6 Marketing Trends You Should Actually Follow in 2019
New year, new marketing trends. And the buzz in 2019 is all about using technology to deliver more personalized and powerful marketing.
2019 is continuing to see the trend of marketing and technology becoming intertwined. Marketing automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to be used by businesses of all sizes to deliver more personalized messaging.
The Marriage of Marketing and Technology
2018, marketing and technology experts witnessed the ubiquity of AI, chatbots, and Augmented Reality (AR) technology. AR apps such as “Zombies Go” allowed you to enter a zombie nation where you fight against the zombie apocalypse, all while still seeing personalized advertisements.
Chatbots exploded, providing marketing and customer service across websites and Facebook pages.
At Google I/O, the multibillion-dollar company’s annual developer conference, Google Duplex stole the show. The new AI assistant booked a hair appointment in front of millions of viewers all the while mimicking the idiosyncrasies of human speech.
Gone are the days when traditional marketing tools such as ad copy were enough to reach the global market. Today, global marketing strategies and technology marry to form a union that is not expected to end anytime soon.
Here are the top 6 marketing trends you should consider implementing in 2019.
1. AI and Chatbots to Generate Revenue
While 2018 saw good adoption of chatbots, 2019 will see the usage explode beyond just Facebook messages or Twitter responses.
In fact, Oracle reports that 80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020.
While customer service has been the primary domain of chatbots in years past, 2019 will see a rise in the application of chatbots for sales and marketing. Companies like Hubspot are leveraging Facebook Messanger chatbot platforms like ManyChat for lead generation through Facebook advertising.
This is a highly effective strategy where brands can run Facebook ads to their targeted audiences, but instead of the click-through fall-off that occurs between webpage transition, ManyChat Messenger Bot engages with the user natively in Facebook to sign them up for a webinar. This seamless experience dramatically increases conversions and decreases CPA.
Here are a couple more ways you can implement chatbots to increase sales for your business:
- Upselling: Right after a customer buys, they are 33% more likely to make a purchase again. This is a prime time to have a chatbot engage with the customer. Shopify and Facebook Messenger have an existing integration that allows store owners to provide anything from order confirmation messages to products related to what the customer just purchased.
- Cart Abandonment: Your potential customers will abandon shopping carts 69.98% of the time. While an optimized card abandonment email sequence can win back 10%-15% of those customers, Messenger chatbots have been shown to generate 619% more engagement than email.
2. Personalization and Automation
The rise of technology has provided extreme personalization in everything from the ads you are shown to the stories you see in your news feed. Marketers must leverage technology to personalize their communications with prospective clients.
But personalization doesn’t have to mean tons of one-off work. Automation can help personalize your marketing at scale. For example, email automation tools like Mixmax can help automate emails based on prospective customer’s needs. By hooking up to a CRM like Salesforce, and then building email templates specific to a group of customers, you can build email rules that will send personalized emails to any contact in your CRM in a specific industry.
Using these personalized emails, you can create content that speaks to their industry and uses specific examples that make sense for them. Automating this process will have big gains to sales while reducing the time it takes to reach out to each individual prospect or customer.
3. Voice Searches
It’s no surprise that alongside AI technology, voice searches are important marketing trends to take note of this year.
‘Smart speaker’ devices such as Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod will be on the rise and find their way into your marketing strategy. These devices are expected to play a major role in customer service inquiries as industry experts are tweaking them to tackle longer, more complex questions.
For digital marketers in 2019, providing the answer to your customers’ questions has never been so important. Position zero, or the Google featured snippet, is where voice assistants look to provide answers to your questions. The majority of the time reading these snippets as the answer.
Marketers need to start thinking about how they create content that answers questions in a conversational tone rather than creating content based on a keyword. It’s the difference between “dehumidifier uses” versus “Should I have a Dehumidifier in my house?”
Considering that mobile searches which include “do I need” have grown by over 65% in the past two years, the time is now to jump in head first.
4. Content with a Cause
All this technology is great at delivering your message in a new and innovative way, but content is still king. The content that you present your customers is still the lifeblood of any marketing strategy. According to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by the Social Media Examiner, over 81% of marketers aim to increase their content output.
With information in abundance at just the click of the “Search” button, Generation Z consumers want to be informed about products and services before, during, and after purchase. They also want to feel good about the work each business is doing. This makes conveying social responsibility more important than ever before.
Many of the most popular direct to consumer brands like Harry's, Toms Shoes, and Warby Parker create content not only around their business, but around the social benefits of doing good.
These brands share how many shoes they donate, non-profits they support or free eye-exams they provide with a highly engaged audience. This socially responsible business model conveyed through amazing content is how these brands have seen exponential growth in a short amount of time.
For example, footwear brand Toms runs a social media campaign where they ask their digital community to post pictures of their bare feed with the hashtag #WithoutShoes. For every post, they will donate a pair of shoes. They amplify this message by sponsoring an independent festival in London and using original content to share via social media.
The campaign engages more than 3.5 million people on social media channels and results in almost 30,000 shoes donates.
While 2019 will continue to see high-quality content being produced by brands of all sizes, businesses need to use that content to engage their audiences in unique ways. Communicate you and your employees’ work in the community with your customer base to create stronger loyalty.
5. Marketing and PR Will Overlap
It used to be that marketing efforts, and PR efforts were two different beasts. Today, those two efforts overlap and the lines continue to get blurry.
As content marketing has continued to grow, many marketers and PR teams are now one. PR, which was once an effort to get high-quality placements, is now focused on providing content.
Why is that?
It used to be that it was the job of PR to shout the loudest in order to be recognized and trusted by the consumer. Now consumers have all the information at their fingertips making them more informed than ever. Simply being the loudest brand on the block isn’t enough. You need to connect with your audience and provide value.
Personalized content delivered where the consumer naturally consumes it is now the holy grail of both PR and marketing.
6. Find Shared Interests with Influencers
Influencers have contributed to the growth phase of countless businesses in the past few years. 2019 will be no different although the space is maturing.
Up to this point, influencer marketing has been very transactional. Most larger brands connect with influencers via an influencer platform like GrapeVine and TapInfluence. These engagements are per campaign where brands provide influencers with instructions of what to share and when. This is simply a traffic arbitrage model where creative is passed through the influencer in order to reach the audience.
At its core, this is always the end goal, but it’s not leveraging the influencer’s creativity that made them an influencer in the first place. Brands are starting to recognize this, leading to more partnerships.
As Steve Ellis, CEO of WhoSay.com, explains, “you really need to look at it as a creative extension to match up with your ideas as an advertiser." Ellis continued, “look at it as a creative execution, leveraging the talents and their creative skills to match with your idea or your message as an advertiser.”
Marketing is Still About People
Even with the fascinating technology that marries well with traditional marketing, at its core, the latest marketing trends show that marketing is still about people. There truly is no reason to be sending generic messages out to the masses, rather, customers expect brands to leverage technology to personalize their marketing and products no matter the medium.
Whether you’re touching the hearts of people with a compelling story, or solving their most intimate problems, marketing is about showing people how they can improve their daily experience and their life.
About the Author
Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between businesses and more than 7,000 local Chambers of Commerce worldwide.