Modern trends are always changing, and to stay in the game you need to keep ahead of it. This is as true of marketing as anything else; to remain effective, your business’s marketing strategy must adapt to anticipate and accommodate these changes, otherwise your brand risks losing relevance and falling behind. The start of the year is an ideal time to plan your marketing strategy for the coming 12 months, so we’ve looked into our crystal ball to see how marketing is likely to change in 2019. Here are the five of key areas we think will take off in the marketing world this year, that you need to adopt in your marketing strategy.
AI customer profiling: When you think about AI, often the first thing that springs to the mind is something similar to a scene from iRobot: humanoid machines performing tasks for people and generally making things easier for society. In reality, AI isn’t just about making human-like robots; It’s about building computer programmes which analyse huge amounts of data and perform tasks much faster than humans could ever hope to accomplish. Data trawled through by computers can then be processed with algorithms and used to make predictions or perform actions which maximise the chances of success. Companies can use AI to build a model for customers who are more or less likely to buy their product, based on data from previous buyers. This can be used to create models which categorise potential customers; for example, into high-chance of buying, medium-chance of buying, and low or no-chance of buying. This data can allow companies to allocate resources more effectively by making tailored marketing campaigns to each category. Although this may seem big-league stuff, even small businesses can harness the power of AI, for example through Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) software tailored to be price-competitive for the SME market.
Optimising SEO for voice search: Voice search is a growing AI technology being developed by huge companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon. Although we don’t anticipate the smaller companies developing their own voice-search technologies, we do expect its uptake to increase due to improved voice recognition by the AI. As a result, companies will need to adapt their SEO strategies to accommodate for the more conversational tone and long-tail keywords associated with voice search.
Partnership Marketing: This is an area that has been expanding in recent years and we expect will continue to grow into 2019. Here are the basics: a brand looking to sell a product or service works with another entity, such as an influencer or complementary brand, to promote their goods/services and drive site traffic and sales. In some cases, especially with online affiliate marketing, when a customer makes a purchase, the referring partner receives a monetary reward for their efforts. There are thousands of micro-influencers who can make targeted marketing much simpler than in times gone by. Working with social media influencers who are associated with the area of your business can be a great way to target your ideal customers.
Experiential marketing: It can often be difficult to stand out from the crowd in competitive markets, this means companies have to start getting creative. Experiential marketing is when brands give customers something more than just a sales pitch; they give them an experience, something to remember that sticks with them. It’s been used highly effectively by big brands in recent years, improving brand awareness and loyalty; in fact, the success has been such that consumers are increasingly going to be looking for experiences, from even small companies. Emerging technologies, such as virtual reality and ever more powerful websites, will make it easier for consumers to engage with experiences in the comfort of their own home.
User experience: This refers to a user’s experience when using a product or service and involves all aspects of dealing with the company, from first interaction to sale and use. It is a growing aspect of marketing which not only addresses branding and exposure, but also strategy. If a brand is well designed and its values ascertained, then these are implemented in your customer experience. An example of optimising your user experience is by addressing your customer journey pathway, allowing you to identify and isolate key stages of a customer’s interaction with you and improving them. User experience is a growing trend in the marketing world and is sure to be a dominant feature in 2019.
The way in which we make purchases is changing at a faster rate than ever before, which means the marketing landscape has to adapt quickly to reflect new consumer patterns and expectations. For your marketing strategy to be effective, it must adapt to suit the new world. Transitioning doesn’t have to be difficult and keeping up to date with the trends and doing what you can to implement them into your marketing strategy can really help you to grow your business this year.
Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Greater London. You can see what our customers say about us here.