By Leslie Youngblood
2018 is quickly, quickly coming to a close, which means it’s time to plan for 2019.
Yes, 2019 is your year to market your business like the bad ass entrepreneur you are.
That’s why today I have the five marketing trends you need to keep an eye out for and try implementing in 2019.
1. Reputable content, not ads
We’ve known for years now that people are running away from traditional ads.
In fact, 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.
So does this mean marketers should abandon ads completely? Not necessarily, but they have to be more relevant and valuable to the consumer.
2. Creative distribution
People have been saying for a long time that print is dead, but we recently came across a company that used software to obtain physical addresses for clients and started sending them print newsletters.
Can you believe that in the age of MailChimp and HubSpot, this company went against the grain and spent extra money to do it the old-fashioned way. But why?
Simply put, everybody else had gone digital, and this company saw an opportunity to do something different.
Consider integrated campaigns and creative distribution tactics that focus on ways to engage audience members that their industry competitors might not be considering.
3. Customer communication preferences
Customers expect that companies will communicate with them in the ways they like.
That’s why it’s so important for marketers to be aware of their customers’ communication preferences.
Experts out there are making some big predictions about how customers will operate in the future. Some analysts say they think close to 50 percent of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020.
I'm not sure how accurate this really is, but I do know that our children are growing up in a world where smartwatches and smart speakers are the norm.
4. Personalization and authenticity
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.
With the endless amount of data you have available, and the technology that can analyze it and help you put it to use, as well as the tools available to scale that information across interactions, your audience members should feel special all the time.
There’s no stopping marketing automation and technology. These advances help marketers scale more effectively, make better decisions, and save money.
5. Chatbots will offer benefits beyond customer service
As I just mentioned, audiences are looking for more authentic, helpful interactions with brands and they want those touch points 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.
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.
There you have it— The five marketing trends to watch out for or start using in 2019. Let me know which one you give a try.
Leslie Youngblood is the Creative Director for Excelerate America, the fun, smart service for small businesses. Tell Leslie about the marketing tactics you plan on using in 2019 by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.