While the underlining principles of marketing haven’t really changes over many years the tactics and communication trends are constantly evolving. Technology is advancing and how people communicate and select services is very different than from 10 or even 5 years ago. While we are in the throws of uncertain times there are some trends that will definitely be continuing into 2019.
Uncertainty and the B word
It’s not just BREXIT and the fear of a recession that is causing uncertainty. According to Mark Stringer from the Drum Network “It’s not just Brexit that will divide us in 2019. Unlike any other time in recent history, the threat of global conflict looms heavy; from the Middle East, Russia, Korea and China. The arguments, the uncertainty and the political jockeying are not going to abate anytime soon, which provides an interesting opportunity for brands. Not necessarily political stance but an emotional one. We have already seen efforts from brands to try to unite people across political or social divides. In Grey New York’s recent study “The Famously Effective Business of Togetherness” it was stated that 88% of people felt the need for unity and 60% thought brands could help achieve this. However, when entering this space care, craft and credibly are fundamental.”
Successful brands will be those firms that focus on values. In tough times individuals tend to look deeper into where they spend their money. Emphasise your company ethos and values helping to build emotional connections with your potential customers. When times are gloomy, the firms that show they are ethical, reliable with strong values will be the brands that people turn to. See our post Marketing your way through a recession.
The adoption of Artificial Intelligence will accelerate as customers will demand personalised experiences while firms will be looking to keep costs in check and automating processes and communication where possible. Individuals will continue to be time poor and an increase in virtual meetings and webinars will feed their appetite for engagement and enhanced productivity. Voice control will become more commonplace with some analysts saying they think close to 50 percent of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020. With such high rates of adoption it may not be long before voice control makes a leap from Apps to websites. Towards the end of 2019 most mobile networks will launch their fifth generation mobile technology (5G), speeding up downloads and website speeds enabling brands to develop evermore creative content for mobile use.
Individuals are becoming even more discerning about the types of marketing messages they consume. They will demand content not ads, people are putting more trust in others they know and reputable content.
A Nielsen study 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 this will continue to be the case in the future. 30 percent of all internet users are expected to be using ad blockers by the end of this year, meaning traditional ads now won’t even reach 30 percent of possible target audience members. Social media advertising and paid search marketing will see prices rise as providers try to protect turnover as the effectiveness of this medium decreases. It will be up to advertisers to be more creative to get the return on investment they need.
Mental health and well-being will continue to be a focus. Firms addressing the personal needs of staff with active programmes minimising stress will attract the best candidates in the absence of the ability to provide big paychecks. This will filter through to clients looking for services. Firms that look after their staff are more likely to look after their clients. As Richard Branson once famously said:
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
If you would like marketing support through 2019 please do get in touch.