Every new year brings along some new opportunities and new challenges. Being prepared is always a good idea. As a marketer, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and plan ahead to succeed. Are you wondering what 2019 has in store for you? We’ve got you covered.
We reached out to 101 global marketers to share their marketing insights and forecasts for 2019. In this blog, we have summed up the latest trends, developments, and challenges that will impact consumer behavior and shape the marketing strategies of 2019. We hope that you find these forecasts useful to scale your marketing efforts.
Here is a look at some of the handpicked marketing predictions for 2019 from global thought leaders:
“We are going to see more and more AI and machine learning being adopted by marketing tools and platforms to help marketers better analyze their content, following, engagement, and to implement their marketing strategy more effectively. AI is relatively new, but I have already seen companies use this in the influencer marketing space to vet out fake influencers, fake engagement, and manage influencer marketing programs more effectively.
As a user of marketing tools, I have always requested marketing tools to leverage data and power their platforms to help marketers drive more effective user engagement. I am looking forward to automating marketing intelligently and have complete control so that we are able to maintain the integrity of our brand, our content, and our actions digitally.”
-Neal Schaffer, CEO PDCA Social, Forbes Top 5 Social Media Influencer
“Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will take performance marketing to the next level. Segmentation, targeting, and attribution will change drastically and for good. Machine Learning will continue to drive better optimization and Artificial Intelligence will answer complex questions for marketers.
Performance marketing budgets will continue to rise with a focus on ROI and LTV. Plain CPA optimization models will not be enough anymore. Today's Perfect Attribution Models will not be perfect with the increasing consumption of video content.”
- Shreyansh Modi, Head of Affiliate Marketing, Flipkart
“Technology empowers businesses to scale faster and connect with customers more frequently, on a more personal level. When technology misfires, the consumer’s trust in that business can be significantly damaged. The recent trend in the technology sector is negative – with privacy controls and data breaches garnering negative headlines. Winning and retaining customer trust will play a significant role in the success of companies in 2019, both in the technology industry and beyond.
By listening to customers and connecting with them on a human level, companies can build enduring loyalty, even moats. Businesses that fail to establish trust — the foundation of any relationship — will lose to businesses that can. Start by listening to customers— if you do it better than your competitors, your business will be well-positioned to win.”
- Zander Lurie, CEO, SurveyMonkey
“I believe 2019 will see a huge upsurge in how digital technology will integrate with offline retail to provide an experience which will be used by marketers to target consumers in a more precise and personalized manner. The reason e-commerce giants are opening offline stores is to give consumers digital-led experiences in the offline channels because the e-commerce penetration is still not that high and hence after a certain point, these digital-led businesses need to integrate digital experiences to the offline channels and then slowly convert those users purely on digital channels.
You will see more brand stores in 2019 coming up with seamless digital purchase experiences without much human intervention and that will define how Digital evolves in the next 2-3 years.”
- Joy Chakravorty, Head- Digital, E-Commerce and Brand Retail, MTR Foods
“Mobile payments will continue to gain traction in 2019. All the advertisers should run your mobile marketing campaigns on in-app action instead of install campaign with KPI then you can save a lot of marketing dollars. You should capture all in-app events and create funnels, you can share these events with networks or publishers whoever is running your app campaigns. They will optimize based on the user funnel. You should pay the publishers/network only when your user has done some revenue event.”
- Sumon Chandra, AVP - Marketing, HouseJoy
“As our smartphone screens increase in size, fresh products, markets, and opportunities are taking advantage of the new real estate. Apple recently acquired Next Issue Media and its ‘Texture’ app, which some describe as a ‘Netflix for magazines.’ For $10-$15 monthly, subscribers have access to a bonanza of popular magazine content. Tubi, meanwhile, is a video app with a significant focus on the Android phone market. The service delivers free, ad-supported film and TV content from major studios.
For brand advertising, one of the most exciting opportunities is in mobile gaming. To date, brands account for only 15 percent of the lucrative ad spend in mobile gaming apps, but that’s set to change. Gamers are increasingly open to ad-driven content, and according to Adweek, today’s mobile apps are integrated with customer’s devices, ensuring publishers and advertisers can leverage key data signals to seamlessly connect a relevant message to the right user.”
- Richard Shapiro, President, The Center For Client Retention
“Marketers will begin rapidly turning to conversational storytelling. In 2019, expect to see more marketers embrace a visually-compelling, interactive method of communicating that will help them create more valuable, memorable impressions on their target audiences. Interactivity and immersion will become key to connecting with audiences. With exciting new interactive technology like VR and augmented reality (AR) becoming more available to businesses, 2019 will see new, immersive, methods of working and learning become a reality. Marketers will also explore these new methods of interacting via AR and VR as they strive to create meetings, sales presentations, training and webinars that feature more interactive content.
As the millennial and Gen-X workforce expands, more advanced productivity, automation, and collaboration tools will become key parts of how everyone works. Collaboration, in particular, will make headlines once again as more workers opt for collaborative workplace environments.”
- Peter Arvai, Co-founder and CEO, Prezi
“In 2018, 47% of prospective customers viewed 3 to 5 content pieces before engaging with sales teams and 72% preferred video content to learn about the product. This highlights the importance of video content at every stage of content marketing. In 2019, companies will focus on customizing video content to user search intent at the awareness stage.
Video content will also become more interactive to capture the consumer's inputs. In the next stage of consideration, highly personalized content will be used to strengthen the relationship with prospects. In the final stage of decision making, an AI chat-bot enabled video content that takes audio inputs will enable a better conversion for brands.”
-Ankit Chhabra, Senior Marketing Manager, Fortis
"With smarter technology and new opportunities, the world of content marketing will evolve massively in 2019. I believe that emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence will pave the way for the future of content marketing. The industry will also get more creative with content formats such as videos, 3600, VR, AR, ebooks, and influencer-created content."
Shane Barker, Digital Strategist and Brand & Influencer Consultant
“Data-driven Creativity Will Be A Strategic Differentiator In Customer Experience. A data-driven approach to creativity helps marketers work more productively, create the right content faster, and deliver that content to the right customer, across the right channels, at the right time. In 2019, creative teams need to work more closely with their data and analytics teams to better understand the changing behaviors of consumers both online and off. Retailers Will Double Down On Experiential Commerce. Engaging content is going to play a big role in retail commerce strategies in 2019, with an emphasis on nurturing customers so that when it is time to buy, your brand or store comes to mind first.
Privacy, of course, will play a big role in an organization’s personalization strategy. New laws such as GDPR—plus California’s privacy law, which comes into effect in January 2020—means marketers must be focused on ensuring ethical data collection practices and earning consumers’ trust. When choosing partners to work with, brands need to look for products and services that protect the data that is entrusted to them and are designed with privacy in mind.”
-Stacy Martinet, VP of Marketing Strategy & Communications, Adobe
“Every year, consumer expectations grow based on how brands interact with them. 2019 will be no different. This will be the year that sees a shift in the way marketers perceive their audience, campaigns, and goals. I foresee three clear trends emerging within marketing in 2019:
Value over volume: Last year, more and more brands were keen on embracing a user-centric marketing model. The focus was on building a clear strategy that leans towards customer engagement and retention. Marketers have realized that marketing works best when it is relevant and contextual to their audience. This year, we’ll see more and more brands shift levers from volume to value. Which means that reach, impressions etc. will mean lesser to marketers as the focus shifts to trigger/behavior-based marketing even more.
Advanced analytics is a prerequisite: Over the last few years, I’ve seen an incremental affinity among marketers to look beyond the ‘what’ and articulate the ‘why’ of marketing. Having a data scientist or a marketing operations team is any marketer’s dream. While larger marketing teams include experts who can constantly analyze data to provide razor-sharp insights, smaller teams rely on analytics tools that arm them with these capabilities. Either way, the impetus on advanced analytics is only going to grow and brands who have not yet been looking at data very closely in the past will be forced to do so.
Automate and re-invent: There are so many ways in which marketing is transforming. This means that marketing teams must evolve in terms of technology and process. To stay ahead, marketers must embrace automation to take care of the day-to-day marketing chores while the teams utilize their time on creative aspects of marketing. This will help marketers be smarter at every stage of the customer’s journey.”
-Ashwin S L, Head of Marketing, MoEngage
“The reality is the path to purchase is not a straight line and thus, retailers need to embrace the various touch-points customers will have along the way before they decide to buy in order to capture customer dollars. This journey must be seamless without compromising customer trust or attention. From payments to delivery or pick up and every touch-point in between, 2019 will demand retailers to finally create shopping experiences that are worth customers investing both their time and dollars on. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but among the top considerations to consider should include engagement, expectations and even entertainment.
With 2019 expected to be dynamic for retailers, it will undoubtedly be competitive, as well. To keep up, retailers simply must embrace the new realities of these customer expectations across all touch points of their shopping journeys.”
-Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Founder of Retail Minded and Author
“Brands of all sizes will embrace Direct to Consumer strategies. Brands that aim to survive, let alone thrive, will need to prioritize developing deeper, more meaningful connections with their customers. This will require deeper investments in personalization and connected storytelling across all touchpoints, automation, and tools to enable those interactions, and strong measurement platforms to help them optimize and realize growth for their business.
Retailers Should Double Down on Video in 2019. Videos will continue to grow in popularity because it works at every stage of the customer journey, cuts through the noise of banner blindness and drives higher engagements. In 2019, we should see higher use of video in the marketer's toolkit, especially as it becomes easier to create and edit high-quality assets.
2019 will Require Marketers to Leap Beyond Last-Click Measurement. I see 2019 as the year modern marketers stop relying on vanity metrics and outdated measurement models and start looking at what is actually driving sales. Further, marketers need to embrace multi-channel adoption and prioritize creating connected stories across all touchpoints. This can only be done by integrating solutions powered by machine learning and A.I into their marketing toolkit.”
- Scott Gifis, President, AdRoll
“Brands and organizations using social media will have to completely revamp their strategies in 2019. Social media was never about volume, it was about the quality of the content, which brands will start to understand (finally) in 2019, or they will get left in the dust. The sheer number of posts and tweets competing for attention will require brands to be provocative, get extremely creative, and move very far out of their comfort zones to attract their ideal audiences.
Working to target a smaller but more engaged audience, rather than simply posting to get the most reach and exposure, will be the focus. Brands will whittle down their social media marketing efforts from broadcasting on multiple channels to engaging on two or three select channels that they can effectively manage and drive results. Less will be more, quality will succeed over quantity, and we will all be thankful for it!”
- Julia Campbell, Digital Storytelling Consultant and Speaker
“With digital marketing increasingly gaining popularity across various channels, marketers are faced with the challenge of reaching their audience in a more effective and measurable way in a competitive landscape. Investing in technologies, such as influencer marketing platforms will help brands identify the right influencers to work with to keep audiences engaged and optimize their marketing investments by honing in on the most impactful programs.
2019 will be the year where companies will shift their attitudes on how they work with influencers. As influencer strategies continue to fuse into marketing campaigns, marketers will apply a more stringent due diligence process, backed by data, before partnering with influencers to ensure brand affinity, cultivate authentic relationships, strong past performance, and deliver greater ROI.”
Evy Wilkins, VP, Marketing, Traackr
“First, the heavy use of short videos with subtitles will become more prevalent and will begin to edge out text-only posts on the majority of social media platforms. A video is easier to consume and is more effective for communicating on social media. Second, video shot in portrait mode (tall) will become standard. As mobile viewership continues to dominate over desktops and laptops, videos will continue to transform to the devices that the majority of people use the majority of the time (phones).
The number of smart speakers sold during the 2017 holiday season led to a surge in demand for Amazon skills and flash briefings, and for podcasts. Smart speaker sales are projected to also be strong during the 2018 holiday shopping season. With that, more brands will start matching the demand with voice programs. I expect the number of podcasts and flash briefings to continue to experience strong growth."
Erik J. Olson, Founder, and CEO of Array Digital
“2019 will see increased adoption of visual search for product discovery using computer vision technology. It has the potential to help consumers shop for hard-to-explain-in-text items and is an ultimate connection between online and offline inspiration at the same time enabling a more personalized shopping experience. Although more popular in the fashion and home decor space, increased adoption is expected in other segments of retail as well.”
Anubhav Jain, Product Owner, and Growth Hacker, Decathalon Sports India
“Ad platforms will face increased scrutiny, not only from the government around what consumer data they expose, but also from their advertisers around where, when, and who the ads were served to. In fact, the government's recent crackdown on ad fraud shows that both the ad industry and the government are working towards cleaning up the environment through auditing and enforcement, so it's likely the platforms will try to get ahead with enhanced self-regulation that offers more transparency and auditable results.”
- Victor Wong, CEO, Thunder Experience Cloud
“Bigger investments will be made on Vertical Search Platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, TripAdvisor. These are the highest intent audiences, where customers go to make a decision. Google Search and Bing will continue to grow, as they cater to a high intent audience meanwhile investment on Social will shift from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and YouTube in-terms of push-based marketing.”
Dhananjay Yadav, Lead - Media Planning and Strategy, Razorpay
“May 25, 2019, will mark 1 year since GDPR came into force in the EU. Successful senders will have taken stock of this law and enacted internal processes to ensure compliance with European law. Senders and regulators alike are watching as complaints are filed under GDPR—the decisions issued by the Supervisory Authorities in each country will clarify and further refine the laws making implementation, if not easier, at the very least clearer.
Data, with Consent, Will Lead to Richer Customer Experiences. If GDPR informs senders on how to treat customer data, then data is in and of itself the crux of successful email marketing. Obtaining more data through consent and careful instrumentation of websites, emails and purchasing behaviors will yield richer customer experiences. APIs, standard parlance in the cloud and dev world are enabling more systems to be integrated faster thus turning data into insight and finally, into action.”
- Len Shneyder, Head of Industry Relations, SendGrid
“CX, essentially, is the marketing strategy. Customer Experience is a broad term. What I mean by CX is really personalizing the customer’s experience with your brand and customer service. The kind of personalization that happens when you use customer data to offer more relevant solutions, AND, the kind of personalization that feels like an interaction between two human beings (rather than a bot that knows your name). This might look like chatbots that trigger interactions based on user behavior - if they’re looking at a specific product, or act lost on a website, you could have a chatbot chirp in to ease any source of friction at just the right time.
Of course, the challenge of personalization is scaling it. Which means the trends in tech are going to be around customer experience tools that use automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to deliver increasingly relevant results.”
-Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré, SaaS Consultant
Read all 101 Marketing Predictions. Download the complete eBook with 101 marketing predictions for 2019 here.
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