With the New Year fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about what could be on the horizon for the industry in 2019. It turns out there are quite a few possible, notable changes that just might shake things up a little over the coming 12 months. Let’s get into them:
1. Improved Personalisation
In digital marketing, personalisation emerged as a major engagement tool during 2018. Moving onto next year, this realisation will support the ability to more easily offer a truly personalised experience for your customers and target market.
However, more ways to personalise your marketing style and message mean you’ll need to be better than your competitors for this to succeed. Better get working on it sooner rather than later!
2. Even More Transparency
The Cambridge Analytica data scandal, combined with the introduction of GDPR have made consumers more aware of their private data and how businesses use it. This will likely lead to consumers expecting more transparency from the brands they interact with.
Pre-empt this by having everything about your company, the way you operate and use your clients’ data clearly visible and easy-to-find on your website and social media pages.
3. Increased Zero Party Data Usage
Consumers have shown they’re generally happy to share their own private data about personal preferences and intentions, in return for more personalised recommendations and communications.
Following on from higher data privacy demands, the use of ‘zero party data’, specific information that comes directly from a consumer, will become a bigger driver of successful marketing contact.
4. Improved Voice Search Capabilities
You can bet your bottom dollar (pound) that voice-activated assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo were popular gifts this Christmas. Esepcially when they seemed to be included as an incentive in virtually every big brands offer. If I’ve realised that, then so have the big tech giants of the world. That means that steps are already being taken to ensure the online world is more responsive to voice searching.
Ensure all your content includes the right tags and links to be more easily discoverable for voice searches, to benefit from this trend.
5. New Levels of Ad Interactivity
As digital capabilities continue to develop and consumers expect even more from the online world, it’s probable that more brands will incorporate increased interactivity with their marketing content and campaigns.
This can be fun, serious or a combination of both. But adding a touch of personalisation through interactivity, or augmented reality, will encourage increased engagement – which is something, as Marketers, we’re all searching for.
6. Live Streaming
Live streaming isn’t a new concept on the content scene. But social media users are becoming increasingly comfortable with it, whilst brands’ experiments with it have generally been positive.
From a marketing perspective, live streaming can become a powerful tool for most brands, with short bursts or longer sessions both likely to prove popular to increase interest in a brand or new product launch.
7. Messenger Marketing to Take On Email
Email marketing has been around for a comparatively long time in the online world. However, with messaging apps now more popular and easily accessible than ever, the growth of messenger marketing is expected to pick up in 2019.
Of course, some generations and brands will prefer to stick with what they know and remain wedded to email. But for everyone else, personalised messenger marketing contact is going to be a big driver of customer engagement.
8. Mobile Will Become First, Second & Third
5G connectivity is coming in 2019 (maybe not for us rural folks) and that means that mobile download speeds and connection reliability will improve further. Mobile continues to be the most popular way for users and consumers to engage on many levels and the introduction of a more powerful online support network will only fuel that further.
Ensure everything you do has mobile at its core to gain the best engagement levels and conversion rates for your brand.
9. Marketing Will Become Less Hard Sell
Viewing all those who interact with your brand as potential customers is something that’s ingrained in most marketers and business owners. However, many consumers know this and are increasingly unhappy with being viewed as ‘cash cows’ or easy targets.
Change things up and provide some genuine fun and/or informative content and contact for your users. Be more giving and your rewards will emerge sooner than you expect.
10. Martech Coming of Age
Martech has been evolving rapidly but has been a little all over the place. Expect that to change in 2019 as platforms consolidate their offerings and capabilities, to provide a smoother, user friendly and cost-effective option for digital marketers.
11. Yet More Integration Across Online Channels
To help support that increased personalisation we talked about, more brands will need to co-ordinate their digital marketing approach and become increasingly present and available on an omni-channel basis.
Like it or not, do expect more cases of brands knowing what you want as you switch from app-to-app-to-app, when you’re online on any device or channel.
12. Content to Require Firm Intent and Prove Useful
While SEO best practise will remain relevant, the focus in content creation should shift to WHY you’re creating it.
If it’s a response to a genuine need within your target audience, that’s great. If is been created to make your website more SEO friendly, that’s not so good. Make sure you understand what your product or service allows your cunstomers to achieve and then ensure they know it too. Ensure all your content is value driven for your audience. ALWAYS!
As you can see, I’m expecting some significant changes in 2019 and some that are less about bringing something new to the digital marketing game and more about refining existing options. If anything above catches your eye and you want to know more, you can drop me a line in the comments below. Or, if you’ve got any predictions of your own feel free to share them below.