Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2019

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Marketing as we know it has assumed so many dimensions that keeping up with the trends and how we can amplify our brands and messaging as well as ensure we are using the right marketing channel and medium is critical to the success of our businesses going forward.

Many people believe it is difficult keeping up with the emergence and technological advancement of the trends and envisage that immense growth will happen in 2019 and we are spoilt for choice. These trends include gaming, through to voice, to AI driven content and social commerce will greatly impact marketing and sales.

Most organizations in Nigeria, will have to decide which of these trends will be relevant to them. The important thing to note, is to use each trend chosen to achieve your objectives in order to get maximum results from your marketing investment.
Trends to consider in 2019 according to John Hall and me, include the following:

Content has become core to marketing
One of the biggest trends in content marketing is that it’s all but taken over marketing departments. Content has become core to everything. You have to create a content marketing plan. Many people say content is King. It is pivotal to growth.

Chatbots will offer benefits beyond customer service
Audiences are looking for more authentic, helpful interactions with brands, and they want those touchpoints to happen on their terms. Chatbots can help you meet your audience members where they are and inform your marketing strategy with insights directly from them at the same time.

According to recent research, 73 percent of marketers say they use their website analytics to research their audience, but only 42 percent say they use actual audience conversations. That’s a missed opportunity for better relationships and better messaging, and if marketers want to close that gap, they might want to look into chatbots.

Not only do chatbots give you insight into exactly what your audience members are looking for and when, but they also make it easy to deliver that information to them — all while collecting those insights to refine your messaging in the future. It’s a win-win,and that’s why it should be on your radar in 2019.

Alternative search formats
Just as there are different ways to communicate your message, there are different ways for audience members to search for your content. Voice search is on the rise, and with Google announcing plans to make visual content more useful in search, marketers need to be prepared for the rise of alternative search.

According to the recent research, more than half of marketers increased their use of image-based content, and more than one-third increased audio-only content. This indicates marketers are moving in the right direction by producing more and different types of content for audiences. But if you’re creating different kinds of content without also thinking through how your audience will find it, it’s not going to do a lot of good. As we go into 2019, prioritizing multimedia content and alternative search will be important.

Security and data privacy will be major concerns
Online security and the protection of personal information are growing demands for all consumers, and marketing leaders must accommodate this development. As audience trust in media declines and concern over privacy grows, marketers will need to put the processes in place to responsibly collect, store, and protect their audience members’ information to maintain the trust they’ve worked so hard to earn.

Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The impact and interest of artificial intelligence on content marketing is rising. Marketers are beginning to better understand AI’s capabilities in boosting marketing initiatives, especially in social media and consumer behavior. This enables them to customize their activities and better understand consumer behavior, which leads to richer insights to adapt in new situations at all time. The speed of the machines over human analysis offers huge benefits in terms of understanding your audience, competitors and content positioning.

Personalization and authenticity will separate successful marketers from those who just contribute to noise.
To be honest, there’s no good reason in this day and age for anyone to receive generic messages and completely irrelevant offers in his or her inbox (or anywhere, for that matter). With the endless amount of data you have available, the technology that can analyze it and help you put it to use, and the tools available to scale that information across interactions, your audience members should feel special all the time.

They’re already bombarded with more content than they can handle, and you don’t want to just add to the noise. Technology doesn’t have to make you more impersonal. It can make marketers better communicators. Use it to (securely) collect relevant data, and turn those data points into insights that can guide your messaging. The more advanced these tools get, the higher your audience’s expectations for genuine, helpful, personalized content will be.

So rather than dive headfirst into each trend as it emerges, remember the members of your audience and what is truly best for them. That should be your guiding light. Assess everything carefully, make sure you’ve got a plan to actually measure whatever you try, and always prioritize your audience experience.
In 2019, we need to up our marketing capabilities in order to ensure we are getting the best out of our investments in both time and monetary terms.