they like. That’s why it’s so important for marketers to be aware of their customers’ communication preferences. Many people suffer from digital overload.
Experts out there are making some big predictions about how customers will operate in the future. Some analysts say they think close to 50 percent of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020. I’m not sure how accurate predictions like this really are, but I do know that current people and generations that will come after them are growing up in a world where smartwatches and smart speakers are the norm.
5. Helpfulness and authenticity will combat relationships lost through tech and automation.
There’s no stopping marketing automation and technology. These advances help marketers scale more effectively, make better decisions, and save money. However, these advances sometimes come at the expense of the relationships those same marketers have typically built with members of their audience.
Although automation might cover basic tasks, it’s important to do your best to add a personal touch or offer direct help when possible. Make it a rule to visit clients in person once every year to see how you could be helpful or improve the relationship and get to know the people better. The result is clients that stay longer and spend more money.
These are just five trends I found to look out for as you think ahead for the end of this year and into the next. Remember, there’s not a single “right way” to build a marketing strategy, but these five tips can help you achieve any marketing goal.