Note 1: I’ve not missed 5G, VR, edge computing, cloud connectivity, blah, blah, blah however I do not think these areas will impact Marketing/ Digital during 2019 much more than they have in 2018.
Note 2: I’ve omitted obvious trends such as ‘dark social will offer challenges over social ROI’, ‘the big search/video/ social platforms will continue to dominate users time and company spend’, ‘there will be greater demand from businesses for programmatic display and social ad transparency’, ‘digital media acquisition channels (e.g PPC, SEO, Affiliate/ Aggs, programmatic) will remain key for the majority of businesses’, etc.
1/ Influencers & Storytelling
The influencers and peer groups poles of my customer and engagement cycle will become ever more important in 2019.
However whilst the likes of influencer networks such as Brandnew, famebit, magiclinks, takumi and Tribe will continue, by the end of 2019 forward thinking brands will have weaned themselves of the over reliance on paid influencers.
During 2019 there will be a rise of micro influencers, niche communities and grass-root community campaigns and seamless native advertising though conversely ‘generic’ sponsored content (the likes of Outbrain & Taboola) will start to die off due to a lack of believable storytelling.
Video, particularly live streaming (Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube, etc) will gain increasing momentum in 2019.
Video is increasingly dominating the web (from a content perspective) and winning Brands in 2019 will not produce pithy/ scraped together/ filler content and will rather produce truly engaging original content that delivers what consumers want, when and how they want it (content design Vs content marketing as per my customer lifestyle touch points model).
3/ Visual & Voice Search
Visual and voice search will evolve brand engagement and ecommerce; such as demonstrated by Google, Snapchat and Amazon. I believe Voice search and visual search (AR > image) will become much bigger during 2019.
Utilisation of Neuro Linguistic Programming & AI will also mean chatbots and creativity communication with consumers via audio and voice-activated formats will also become bigger this year…
4/ Consumer Data > Analysis > Machine Learning > AI
From the chips/ functionality that are being built into the likes of the latest iphones to enable AR > brands that are starting to adopt AR experiences to overlay over their Brand experiences (everyone from Ikea to BMW) > connected watches (Uber to health advice) > industrial innovation > Voice > The likes of AI aiding Ecommerce sales optimisation we will see advanced technology being utilised in genuinely useful ways during 2019.
Data is key to businesses making better decisions about products, services, employees and more and this will be used to an even greater perspective in personalisation of channels including email, content, social media & CRO.
Oh and I should also say = comply or die 😉
6/ Culture and Digital Transformation
To enable true organisational change businesses must first look at its beliefs, ways of working, structures, silos, and culture to see if it is set up to succeed in the Digital Transformation world of 2019> (‘Culture’ being a key part of my 10C Digital Strategy framework)
An example of an area this will be felt in will be Commerce (again featured in my 10C Digital Strategy framework) as benefits of understanding interests, behaviours and attitudes > cultural change to deliver against this commerce need online.
Areas such as growth hacking (“rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business”) will increasingly infiltrate traditional businesses leading to new ways of working (alpha > beta dev becomes standard, user testing becomes the norm, social media R&D greatly impacting new products developed for shelf, etc).